For $4.99, fans can follow Ochocinco
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 account.
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 and more.
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 lots."
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 well."
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.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press