Finding the right sports camp for your child can be overwhelming, but once you find that perfect fit, it can really take your athlete to the next level. SportsID‘s new product, CampID, wants to help parents engage with sports camps in a different way — all through the SportsID platform.
CEO Ryan McNeil has a passion for sports and tech. After successfully launching a handful of startups, he decided to merge these passions into his next endeavor with SportsID, a data-driven startup with a focus on providing products and services to the sports market and connecting the entire sports ecosystem in one place.
McNeil talked to Hype to share more on validating his idea, his upcoming CampID product launch, and why, as a startup founder, you should share what you’re doing and invite feedback.
The release of your first product — CampID — is coming up in April. What’s your pitch?
Camp ID is an innovative mobile and web solution that allows athletes, parents, coaches year-round access to camps for continual development and improvement. Essentially CampID allows you to search, find, register, compare, review and rate sports camps, all with a focus on youth sports and high school.
What’s SportsID market impact and how does CampID play into that?
We’re a data-driven sports technology company that’s focused on providing modern mobile and web-based products and service through one single platform. Look at us as problem solvers. My philosophy has been to solve small problems for a big market. The sports market is huge. It’s estimated to be around 75 billion in 2019. The sports analytic market is estimated to be about 5 billion in 2021. Our focus right now, through the CampID launch, is going to be on the sports camp market, and in 2015 that was estimated at $3 billion, at $3 billion with 35 million kids participating in youth sports.
Where are you with funding?
We are currently bootstrapped. I want us to get some traction right now, and we have a pretty good pipeline of beta users for a pilot program. I think that’s important before you have conversations with investors. You want to prove the model and the technology before you have those kinds of conversations.
How do you hope to funnel new customers into the SportsID platform?
We can’t have a meeting with all the youth athlete parents all at once. We’ve got to do it in a controlled fashion. One of the things that a lot of sports tech founders here in Atlanta said, if they could do it all over again, was look into their growth pattern and how they launched. They cautioned me and counseled me to have a controlled method of launching. We took that to heart.
We’re going to have a controlled launch with folks in Atlanta. This is our home. We want to be sure that our backyard is taken care of. We’ll launch with two sports here in Atlanta — football and basketball. After that, we’ll focus on Georgia with two more sports, then Florida with additional two sports, then the Southeast and beyond.
As we do that, how do we do that? We focus on our organizations and coaches. Those are going to be our entry points to get to the athletes and to the parents.
As a serial entrepreneur, do you have any other advice for entrepreneurs and startup founders?
I think partnerships are so underused and undervalued starting out. I think it’s okay to work with other groups, even if they’re bigger than you, out of the gate. It alleviates a whole lot of trial and error. This is my fourth company. All of the companies I started have been in and around sports. That’s what I know. That’s where a lot of my relationships lie. That’s one of my passions. Luckily for me, I’m able to mix my two top passions, sports and technology.
Also, a good idea, a secret good idea, is not a good idea. Share what you’re doing and what you’re working on and let folks help you. That’s one thing that I’ve done, while I’ve been a member here at Switchyards, is meet with a lot of the other entrepreneurs, talk and share ideas, and best practices. Being an entrepreneur is an ongoing class, you’re always learning. Being an entrepreneur you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I know people say that all the time, but it’s true.
What are your goals for the SportsID platform?
The goal for the platform and what we’re doing is for it to be utilized not only in the states as we scale to, but for it to be international as well. My hope and dream is in five years that the University of Miami, my alma mater, would be able to use it for their incoming freshman class. My goal is, in five years, have the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United Football Club be able to use it for their draft class of 2027. That’s where we want to go.
We want to be able to learn from the data that we’re given and have the data help not only individuals but teams and groups and organizations here in the United States, definitely in Atlanta, but eventually all over the world.