With the success of multiplayer online computer games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare etc, connections are being made between kids and adults alike all over the world, who, at any given moment in time, can log in and see who is also feeling like a quick round of two of gaming right at that moment.
What if a local, outdoor, sporting equivalent was available? If you are at a loose end of an afternoon, and suddenly feel like you could use a kick about with some friends - and some people you've never even met before. Well, you could chance your arm and just turn up with a football, but what if you were able to go online to your website/app see where there is a free court/pitch, set up an event and invite people to add themselves to your game? You could even tell everyone what colour shirts to bring, and who's bringing jumpers for goalposts!
Alternatively, you may work in the city and find that your usual squash partner is not available..why not see who is keen for a game at midday? Which courts are free where, book one!
Builing on Arjan's SgNal concept (as well as Pedro's flash mob concept), it would be great if pedestrians passing by a sports venue were able to utilize a tag displayed on the signage to immediatley acces info on when that particular venue is free, if there are any associated costs, who is already looking for people to play with there, etc...
Having thought a little more about who would be the buyer/seller for a service like this, the closest model I could find was that of Nike+ or Nike Fuel.
The Nike + community has literally millions of members worldwide; they don't own any roads or parks, but by creating a technology to track excercise and a growing a community within which to compete and connect, they have encouraged greater enjoyment of the existing facilities in environments all over the world.
If this 'Flash Sport' app were to be embedded within the Nike + community, as say 'Nike Play' or pitched to a competitor like Reebok or Puma, these corporations could fund and market the uptake.
In terms of interface and the online community, it could be great to catalogue all of the games you play, who played with you, how many goals you scored or sets you won. Buddies who have a golf, squash or tennis rivalry could keep an online record, groups who play pick-up soccer games can note who turns up and when each other are available etc..If Nike were to integrate it with the GPS wrist bracelets, energy expenditure could be tracked also. Meters run etc..
I think there's an amazing opportunity for a brand to take ownership of casual sports, and in so doing revolutionise the access to pick-up games anytime anywhere! Goes without saying that this would have a huge impact on their apparel and footwear sales.
This is not where the idea started, but as it develops and seed funding sources become relevant, it could be a direction worth considering. Feeback welcomed!