Welcome back to football season, friends.
With the preseason kicking off last week, it seemed the right time to tell you our big news. Those of you who follow us on twitter will already know, but we recently secured a significant investment that will allow us to make a huge leap forward in the quality and scope of what we bring to you each week.
This investment was only finalised in July, and despite a very rapid hiring process, our small team has had just a few weeks to start changing the fundamentals of what happens beneath the hood here at Pickwatch. That said, we're making exciting progress and we expect to have a whole new look, feel and purpose heading into the regular season in September.
So what kind of changes can you expect? Here's a quick run through of what we have planned over the next few months, and beyond...
Goodbye Intrusive Ads...
We wanted to minimize the number of adverts on the site during this period. To that end, we've removed the vast majority. We're not committing to 'no adverts' because frankly, that would be absurd. Websites need to make money to survive, and without it, we wouldn't be able to fund the things that keep you coming back! The good news is that we're developing new tools and services that should allow us to keep ads at a minimum, even when they are on the site. We'll also be only partnering with trusted companies that have RELEVANT services to you.
Mobile has always been a big problem for us due to the sheer volume of data. We're now very close to solving this once and for all, and our UX designer is currently guiding our developers through that process. Our aim is that no matter what device you're on, you'll see a very easy to use website that gives you as much info as possible.
We know that almost 60% of our users are either mobile or tablet users, which means that we need to get this right for you. We're sure you'll get used to the new look on both desktop and mobile and see it as a vast improvement over our dated current look and feel.
At some point this season (when we're happy with the site) we'll also launch our first mobile app, so you can be notified when your picks are due, and about how well you're doing!
We're determined to offer you the most in-depth picking information possible, and we want it top be personalised so that you see as much information about yourself as you do the experts. To that end, when you log in now you'll have a user 'dashboard' that allows you to see small widgets and tables that are relevant to you. Tell us your favorite team. for example, and we'll give you more info about them. Tell us what you use your picks for, and we can tailor the experience to suit you.
More importantly, we'll also be assessing your picks as you use the site, helping you discern where you're good and where you're... well, where you can improve! The more picks you make, the more information you'll get, and the more achievements you'll earn on the site. Speaking of which...
You'll now be able to make your ATS picks alongside the straight up picks. This is really cool for those of you who use ATS as your primary mode of picking, especially given the relaxation of sports betting laws. We are developing a powerful suite of tools that will help you understand and analyse your own performance vs the spread, while also offering even more analysis of expert picks and general statistics. More of which below...
As part of our new drive on stats, you'll see an awful lot more information about each game, and more importantly, we'll bring you stats that are completely centred around the two teams playing in that game only! This is really important, as it allows you at a glance to see what is important in the games you're finding hardest to pick. That will encompass the game facts, the teams and their form, the expert picks and the latest injury and team news.
There are too many small changes to list, but here are some that we will have for you:
- Downloadable excel tables
- Easier registration and login process
- Table filtering and weighting
- Ability to make picks while viewing the expert data
- Integration of clutch, team ratings into main tables
- Addition of new stats for ATS, Straight up
- New regular video podcasts related to picking games in all formats
- Mini-games such as over/under picks, confidence and survivor formats
- New expert profiles and the ability for experts to login and make their own picks!
- Season predictions (division winners, Super Bowl picks) are back for both experts and users after 2 years out
- A new community forum to help you and your fellow users learn from each other - while also engaging in fan rivalries!
- A million fixes that have been coming for years but are now actually being done...
I'm sure by now you've watched enough NFL content over the last few years to know that analytics are the next frontier in sport. Our belief is that analytics are centred far too much around what teams, bookmakers and other huge companies want, with very little relevance to the fans. Well, over the next 12 months we're going to bring accessible, useful analytics to you. For a novice user, we'll walk you through from day one, showing you exactly how to use our new platform. For the more advanced stats hound, we'll give you free reign to drill down and compare stats for context. This is our ultimate aim for Pickwatch, and one we think in the long run, will become your most essential tool for picking games.
We'll have a full roadmap once the season starts, outlining where we want to go and when you can expect us to launch our MLB si... I've said too much!
How you can help Pickwatch
Register! In the past we've not put any content behind a registration barrier because we felt it was restrictive vs what we could offer you. We'll still offer some basic content without registration, but now that we have the ability to offer extensive value to you, we will be asking you to simply login to see the best information possible. There'll be more prizes around the site for registered users, and far more benefits to using Pickwatch as a member than as a non-member!
We won't be bombarding you with adverts by email, we won't be spamming you with irrelevant information, but it's time for Pickwatch to move into the next phase, and we want you to come along for the ride.
We'll be working hard on the above features over the season. You'll see many of them develop on a weekly, or even daily basis at times, which is exciting because it allows us to quickly adapt to your feedback!
Our 2018 season will begin in the next few weeks, we hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are.
See you soon
Shaun and the team at Pickwatch