By Gabriel (Gabe) Louis
Live basketball might have been invented in Canada and is slowly making a comeback post COVID-19, but it is the US that seems to know how to monetize it better, especially during the pandemic; maybe I speak like a glad American on the fourth of July. COVID-19 put a lot of sports players, media, employees and fans in flux with a lot of layoffs and losses to the economy in games and revenues cancelled or delayed. There continued a rise in e-sports (pegged to beat Super Bowl viewership by 2040 according to varied sources), and droves of researchers seemed to rush to scope the future of on-demand spectator sports. While the debate is on around which sports models to turn to in the pandemic, there are apps that can help monetize consumers’ love for sports, community and fitness in ways that augment or even substitute real games.
Are They Hooping (ATH) is a community-friendly app created by basketball enthusiast, Ron Jones, and ATH app designer, Di’Nasia Berry. The relevance of this app dwells in the realms of youth, fitness, basketball, and community fellowship. If you are anything like me, you love to play basketball just as much as you enjoy watching it. There might have been times in your life where you wanted to get out and get active, so you threw on some shorts and laced up your Kyries, accompanied by a basketball under your right arm. You cranked up your workout playlist on the way to the nearest basketball court with the anticipation that you’d have a bucket-filled day as a member of someone’s pickup basketball team, just to show up to an empty/closed basketball court! But thanks to Ron Jones and the rest of his team, the scintillating idea of an app such as Are They Hooping saves you both the time and the trouble of searching for the next available court. Importantly, whether you watch or play basketball at any level, if you have an affinity for hoops, then this is most certainly the app for you.
Are They Hooping permits basketball lovers to create a personal hooper profile, which further enables players to explore basketball activity at nearby parks, rank up their profile, and earn more bucks. The more you check-in at venues and the more you win games, the more bucks you can earn. What serves as a convenience for fellow hoopers is the simplicity that comes with making friends on this app. Adding friends on this app comes as easy as scanning the next person’s QR code. On top of the players’ capability to earn rank and generate friendships, Are They Hooping app is also complemented by a recruitment page, along with an extension to the NBA’s website. This makes it easier for hoopers to track scores in real-time and learn of the latest NBA news. The recruitment page allows recruiters to scout and keep up with player activity on the basketball court, making the possibilities for a player’s hooping endeavours endless.
The COVID-19 epidemic has forced many of us into quarantine globally. Some have been away from family, friends, basketball, and, well, let’s just say that some of us have not taken that too well. But as we look forward to the conclusion of this pandemic, Ron and the team at ATH seem to have impacted the community by their efforts at revolutionizing the way that we see and play basketball in this truly remarkable tech-powered way. ATH brings users the thrill of the sport itself together with the empowerment of community fellowship, bringing all of the fun of the game that we enjoy from the television to your neighbourhood, so that you will never have to ask anyone about your next game venue or the latest basketball news again.
Gabe Louis is a success-driven Haitian-French college student and an aspiring sports journalist and basketball player.