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Amplify Social Launches The Virtual Fan Network to Enable Brands to Associate With Professional Athletes for Fast, Low-Cost, Viral Digital Sports Marketing

(November 21, 2011)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/21/11 -- Amplify Social, a San Francisco-based digital technology company, today announces the launch of The Virtual Fan Network, a rich media content network that empowers brands to work directly with athletes to engage with their fan-base in short term, CPM-based, media campaigns. Amplify Social launches with exclusive contracts for over 300 active athletes in major sports including MLB's Tim Lincecum, the NFL's Marcedes Lewis, Mike Wallace, Michael Turner, and NFL legend Brett Favre. Additional athletes include Shannon Boxx, of the Women's US Olympic Soccer Team, and Freestyle Skiers Simon Dumont and Sarah Burke, with many more being signed daily.

The Virtual Fan Network allows brands to work with the biggest names in sports within the digital environment with a lower barrier for entry. Brands can quickly and cost efficiently integrate their message into an athlete's social media presence -- and through an aggressively amplified presence of a syndicated, highly interactive, rich media network -- to reach a highly targeted audience. In a successful Virtual Fan Network beta campaign, Victory Chevrolet created a marketing presence around San Francisco Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum. Tim's VFN launched with a Digital Baseball Card ( shared through his social graph and via QR code printed on a series of memorabilia drink cups to celebrate 1,000 strike-outs for the young pitcher.

"There have been limited attempts to provide athletes and the sports industry with a set of tools or a platform that allows them to properly leverage digital media," says Amplify Social Co-Founder and CEO Brian Wilhite. "The attempts we've seen are not innovative in terms of providing something new, they are simply making old models slightly more updated. We want to provide a scalable solution that brands want to use, and that will help them reach their consumers while also providing real value for the athletes."

"Our model allows athletes and fans to engage remotely, wherever they may be in digital media, and brands benefit from that integration," says Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Cory Treffiletti. "Brands win with a solution that integrates them into the passion of sports, while driving high levels of engagement with consumers and fans. Fans win because they are able to connect with their favorite athletes across any number of sports. Athletes get more of a local, national and international digital marketing presence and a new source of revenue from the world market. Everybody wins!"

The market for digital media and the market for sports marketing and endorsements are both increasing; with digital media expected to eclipse $77 billion, exceeding TV ad spending, by 2016, according to a recent Forrester study. Athlete sponsorship dollars are continuing to increase as well, projected to be more than $38 billion, according to eMarketer, by 2016, but this does not take into account the percentage of total ad spending that is dedicated to promoting sports marketing relationships.

"The business opportunity to marry together digital media with sports is potentially a multi-billion dollar endeavor, and an area that has seen little to no innovation to date," adds Mr. Treffiletti.

The Virtual Fan Network is currently increasing its athlete base, with a number of brand campaigns scheduled to launch within weeks.

Amplify Social ( is a San Francisco-based digital technology company specializing in providing social amplification solutions for brands through sports marketing. Founded in 2011, their first product is The Virtual Fan Network, which already boasts access to over 300+ athletes and a monthly reach of over 10 million unique users through established inventory partnerships.

Cory Treffiletti
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