Most college seniors are busy studying, applying to jobs, and enjoying the last few moments of university life.
But back in 2018, seniors Conrad Cornell and Drew Williams were launching an athlete-focused social media app.
Atlanta-based Press Sports is designed to help athletes connect with fans and recruiters by sharing highlights and reels from their time on the field.
For athletes, the social media app acts as a “memory bank for athletic achievements,” Cornell told Hypepotamus. The team recognized that it was important for high school athletes to have a place to promote their highlights in a separate place from their personal Instagram or TikTok profiles.
For recruiters looking for up-and-coming high school athletes, it serves as a LinkedIn-style platform to search athletic accomplishments through consumable highlights.
Building the app has been the latest sports-related adventure for Cornell and Williams. As Cornell said, the two have been “best friends since the crib,” and played little league baseball and other sports together while growing up in the Metro Atlanta area.
The two even squared off at the state high school baseball championship (Williams’ team pulled off the win that year).
Cornell went on to play baseball at Mercer University and Wiliams pursued his degree at the University of Mississippi.
The two came back to Atlanta and started growing Press Sports soon after graduation, starting their beta test in May 2018 and launching publicly in January of 2019.
After receiving early angel funding, the team expanded with some key hires, including Matthew Stewart, previously at Deloitte, Tyler Droll, Yik Yak’s co-founder, and Tom Chernetsky.
Of course, COVID hit high school and college sports hard, and in most schools put games on hold for over four months. But this gave the Press Sports’ team a chance to build up their user base of top athletes to the platform and begin building out new features, such as Breakdowns.
Breakdowns, which is part of the latest app update, is similar to a Tik Tok duet. Inside the app coaches, fans, and other athletes to react to the footage, breakdown what they are seeing, and provide constructive feedback for athletes to help improve their game.
Now that the team has some of the nation’s top athletes in baseball, volleyball, football, and basketball on the app, they will begin working on bring on even more college recruiting coordinators at universities from Division III all the way to big Division I programs.
Cornell believes the app also gives smaller Division II and junior colleges a chance to shine and get in front of potential athletic recruits.
“One of the cool things is that we have rankings in the app based on engagement numbers, so for DIII and junior colleges, some that many students may have never heard of, they are also able to gain exposure,” said Cornell.
Following their new app update, the team announced a $750K in pre-seed funding, led by Overline.
Sean O’Brien, Managing Partner of Overline said in a statement, “We have tracked the growing popularity of vertical social networks that build community among people with shared interests and passions, enabling them to share highly relevant content and to make more meaningful connections around their common interests. We are thrilled to partner with the Press Sports team in its mission of creating the world’s leading sports-centric social network for athletes and fans.”
Other investors in the round include Central Piedmont Investment Group and Sound Media Ventures.
The funding will help the team continue to grow and expand their user base.
“Big picture, we aren’t going to just be an app for high schoolers,” added Cornell. “We want to be a global sports network for athletes of all sports and levels…and be the place where fans can connect on the deepest level with the athletes that they follow and the teams that they follow.”
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