WePlay in league of its own with social networking site

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CAA, Major League Baseball and several prominent professional athletes have partnered to launch WePlay.com, a sports-themed community site geared for kids and teens.

The site, which shares aspects of such social networking giants as Facebook and MySpace, allows kids as young as 6 to create personal profiles that highlight their athletic pursuits. There, they can express themselves through photos and blogs and also link with friends.

In addition to serving as a social hub for those ages 6-16, WePlay also will feature profiles of more than 300 professional athletes. Such stars as the NBA's LeBron James, the NFL's Peyton Manning and baseball's Derek Jeter are part of WePlay's group of founding partners and will be featured on the site.

WePlay is free and ad-supported. Given that the site is aimed at such young users, officials said they have taken great pains to comply with commonly accepted kids advertising standards.

Plus, parents and coaches — who can use the tool to organize practices and games for team sports — can use WePlay to communicate with and keep track of kids that elect to join the site, which is in beta mode.

Other investors in WePlay include Pequot Ventures, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker and USA Softball star Jennie Finch.

Mike Shields is a reporter for MediaWeek.
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