9 min 2 sec

Game on! Seahawks Fan Kicks Off Six-Figure Sports App

When faced with the possibility of not being able to enjoy his favorite football games, this sports fan creates an app to solve the problem. Four years in, it earns him a full-time income in exchange for 30 minutes of work each week.
App Power of Observation Service Sports

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What It's About

A loyal sports fan kicks off his own touchdowns.

Business Model
Skills Required
App Development & Resourcefulness
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Here are some of John’s quick tips for working with a developer:

1) Keep it simple. Start with an MVP so that you can a) keep startup costs low, and b) see if there is even a market for what you have to offer.

2) Use milestones. If you’re working with a developer that you’re not very familiar with, never pay for something up front.

3) Be transparent and clear. Be very clear about what you’re looking for, and draw up what you think something should look like.

Fun Fact

Over the years, John has found some rather interesting markets for his apps. Two that he hadn’t really considered: people in the military and those who are visually impaired.

For those in the military, John’s apps give them an opportunity to catch the local games no matter where they’re stationed. Being out in the field means that they don’t have easy access to the games via radio or tv, but everyone has their cell phone with them.

And 2-3 years ago, John learned that he had a large following from the blind community because for them, listening to sports radio announcers were how they are able to connect with the sports they love.

Notes from Chris

Episode 667
As Seattle native John Nguyen can attest, moving to a new city can come with some interesting challenges—finding a new grocery store, updating your mailing address everywhere, and of course, figuring out how to best navigate the dreaded rush hour traffic. But it wasn’t until he had to relocate to San Carlos, California that he became acutely aware of a whole new kind of complication… one that would eventually lead to a lucrative side hustle.

You see, John was a big fan of the Seattle Seahawks, and San Carlos was smack dab in the middle of 49er country. Which meant that it was much more challenging to tune into the games that he loved.

There were some options to pay to stream the game, but who wants to pay to watch sports? John loved the Seahawks, but he wasn’t sure that he loved them enough to shell out that much money for a handful of games a year…

He knew that the solution probably came in the form of an app, but he’d been burned before… This wasn’t the first time he’d considered creating an app. Before this, he had the brilliant idea of creating what he calls an “Instagram for videos” style app. Of course, this goes back a few years before Instagram started doing Instagram for videos.

It was a great idea but poorly executed.

Looking back, he can identify the mistakes he made. They included spending too much money upfront to essentially handcuffing himself to an overseas developer since he didn’t know how to develop apps himself.

Not eager to get burned again, this time he decided to follow a different game plan. He tracked down everything he could to learn how to program himself. From YouTube to Github, the internet was his offensive playbook.

His app was simple: it just needed to be something that would allow users to stream a radio station. Then, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can still listen to your favorite sports games—just like a local!

These days, any radio broadcast you can think of has a digital stream to it, and you can find that stream as a URL. And from there, all you have to do is connect to it. The challenge is that sometimes big games will be blacklisted by their local stations, but there are usually sister stations that will be carrying it.

The launch of his first app, GameDay Pro Football, could not have come at a better time—it was the first Sunday of the NFL season in 2014.

When he checked the stats the following day, he discovered that he had ended up making nearly $500 in one day! And by the end of the first month, he had made close to $2,500.

Four years later, John has roughly 20 sports apps out there keeping his fanatics tuned in to their favorite games. Although this was a $100 startup, he brought in $25,000 his first year, $35,000 his second, $50,000 his third, $75,000 his fourth, and this year, his income from this is expected to break six figures. Not bad for a project that only takes roughly 30 mins of his time for customer support on a weekly basis!

Moving forward, John is focused on building more apps to connect people to the local sports and news that they love. And as he’s proved with the 20 apps he on his scorecard now, where there’s a rabid fan base, there’s a side hustle sitting on the bench just ready to get in the game.


  • Donga Labs: Interested in catching your favorite games but aren't a fan of the large subscription rates of other apps? Learn more about John's many sports apps over on his website!
  • GitHub: The open source platform that John used to source the templates that he used for his apps

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you’re looking to start a side hustle, keep it simple—don’t try to reinvent the wheel!"
—John Nguyen #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau