Today, we have the first in a new feature on Sports Tech Business Digest called "The Sports Tech Startup Spotlight". I'm turning over the blog for guest posts from startups in the space who want to get the word out about the value they bring to organizations and the sports tech industry as a whole. The first company spotlighted is a youth sports engagement platform by the name of WildKard who contacted me and I loved their passion for sports participation amongst kids and connecting them together.
If you would like to guestblog about your sports tech startup please use the contact form on the blog or contact me on Linkedin, let's get the word out!
Chat & share with your sports team and fans, in a new way
Sports has this incredible power to unite athletes, coaches, and fans around a common purpose, irrespective of their backgrounds. Whether it’s on a diamond, a court, or a field; it’s the collective experience that keeps us coming back for more. While game-time experience remains high-adrenaline, the online community experience in youth sports has been broken for decades. During our research of interviewing more than 100 athletes, coaches, parents and fans, it became evident that online communication is fractured and transactional. People use a myriad of apps from Facebook, Instagram, text, email, phone calls, and WhatsApp to communicate. The second challenge is athlete disengagement. Research from Aspen Institute shows that between 2008 and 2018, regular participation in sports declined 7% in the United States. The reason was athlete disengagement. While verticals such as e-sports and gaming have garnered powerful online communities that drive retention, youth sports is largely an in-person experience, with a bleak online community.
To reinvent online communication and community is the inspiration behind Wildkard, a new consumer platform for youth sports. With Wildkard, anyone can create a new team, build a roster, schedule games and practices, and create a bar-raising sports experience (reserving venues, ordering equipment and apparel, booking referees coming soon). Once a game or practice is scheduled, no need to fret about logistics. Wildkard sends out notifications to get everyone to the event on time, without confusion. Teams on Wildkard use channels to banter about rivals, discuss game strategy, train together, reflect on performance, and chat about anything, all in a modern conversational space. Athletes can track their stats, compare them with others, and compete for Wildkard badges. Users can take it further, follow athletes and coaches from other teams, sports, and geographies, build a fanbase, and cheer others to build a true online community. Sports is a collective experience, and Wildkard offers a modern social platform for all users. In today’s age, we believe a strong online community is the bedrock of retention in sport.
Despite being an enormous high-growth market (1.1 billion youth athletes, 15.3% CAGR growth in market size), youth sports is massively underserved by technology. Athlete disengagement and rising costs plague the industry, while incumbent technology caters to large sports institutions and their administration challenges, leaving consumers to scramble around general purpose chat and social media tools to build community. Wildkard is inspired by Silicon Valley’s relentless bar for user experience and consumer technology. The Wildkard team combines software engineering experience from Amazon and Google, alongside industry expertise from Major League Soccer (MLS) to deliver a first of its kind sports experience platform for athletes, coaches, parents, and fans. Give us a try!
Fore more information:
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at https://www.wildkard.io.