SAN DIEGO — Starting a business can bring a unique set of challenges, and factoring in a pandemic during its launch only adds to it.

Or maybe, as in the case of San Diego startup Meetlete, it provided the perfect opportunity.

“Currently on Meetlete we have athletes, sports personalities and sports influencers,” said co-founder and CEO Rob Connolly. 

Connecting with some of your favorite athletes and sports personalities is now just a click away with the app Meetlete.

“So Meetlete is a standardized, four-minute, face-to-face, one-on-one, meet-and-greet with an athlete,” Connolly added. “The athlete lets the fan know they’re about to call, and then the fan can get ready and then the athlete can initiate a Facetime through our app.”     

Launched in January of 2021, Meetlete has grown in popularity with more than 140 athletes and influential sports personalities from across the country.

“We have Chuck Liddell on our app, who’s been great,” Connolly continued. “Bruce Bochy, Mark Grant and tons of college athletes, just to name a few.” 

The app even partnered with a Comcast NBC sports tech accelerator all in the hopes of collaborating with professional leagues and its fans.

“So for example, we found out NASCAR selected Meetlete to be their partner,” Connolly said, “so we are working today on a proof of concept on how Meetlete can help fan engagement within NASCAR.”

The app, currently free on the Apple and Android app stores, provides a wide range of athletes and price ranges for those intimate phone calls.

“I like being able to talk to people. It’s giving fans that have supported me a chance to connect,” said retired UFC Champion Chuck Liddell. “People get so excited and that’s exciting for me.”

“What was really interesting was when the pandemic hit, we felt like giving a safe secure and convenient way for athletes to give fans an opportunity to engage and this app provides that,” Connolly said.