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The online action sports community formerly known as Loop’d.com has changed it name to Hookit.com after a trademark dispute with a heavily funded Silicon Valley company.
We asked CEO Scott Tilton some questions about the name change, if the company reached its revenue target of $2.7 million in 2009, and how business is looking for 2010.
Hookit has 550,000 members and offers sponsorship, brand insider loyalty programs, contests, eCommerce, community websites and online self-promotion tools for brand and athletes.
We had to. After getting involved in an expensive and time-consuming trademark dispute over Loop’d, we agreed to settle and change our name.
Why Hookit.com? Our members picked it through a series of polls, interviews and surveys. Plus, we think it does a much better job of describing what the network is all about – a place to hook up with friends, brands and deals all around your sports.
For brands: We're a place to hook up with a core audience of athletes and enthusiasts to market and sell your products.
Facebook has helped our efforts and we've always differentiated ourselves as a vertical 'niche' network for action sports.
If anything, we've seen an increase in signups and activity. Both Facebook and Twitter and the media surrounding them have helped educate the brands for us so they understand the benefits of social media and how to utilize it as a means to connect with consumers to market and sell their products.
Where they are broad, we are focused on filling a void with features and services created specifically for the athletes and sports marketers. (There's no reason for Oprah or your Aunt Judy to be on our network).
Our focus from a product perspective moving forward is not on how to compete with other networks, but how to integrate and distribute our features and services to allow members utilize them anywhere.
I think last year was an interesting year for everyone. By mid-year, brands and marketers were slashing budgets what seemed to be every week.
When the smoke cleared, we were profitable and happy to be in the position we were heading into 2010 with a solid business model, a new name and a fresh start.
We ended up being over-subscribed from the Connect SI event and due to the cost of raising new capital from a dilution stand point, we decided to stay focused on maintaining our profitability and growing organically.