HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The recruiting of high school athletes can be overwhelming, for both the players and the coaches. Former University of Hawaii linebacker Matt Wright hopes he's found the answer to ease the burden for both sides with his new company SportStage.com.
"What we're trying to do is completely reinvent the way recruiting is done," Wright said.
He got the idea when he was coaching at Saint Louis. Parents of players were frustrated by the recruiting process. What are the NCAA requirements and rules? How do they get their kids the exposure? Where do you send the information? It can be downright confusing.
"What we're able to do for our athletes is take all the content and all the information that they're currently collecting. It's summer time, they're at camps, they're at combines, off-season training. We then can do is take all of your content, whether it be workout videos, highlight reels, your statistics, video testimonials, letters of recommendation, academics, all these things. Create a digital package for the athlete and the athlete can then search by location, by state, by sport, and what will come up is all the coaches that fall within that search. You can digitally send that recruiting package to all those coaches."
Right now 46,000 coaches from 2,100 U.S. universities are signed up with SportStage which was granted NCAA approval last month. Thanks to a partnership with IBM Watson, personality profiles are developed from social media to analyze the athletes at a deeper level. Where Hudl and other recruiting services are primarily just highlight reels, SportStage is one-stop shopping in an otherwise overwhelming process.
"Our goal is to make this so simple that this becomes a standard for recruiting," Wright said of the venture he began with Andy Arakaki of Mixed Plate Media. "When a coach goes out to a school to recruit a student or he's interested in a student, all he has to say is 'hey shoot me over your SportStage package because through that you can deliver documents, academics. Everything that an athlete or coach needs can be delivered through SportStage."
It's free to sign up and create a profile. Athletes can send to five coaches per month. For $9.99 a month, athletes can reach out to 50 coaches. And it's not just for football. SportStage.com services any NCAA sport, male or female.