Super League stars join new video messaging site
Imagine receiving a birthday message from your favourite rugby league star?
Or going for a job interview with a good luck message – and motivational tips – from your Wigan legend?
A fast-growing company is giving sports fans “unprecedented personalised access” to their heroes – and some of Super League’s biggest names are getting on board.
Swysh, which was set-up in Australia, allows supporters to pay for personalised videos from their favourite players.
Wigan star Jackson Hastings, wing great Martin Offiah and ex-Warrior Ryan Sutton are already signed up.
St Helens’ Tommy Makinson and Lachlan Coote, Catalans’ James Maloney, Hull KR’s Ryan Hall and Warrington’s Gareth Widdop are among those also on board.
England great James Graham said: “Swysh has taken off in Australia. Fans love it, charities benefit and it’s a no-brainer for athletes so it’s got great momentum.
“I’m really happy to see some of the lads in the UK get behind it already.”
Sydney’s Michael Roth, 34, came up with the idea of Swysh after surprising a friend with a video message for their wedding and seeing how well received it was.
He launched the company in Australia last year and said the “traction with both athletes and fans has been incredible.”
He said: “Swysh gives sports fans unprecedented personalised access to their heroes.
“In a few simple steps, fans can purchase a video message from a Swysh sports star, who film the message on their phone and send it back within a few days.
“We’ve created a sports tech platform, purposely built for athletes and fan engagement, where every video creates an everlasting memory for the recipient while also helping disadvantaged children – at least 20 per cent of all sales are donated to children’s charities which makes Swysh really unique.
“There are now more than 600 local and international athletes using Swysh and we’re privileged to have teamed up with some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest sports stars.”
Prices vary depending on the star, with a personalised video message from Makinson – for example – costing $25 (about £13), Hastings’ videos are $60 (£32) with Widdop and Offiah priced at $100 (£53).
“More recently we’ve welcomed some of the best Super League players like Gareth Widdop and Tommy Makinson which is really exciting,” said Roth, who says around $200,000 has already been donated to charities.
“We’ve got some big plans in the pipeline for the next 12 months, which will definitely include many more athletes on the platform.”
The message requests vary from sending congratulations to motivational tips and, this week, even a wedding proposal! Roth says the athletes are enjoying taking part.
“We’re seeing Swysh used to celebrate, inspire, educate and entertain. Usually, messages for birthdays or special milestones, training tips or motivation or advice for a fan doing it a bit tough,” he said.
“We’ve had some really fun and creative requests come through – gender reveals, asking someone on a date and last night we had our very first Swysh proposal which warmed the heart!
“As a general rule, athletes love engaging with their fans.
“The usual barrier is the demand on their time because of existing schedules and commitments. Therefore, our technology is just about enabling athletes by giving them a simple and flexible way of communicating with their fans while also raising funds for kids charities.
“Particularly now as we navigate the pandemic, access to players and sport can be limited so Swysh provides a great solution for athletes and fans to connect in a new way and create a special memory or moment that can be shared across platforms and kept forever.”
The site can be visited at heyswysh.com