NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Berman, who as John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s business partner sought to popularize American politics with the magazine George, has recently set his sights on another iconic institution: the American family. His new web venture, MVPStarz.com, is designed as a family network focusing on kids' sports, and targets that estimated $10-billion-a-year industry.
Through MVPStarz.com, parents can work with their children, aged 5-12, to create easy-to-make "profile pages" that include regularly updated news, photos, videos, schedules, and stats. Parents can then invite approved family and friends to sign on as "Fans," establishing important, ongoing connections between these young athletes and those central to their lives. "We view it as a 'family social network,' which is a controlled introduction to the Facebook-like networking a child will experience later in life," says Berman.
"Over 20 million kids participate in kids' sports of some kind each year, and never again do Grandparents need to be out of the loop just because they can't make the game," says Peter Sawkins, the site's COO. Sawkins, former Group Director of the trading card company TOPPS, believes the new site "fills a void in a world where sports dominate many kids' lives, and families are looking for meaningful, safe and convenient ways to connect."
New York Mets legend John Franco, a partner in the site, agrees, "As both a professional athlete and a parent, I can tell you first-hand how important those personal connections are. In many ways, what's created here is analogous to the love and support so many of us received years ago when families lived in close proximity to one another and were able to share stories each night around the dinner table."
MVPStarz.com is funded by Berman's New York City-based investment firm, Galaxy Partners Corp. The firm is committed to developing a small stable of social web companies that combine community, content and commerce platforms. They will launch Mi Museum.com, a network for collectors, and DecoratorDetectives.com, a commerce-driven furnishings / decorating site created in partnership with a home fashion retailer, later this year.