Here’s How Data can make you a Better Athlete
If you’ve ever watched a sports event on TV (and if you haven’t, please contact a relative for help), you’ve no doubt been bombarded by tons of statistics from the commentators on the players and teams. Stats are the backbone of all game analysis, but so far, they’ve existed primarily in the realm of professional sports. ShotTrackers is on a mission to change that. They create wearables and software that allow anyone to track performance in real time , at a much more affordable price than what the big leagues pay. Individuals and teams can use their products to get insight, improve their game, and destroy the competition. Techweek’s Prab Kumar sat down with ShotTrack Co-Founder and COO, Davyeon Ross, to learn more about the company, its growth, and his view on sports tech.
- Prab: What are three stats that shows how important your company’s impact has been or signifies the growth your business/market has seen?
Davyeon: Men lie, women lie, but stat’s don’t lie. 89% of basketball coaches wish there was an easier way way to get reliable stats at practice. 100% of coaches we talk to say “man, that would be awesome”
- Prab: Tell us a little about your company today. What is the hair on fire problem you address?
Davyeon: Professional organizations and coaches have been tracking basic analytics for decades, but the manual process is inefficient, inaccurate and not in real-time. The other challenge is that every organization outside of professional sports needed this information but couldn’t get it.
- Prab: How did you discover this problem and why did you tackle it?
Davyeon: Our first product, “ShotTracker” shipped Christmas 2014 and was for individual players working our on their own. Coaches loved it, but wanted a solution that tracked all stats for an entire team. We previewed ShotTracker TEAM at CES 2016, and it became commercially available spring 2017.
- Prab: What’s the size of the problem? How big is this industry?
Davyeon: Basketball, our first sport, is clearly a very large opportunity. There are over 40K high schools teams, 50K AAU teams and 6K college teams in the US.
- Prab: What are the important trends that will shake up this industry? What will the industry look like in 5 or 10 years?
Davyeon: Analytics is the trend that is shaking up the game, but to date, detailed analysis has only been available to the pros (and not in real-time). We see a day when analytics will drive the way teams compete at every level of the game.
- Prab: How crowded is the space? What’s your competitive advantage behind your product or service that you believe makes it a winner?
Davyeon: The core advantages of ShotTracker TEAM are that the data is real-time, is available for practices, and the system is affordable for teams at every level.
- Prab: Who are your customers and how do you make money?
Davyeon: Prior to having any paying customers, we tested ShotTracker TEAM with two NAIA schools, which led to ShotTracker TEAM powering the 2017 NAIA Tournament (31 games over 6 days). We started selling shortly after that and a number of schools are up and running. Right now we have some high profile schools on board and we are focused on being very high touch.
- Prab: How do you attract customers, and how well has it gone? How did you acquire your first customer?
Davyeon: We use B to B tactics (email, social, digital, events), PR and personal relationships to reach potential customers.
- Prab: Tell us about raising capital – have you raised? What was the experience like? What did you learn?
Davyeon: We’ve been fortunate in our ability to raise money and have a great group of backers that really believe in us. We look for investors that share our vision and are strategic in terms of their influence on the game or tech in sports. Investors like Magic Johnson and David Stern really help to open doors.
- Prab: How many people are employed by you today? Are you hiring – if so who should apply?
Davyeon: We have about 26 people, mostly engineers. We’re always interested in learning about great talent and always accept resumes. We also have a summer internship program across most areas of the business.
- Prab: Cool. Three words to describe the company culture?
Davyeon: Passion, Results, Teamwork
- Prab: What would be your company’s mascot?
Davyeon: A G.O.A.T. We aim to be the greatest of all time in terms of revolutionizing the sport of basketball.