Vivo Girls Sports Creates an Online League
MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Vivo Girls Sports, Inc. (vivoGS) today announced the launch of its online community and social network for young women who share a passion for sports. The website, vivoGS.com, which has been live in beta since November 2009, marks its formal launch just in time for back to school — when many young women are beginning new training routines and sports seasons, and need the advice and encouragement of their peers and trusted experts. The vivoGS fan page already has over 37,000 fans, placing it in the top 1% of all fan pages on Facebook.
“Our teenage daughters were continually frustrated about the lack of support and acknowledgement in sports for girls - most resources and networks are geared toward boys - and one day my husband exclaimed ‘there oughta be a place just for girls!’”
vivoGS founder and CEO Marilou McFarlane, a recognized expert in teen and college marketing and social media, and a lifelong competitive athlete and soccer coach herself, realized that a social network and resource focused specifically on young female athletes did not exist anywhere. “Our teenage daughters were continually frustrated about the lack of support and acknowledgement in sports for girls - most resources and networks are geared toward boys - and one day my husband exclaimed ‘there oughta be a place just for girls!’” explains Ms. McFarlane. “As the conversation went on, and we talked with other teenage and college female athletes across the country, we all kept coming back to the idea that there needs to be a forum where young women can share information about training, try-outs, coach issues, body issues, injuries, nutrition, fitness and sports news, and ask questions that actually interest female athletes. We kept coming up empty.” Ms. McFarlane decided to fulfill this need by building a community where young women, like her daughters (one of whom just began her freshman year as a college D1 soccer player) could talk about their athletic ups and downs, offer tips and inspiration, learn from trusted experts, and share stories, clothing and reviews with other like-minded girls. There are 25 million girls in the US between the ages of 13-24, and vivoGS’ mission is to reach them all.
vivoGS is a site for athletes, by athletes - they play soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and tennis. They swim, run track, fence, bike, hike, dance and do yoga. The Facebook page is already hopping - attracting its 37,000+ fans in just 4 months. Facebook comments show that girls are elated they finally have a place to discuss their passion for sports and an active lifestyle: “i found this website and i thought it would be awesome to meet so many other girls who are just as active as ME!!!” exclaims one fan. Other young women share words of inspiration with their fellow athletes, with one girl offering, “Everyone is capable of doing a lot more than they usually give themselves credit for. I am a firm believer that you can do anything you set your mind to. As long as you try, it should come naturally.”
With the launch of vivoGS, Vivo Girls Sports, Inc. will be the first new media company that caters exclusively to young female athletes. The site includes a mix of user-generated, aggregated and original content, as well as expert advice from athletes, doctors, and other professionals, all within a trusted environment. User-generated content will capture the points of view of female athletes through video interviews and opinion pieces, giving vivoGS members a forum for talking about the challenges they face. “Today, female athletes make up almost 50% of all athletes in the United States. With these kinds of numbers, you would think society (as it worships its male athletes) would at least make room for us. But sadly, this is far from the case,” writes vivoGS member Lindsey Weaver, age 21.
Vivo Girls Sports, Inc. is currently the only company targeting this active and enthusiastic group around the world (a demographic representing over $200B in annual purchasing power) from multiple platforms: the website, social media, mobile apps and face-to-face on college campuses and at live sporting events (from nationwide youth tournaments to world events like the Olympics). Through these channels, teen and college-age female athletes are now able to connect, read relevant news, learn about products/equipment and get credible, reliable answers from professionals and other girls who share their love of sports. They can even ‘procrastinate’ with quizzes, polls and horoscopes.
To invite more young women into this growing community, Ms. McFarlane has engaged female “brand ambassadors” on top-tier college campuses across the country to spread the word and create a blog network called “vivoBloGS” of athletes from a wide range of sports, to inspire younger girls to fulfill their own potential on the playing field and off. vivoGS is also featuring a Back-to-School promotion, from now through October 3rd, called ‘Snack Attack’ in which they are giving away a month’s supply of HINT Water and KIND Healthy Snacks to 12 lucky winners and their teammates or friends.
“Feedback indicates that once the girls find us, they see the passion behind our site and the real value of the community - and they want to be part of it,” states Ms. McFarlane. “There’s no one else out there doing what we do. That’s why we’re here!”
ABOUT VIVO GIRLS SPORTS, INC.
vivoGS (vivoGS.com) is the first social network dedicated to empowering young female athletes by giving them a place to connect, share ideas, and find valuable information online. vivoGS targets young women ages 13-24 who are interested in sports and an active lifestyle, with content that includes nutrition, sports medicine and psychology, female health and more. The vibrant company reaches girls all over the world on four platforms: the website, social media, mobile applications, and face-to-face on college campuses and at live events. From soccer to softball, from recreational fun to elite competition, the goal of vivoGS is simple: to support girls’ active lifestyles and keep them playing, while celebrating the ‘whole person’ and creating a community.
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