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Volume 21 No. 17
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App combines college spirit, quest for fitness

The Fan Health Network app has a licensing deal with Ohio State.
ESPN college football analyst and former NFL running back Robert Smith has launched a health and wellness app that provides fitness tips and workout programs.

Smith is the CEO and one of the founders of the company, Fan Health Network. The other co-founders are former NFL players Tom Cousineau and Jay Fiedler. The app has been available on Android since the beginning of this year and became available on iTunes last week.

The company has licenses with Ohio State, the Mayo Clinic and athlete training company Exos. Under the licenses, Exos provides workout programs; the Mayo Clinic provides articles on health and wellness; and Ohio State provides its logos and official marks.

Smith acknowledged that there are a lot of health and fitness apps on the market, but said the content from Exos and the Mayo Clinic, as well as the relationship with Ohio State, helps differentiate his.

Other former and current athletes and sports personalities serve as “captains” for the company and will provide content for the app, including workout tips. Those captains include 2014 PGA FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel, former NBA players Clark Kellogg and Jim Jackson and

former NFL players Cris Carter, Marcellus Wiley, Eddie George and Troy Smith.

Cousineau, Kellogg, Jackson, Carter, George and Troy Smith, as well as Robert Smith, all played at Ohio State. Originally, the app was to focus just on Ohio State, but now the plan is to expand it nationally. Smith said they hope to announce licenses with other schools in the near future.

The athletes and personalities all are either equity partners or are paid a fee or both for their participation, Smith said. Combined, they have more than 1 million followers on Twitter and are expected to post on social media about their involvement in the program.

“It’s the health and wellness version of Twitter or Facebook,” Smith said. “We are basically trying to use the passion people have for sports, teams and their schools and some of their favorite former and current players to help encourage them to live healthier lives.”

Smith has always had a passion for health and medicine. A first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings and two-time Pro Bowler, Smith retired from the NFL in 2000 at the peak of his career while his own health was intact to pursue a second career.

“I played for eight years and my last season was the only season I didn’t miss any games and I still needed knee surgery,” Smith said. “It was my best year. I led the NFC in rushing … and decided it was time to hang it up.”

Smith has teamed with David Reim, an Internet executive and entrepreneur with experience in the healthcare space, who serves as president of Fan Health Network.

The app is free to download. Reim said the company plans to make money through advertising and sponsorships as well as micro-transactions. Users can buy a premium membership and buy add-ons for an additional price.