Startups
Ecommerce / Sports

Online platform PremierSports connects athletes and coaches

Call it the Match.com of sports, PremierSports makes it easy for athletes to find private lessons in almost any sport there is.

Correction, 8/19/14: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Matthew Barrett works out of coworking space Indy Hall. That is no longer the case.

The U.S. sports industry is massive. It reels in about $14.3 billion a year. With so much money to be made, the love of the game can be swallowed up by a sea of dollar signs.

One startup, however, is basing its business on the fundamentals — by focusing on the athlete-coach relationship.

Launched in January of this year by founders Matthew Barrett, Aaron Vurgason and Al Muglia, PremierSports is an online service that allows young athletes across the country to discover and build working relationships with company-vetted coaches and trainers.

The site is a “complete platform for coaches to manage and simplify their business,” said Barrett, a former infielder for George Mason University and the College of New Jersey (and an occasional coach for hire himself). The focus of the company, though, he said, will always be on the athletes.

Barrett gives an example of an athlete who registers with PremierSports at age eight:

  • That athlete (well, that athlete’s parents) can search and compare coaches in the area, booking private lessons or registering for camps or events.
  • Over the next 10 years, that athlete can build a full-fledged portfolio that can be used to track and review progress.
  • Hopefully, Barrett says, that portfolio will eventually be used as a tool for college recruitment.

While PremierSports offers athletic services for any sport from archery and squash to football and ice hockey, Barrett says the two most popular sports on the site are baseball and soccer. Whether you’re a coach looking to expand your client list or an athlete looking for the right mentor, PremierSports allows you to create a profile and start connecting immediately.

“Coaches are able to provide feedback [in the form of] comments, pictures and video,” explained Barrett. Currently, the platform has about 3,000 registered coaches, 500 of whom are active users. “Most of the coaches are in the tri-state area,” said Barrett, “but we do have a lot of coaches from the West Coast, Florida and Texas.”

PremierSports has been bootstrapped by its five partners since its successful beta launch in December 2013. By the end of the year, the site will seek out additional capital through crowdfunding or Series A investment, Barrett said.

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