If you were to plot out every industry in a graph according to how effectively they have adopted technology, sports and recreation would be somewhere very close to the top, if not the top itself. The rise and development of wearable technology, big data, and predictive analytics – among many other advances – has allowed the industry and the sports themselves to grow and advance rapidly. Most of the technology adoption starts in the professional leagues and trickles down. However, especially in the case of school athletics, this trickle down effect can be incredibly slow. This is due in large part to budgetary constraints. It is because of these constraints that Nashville-based Scorebird is poised to become a major force in school athletics.
At its core, Scorebird is a media company, focused on high school athletics. The technology that drives the company, however, is unlike anything that is currently available. What’s more, the company’s business model is a win-win-win for all parties involved.
In a nutshell, Scorebird has developed a proprietary piece of hardware that plugs into just about any scoreboard. This hardware allows Scorebird, through their free app, to provide live scores for any high school sporting event that uses a scoreboard. Until now, high school sports fans have had to rely on more untimely source for game info: Twitter, local news, and newspapers to name a few. All of these less timely sources rely entirely on human input. Scorebird, on the other hand, provides info directly from the source.
The ScoreBird app pulls the data and delivers it straight to you, point by point and tick by tick, all in a matter of seconds. No more missing critical points in the game or waiting for manual updates. The score will always be 100% accurate, 100% real-time, and in the palm of your hand.1
The revenue model for Scorebird, as noted above, provides benefit to all parties. First and foremost, the model is based on advertising. In terms of the advertisers, there is a huge benefit: Scorebird allows them access to an extremely targeted user base. The schools may be the biggest beneficiary of the model. Scorebird is not only 100% free for a school, but the company actually shares the revenue with the schools. There is two different approaches for the schools. They can be as involved as they like, selling advertising themselves allowing the schools to keep all of the revenue, or they can just set it an forget it, allowing Scorebird to do all the heavy lifting and receiving a 50/50 revenue split. This model allows the individual app users access to live scores completely free.
Scorebird is, without a doubt, my favorite startup from 36/86. The company is poised to take over the high school media space, and provide benefit to everyone along the way. The company describes itself as the ESPN for high school athletics, and it seems positioned to be just that.
During 36/86 we had a chance to speak with Jason Damewood, Scorebird’s CEO. Jason told us a bit more about the company, the revenue model, and the goals: