PepsiCo, Inc. Starting A Social Network With A Focus On Soccer Celebrities

Posted Mar 17, 2008

PepsiCo, Inc. announced today that they haved started a social network.  The social network is powered by  The social network will have global sports figures endorse the food and beverage company.  As of right now, the social network will first be launched around Europe in different stages.

Currently the web site features soccer (aka football in other countries) stars such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Cesc Fabregas.  The URL for the site is:  The site will have music and a theme revolving around “hopes and dreams.”

Soccer is huge in Europe. Therefore, PepsiCo’s plan to launch in the Europe using soccer endorsements seems like the right move.  However, I believe that their overall features of the site seem pretty cheesy.  Users are asked a range of questions when looking at the site such as “If I had a footballer’s salary I’d spend it on…” and “Happiness to me is…”  Below are images related to the question. For example, there is a picture of a Ferrari, a home with a pool, and a private island under the question, “If I had a footballer’s salary I’d spend it on…” 

As users select the thumbnails representing their answer, they are matched to their soccer (football) type.  The football type match is powered by Youniverse’s VisualDNA algorithms.  These algorithms don’t seem too much different from the widgets that tell you what type of Family Guy, Simpsons, Entourage, etc. character that you are most like.

It’s tough to predict how much traction this site will receive because I have not researched the European social network market enough.  All I know is that Bebo is the dominating player in that market.  Hence AOL’s desire to buy Bebo for $850 million last week.