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With the UEFA EURO starting in France on June 10, one business idea could have the potential of becoming the new home for millions of soccer fans. And SAP HANA could help to integrate all the data on the new platform.

Soon it will be that time again when millions of soccer fans in Europe and around the world will be cheering their teams passionately. With the opening of the European football championship on June 10th, millions of fans will also interact on social media, exchange facts and gossip, will place bets, or buy merchandise.

“What if we had one platform where soccer fans from all over the world could do all these things, something like Facebook for soccer”?, imagined entrepreneurs Al Karaki from Canada and Dr Nikolaus Eberl from Germany. No sooner said than done, Karaki developed a website called The Fan World Cup ( Karaki: “We have just launched the FAN World Cup, a global soccer league that places the 3 billion amateur, recreational and non-playing fans at the center of the world's most popular sport.”

What is the FAN World Cup?

The Fan World Cup is an engagement platform for all non-professional soccer players and fans from 200+ countries. The Fan World Cup integrates both the 800 million playing soccer fans and the 2 billion non playing soccer fans on its own social networking platform.

The idea was born during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa where 32 teams of amateur soccer fans got together and like their idols - Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, battled it out to produce the FAN World Cup winner.

Unlike the FIFA World Cup, the Fan World Cup is played by the fans themselves instead of the professional players. The Fan World Cup Championship is held every year instead of every 4 years and the Fan World Cup is a Fan-driven structure which combines the game with global social media applications.

Let the fans decide

It could also provide some valuable lessons for corruption plagued FIFA: One of the FWC anti corruption policies is to let the soccer fans vote on which country will host the FAN World Cup Championships.

Conceptualized as a loyalty program, FWC members receive up to date news, stats and videos on favorite teams, chat rooms as well as gaining member points they can use to buy sporting merchandise, travel trips, electronics in the online store.

The main features of the FAN World Cup include:

  • instant access to fan-centric social media, communication and gaming platform for soccer (think Facebook for soccer)
  • an opportunity to play in the annual FAN World Cup Championship with millions of dollars of prizes and merchandise up for grabs
  • members have access to a wide variety of sporting and lifestyle merchandise which is leveraged by the bulk purchasing power of billions of members
  • a corruption free organization whose policies and processes are managed and monitored by 2 of the top global accounting firms

Because data for the platform will be big – think of 3 billion potential users – the startup entrepreneur Al Karaki is looking into building the platform on SAP HANA: “I am hopeful that we can leverage SAP HANA to integrate all data because I believe that SAP and the FAN World Cup is a great fit. In fact, about 3 billion people will be interacting with our SAP powered system... which is technically, the largest engagement in the world.”

How does it work?

Interested countries who wish to apply to become the host of the FAN World Cup Championship should submit their proposal to FWC detailing the kind of hospitality, infrastructure, value and engagement that the country/city will provide should they be chosen as the successful country/city host.

It will ultimately be the soccer fans, the general public including the residents of the cities who applied who will review all of the submissions and vote on the country/city that they want to be the host country/city for a particular FAN World Cup Championship.

The fans of each country register their teams, go through a process of local, regional and national tournaments to determine the best squad to represent their country at the regional qualifiers and ultimately the FAN World Cup Championships.

What's in it for the fans?

“Serious Fun for Soccer Fans” is the motto of the Fan World Cup, and apart from fun, they can also win prizes: the winning team members and the coach will each receive $1million in FAN World Cup merchandise, prizes and cash.

Members can gain member points in the games portal, discussion forums or post pictures and videos in the global gallery and then purchase what they want from the online store.

The prize structure provides an opportunity for both players and non-players to compete for their share of over $30 million by either competing in local, regional and national tournaments or engaging in numerous online activities, competitions and gaming portals of the FAN World Cup.

The social platform allows for the creation and promotion of teams and their members - and when coupled with relevant stats, photos and videos, the FAN World Cup will host a completely fan-centric platform which places hundreds of millions of soccer fans in the middle of the beautiful game.

What do you think? Will the startup idea have the potential of a Facebook for soccer fans?