Here at Hoops Connect we’re all about helping you to get into sport and fitness, and we love what we do. But we’re also keeping an eye out for other entrepreneurs out there who are bringing value to the sports community. With that in mind, we had a chat with James Tallantyre from Worm App to see what they’re getting up to.
Hi James, how’s it going? Can you start by telling us what Worm is?
Hi Andy! Worm is a platform dedicated to slow motion, action sports clips, designed to entertain and inspire.
We’re building an experience that utilises interactive features to showcase incredible things done by incredible people.
We now support over 600 athletes and 30 events to create short, engaging clips, using features such as ‘touch to slow’ – which we’ve patented – and ‘array’.
— Worm (@worm_app) July 11, 2017
That’s a great idea! How did you come up with it?
Me and my business partner George Mitchard met at Manchester University and both come from a sports-focused background.
Around the time it became possible to film slow motion on iPhone, we noticed that there was no platform solely dedicated to sports clips, fully utilising the amazing slowmo tech that iPhones offered.
At the same time, we were both frustrated with the success of Instagram, a platform we feel is built upon vanity, shallowness and an ultimate distortion of how people should gain self worth, not to mention the fact that despite the billions it generates in profit per quarter, it does nothing to support the users that create all of its value.
Worm focuses on sports because of the amazing talent inherent within the athletes and the aspirational content they produce.
A cornerstone of our business model will always be to support athletes and events through sponsorship, guidance, filming opportunities and guaranteed exposure to our audience, without the need for a huge following.
With Worm, the world’s best snowboarder can get as many views as a 12-year-old at their local skatepark because our algorithms reward brilliant individual videos, not huge followings.
Having a look through the app it seems you’re very focused on extreme sports – why is that?
Quadruple backflips and quad corks are extremely complex tricks – we believe slow motion is a necessity to fully appreciate them.
The same goes for the majority of tricks that make up action sports content, every replay, regardless of the sport, is in slow motion.
We started with action sports as we both had a lot of prior knowledge about the space.
Our long term goal is to move into mainstream sports, and make Worm the home of all sports video content.
Are extreme sports something you and George are into yourselves?
We’re both big football fans, but there’s a lot more complexity to the tricks done in action sports such as BMX, Snowboarding and Skateboarding, not to mention much lower barriers to entry.
It’s because of that we felt they were a more natural fit to begin with.
Action sports are predominantly individual, the absence of teams and huge support networks creates new difficulties for athletes creating unique stories around their struggles, successes and visions.
We love meeting with athletes and learning of their journeys, offering resource and support anywhere we can.
We’ve also found that despite everything GoPro, Red Bull etc have done for action sports, they’ve a long journey ahead if they want to get to the same level as football, baseball, cricket etc.
We’re highly motivated by the opportunity to help in this journey and the challenges it presents.
Bearing that in mind, what can we expect to see from Worm in the future?
Our focus on action sports means we can build the app specifically around slow motion sports video consumption and the athletes and events involved.
We’ve patented various features that allow the user to control the playback speed on touch, to protect ourselves from the behemoth video companies we’re competing with for attention.
As we go through our fundraising rounds, we’ll continue to hire the best talent allowing us to innovate around video playback and the wider Worm experience.
We’ll also continue to work with the world’s best athletes, growing our athlete sponsorship programme to be the biggest in the world, creating incredible unique content, involving multiple athletes from different sports – athletes that would otherwise have never had the chance to work together.
Dreaming big then! You can check out Worm through their website here.
Hoops is now available in app stores, so you can use us to find opportunities for any sport or fitness activity you can think of. Simply click here to download the app for Android, and here for iOS – or search for Hoops Connect.
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