CINCINNATI -- Chad Ochocinco has a new iPhone application
that was created with the help of Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer
and breaks new ground for the media-savvy receiver. It also puts
him one-up on buddy Terrell Owens -- for a few weeks, anyway.
For $4.99, Ochocinco fans can follow his daily exploits in
photos, videos and tweets. They can ask his advice on dating or
anything else, send their own photos for posting, and track where
he is each day when he's on the road.
All Ochocinco, all the time.
"If you can't fly here to chill with me you can with this
app," Ochocinco informed fans through a post on his Twitter
Palmer, the younger brother of Bengals quarterback Carson
Palmer, and two of his friends formed a company that creates apps
for athletes and entertainers. The Ochocinco app was months in the
making, their most ambitious so far.
"It's going to parallel what Chad does on the field," Jordan
Palmer said. "The app is a glimpse into his life. It's got a
little bit of everything."
There are sound bites in English and Spanish; a "What Would
Ochocinco Do?" section; a place to post fan pictures; videos; a
"Where's Ocho?" section that tracks his travels; a place for news
Rock Software, Inc. was formed by Jordan Palmer and boyhood
friends, John and Sam Shahidi of California, to create apps and get
them approved by Apple. For Ochocinco's app, the company has hired
a photographer to attend tailgating parties before Bengals home
games and snap pictures of fans.
"He'll take a couple hundred pictures at every home game, all
the die-hard fans of Chad tailgating," Palmer said. "So fans
should look for our photographer cruising through the parking
Ochocinco was a logical choice for an app. He's the Bengals most
high-profile player, having changed his name from Johnson to
Ochocinco, and his innovative touchdown celebrations have drawn
both attention and NFL fines.
He's habitually tweeting -- he's got nearly 300,000 followers on
Twitter -- and does Ustream programs in which he acts like a show
host and shares his thoughts on anything that comes to mind.
Industry analysts are intrigued by the new technology and how
athletes can use it to connect directly with fans. The biggest
challenge is investing the time to create the app and update the
material to keep it interesting.
Ochocinco's app, made available for the first time over the
weekend, has gotten good responses from his Twitter fans.
"Thanks for all the nice tweets about my iPhone app,"
Ochocinco tweeted back. "If u r at the stadium with an 85 on, my
photographer will find u & take a pic for the app!"
Jordan Palmer said Owens, the Buffalo Bills receiver who also
loves Twitter and has a reality series on VH-1, has signed a
contract with Rock Software to get his own app, which could be out
in about a month.
"We're going to be striving to make it different," Palmer
said. "It's not going to be cookie-cutter. For instance, T.O. is
really into fashion, so we want to incorporate that into his app as
Palmer's company hopes to branch out to athletes in other sports
during the coming months. His company designs the apps with input
from the athletes, who get a share of the purchase price along with
Apple and Rock Software.