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ipadio announces major project with Sport England and Facebook

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ipadio – the live phonecasting service, has today announced that its technology will be used to support the partnership between Sport England and Facebook which is helping people play more sport in the run up to London 2012.

Sport England and Facebook recently launched the ‘Community Sport Hub’ – a Facebook tool which enabled sports governing bodies to engage with over 20 million people who use Facebook in the UK.

The Hub looks and feels like a Facebook fan page but offers a range of new applications, including ipadio, enabling sports bodies to organise and market grassroots sports events. Facebook users are able to challenge other people in their area to compete against them – whether in a squash match or a running race – and then share the results live with their Facebook friends and networks.

The Hub will now offer ipadio as a part of the Facebook applications on offer to national governing bodies and others using the tool. ipadio’s role will be to deliver live commentary, opinion, interviews and a rich media experience directly into the Hub. ipadio offers the ability to broadcast live (or record and upload via both iPhone and android apps) from any phone, anywhere in the world. Broadcasts have been made from the World Transplant Games in Australia, Kayaking championships in Switzerland as well as from golf, rugby, football, handball, athletics and many more events across the country.

The Community Sports Hub has been set to transform the way sports bodies engage with participants as they deliver a lasting Olympic legacy of one million people playing more sport.

Students and young people who use Facebook are the first to benefit through a pilot scheme run by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and six sports:

• Table tennis
• Squash and racketball
• Badminton
• Judo
• Athletics
• Volleyball

The pilot has an ambitious target to get 12,000 students participating in sport in just four months.

“With the rich sporting heritage of Nemisys behind ipadio, it is no surprise that ipadio is already being taken up by many major sports in the UK, but by providing a bespoke player into this major project will give us deeper reach into the massive success story that is Facebook” says Dr Mark K. Smith, CEO of ipadio.

Thomas Godfrey, Sport England’s Commercial Director, said:

“Sport England sees ipadio as a means of bringing the excitement and action of sport directly to budding sports participants in seconds. From now on, sports governing bodies will have the ability to deliver live commentary of their events straight to their audiences in a way that suits them”.

ENDS

Notes to editors:
The Sport England/Facebook partnership
Facebook is offering an in-kind investment of £5 million a year until March 2013. The investment covers developing, training and hosting the Sport Hub for national governing bodies of sport (NGBs), conducting online polling, official partnership status with permission to use the Facebook brand in advertising and communications as well as pound-for-pound matched advertising spend, on Facebook, for brands seeking to encourage people to play more sport (capped at £3 million a year).

Facts about the benefits of using Facebook to promote sports participation:
• Online reach: 20m active users and second most trafficked site in the UK (Source: Hitwise)
• Engaged audience: 50% return everyday & spend 25 mins on the site. Facebook is part of the daily routine for people, who use the site to connect and share about things that interest them, including sport
• Unrivalled insights on users, group members, custom communities etc. Access to polling / survey tools to gain a deeper understanding of audience and activities

Sport England
Sport England invests National Lottery and Exchequer funding in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.

Sport England is committed to creating a world-leading community sport system, and has set specific and measurable targets to achieve by 2012/13:
• One million people doing more sport
• A 25% reduction in the number of 16- to 18-year-olds who drop out of at least five key sports
• Improved talent development systems in at least 25 sports
• A major contribution to the delivery of the five hour sports offer for children

About ipadio
ipadio (www.ipadio.com) is at the heart of the telephony/web revolution, first broadcasting a call from a satellite phone in mid Atlantic in November 2008. It is a spin out of digital communication company Nemisys, and has a patent pending: GB0820862.1.

Creative digital experts Nemisys (www.nemisys.uk.com) develop effective web sites and online applications. Nemisys has a strong record of delivery in numerous sectors, notably with charities, education, government and sports organisations. Several of ipadio’s directors were previously involved in the successful flotation of an online conference provider on the London Stock Exchange.  Their commercial and development expertise has been harnessed in the development of ipadio.

Contacts:
Mark Smith, ipadio
E: mark.smith@ipadio.com
M: 07767 690305