NEWTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Your Call Football (YCF), the gaming technology startup behind the innovative, fan-controlled, live play-calling game, today announced the hiring of former NFL running back and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge as head coach. Hoge will be responsible for hiring additional coaching staff, developing a roster of quality players, and executing training camp and practices. He will also go head-to-head with YCF’s other head coach, Mike Sherman, the former Green Bay Packers head coach and general manager, at YCF’s inaugural games in Spring 2018.
YCF will completely change how fans enjoy football by giving them control of a live, broadcasted game. YCF’s patented technology allows fans -- who download the YCF app -- to control the action on the field by voting on a selection of plays chosen by coaches like Hoge and Sherman, then watch as those plays are executed, live on the field by YCF professional players. Fans will accumulate points based on their play-calling skills and compete with other fans to prove who is a more skilled play-caller. In addition to bragging rights, fans will compete for cash prizes provided by YCF.
“We are thrilled that Merril Hoge is bringing his wealth of football experience and knowledge to YCF,” said Julie Meringer, president of Your Call, Inc. “Whether running plays or breaking them down on TV, Merril has shown a real passion for the intricacies of play calling. That he’s also embraced the innovation that is YCF makes him an ideal coach to lead this revolution in the fan experience.”
Hoge played eight years in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears and spent more than two decades as an analyst for a variety of ESPN programs.
During his seven seasons with the Steelers, Hoge set the team record for receptions by a running back with 50 in 1988. He was also one of only two Steelers to rush for more than 100 yards in consecutive playoff games. He retired in 1995.
Hoge joined ESPN in 1996, and his smart, informed opinions became part of programs including NFL Live, NFL Matchup, NFL PrimeTime and SportsCenter.
“YCF truly represents the future of the fan experience, and I’m thrilled to be involved,” said Hoge. “I know from my days on the field and in the analyst studio how much fans want to get in the game and really show how knowledgeable they are. I’m looking forward to seeing them put that knowledge to the test in a real, live environment.”
The YCF app – which operates in conjunction with YCF’s patented fan play calling system -- will be available for download on iOS and Android devices in the spring and will offer:
- Innovative, Live, Broadcasted Sports Content.Unique and interactive programming, with a maximum two-hour game length, will make football more appealing to millennial and tech-savvy audiences.
- Audience Engagement. Fans will participate from anywhere -- at home, a bar, or the stadium. YCF will offer live games with interactive competition that are DVR-proof and drive audience participation.
- Social Gaming. A real-time, patented, competitive gaming experience, complete with multiple contests for the fans to earn points based on their play-calling skill and compete with friends.
- Quality Football.Two full YCF teams will match up on a weekly basis, bringing professional players and coaches together for competitive football.
About Your Call Inc.
Based in Newton, Mass., Your Call Inc. puts fans in control of live games, transforming spectator sports into interactive, social and competitive experiences, a concept originated by industry luminary George F. Colony in 2013. Privately held, the company’s leadership team is comprised of executives from the technology, digital and sports industries. Your Call Inc.’s proprietary, patented technology will deliver a fan-controlled, live sports experience, Your Call Football, in 2018. For more information, visit www.yourcallfootball.com.