SportsConnectU is a new app created to revolutionize the college recruiting process by easily connecting college coaches and student-athletes. Black Enterprise caught up with co-founder Britney Morgan to find out why she and her sister created the app, what was the process of building it being non-technical, and how athletes and coaches are receiving it?
Black Enterprise: Why was the app created?
Because college recruiting is extremely competitive for athletes and a financial burden for families. Our app gives student athletes direct access to college coaches to gain more exposure.
How did you come up with the idea for a college sports recruiting app?
We understood the growing concern of parents and athletes who get lost in the shuffle due to their inability to afford travel ball and recruiting services, as well as the lack of time and knowledge of the overall recruiting process.
There are over 7 million high school athletes in the U.S. About 2% of them receive a part of the $2.7 billion in scholarship money awarded by Division I and II schools each year.
With fierce competition, youth sports has become a $15 billion dollar industry, with a chunk of money being spent on travel, events, fees, and equipment. With increased pricing for participation, it makes it hard for many families to afford to support their child’s dream.
Looking back to when my sister and I were coming up playing basketball both seriously striving to play at the collegiate level, there were the exposure teams, tournaments, camps, tons of travel, training, research, film editing, and sending film to coaches… SO much time, financial support and sacrifice made by our parents to help us chase that dream and it was STILL A STRUGGLE!
It’s a very difficult space to navigate [college recruiting]. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level, but we have a very clear understanding that everyone simply can’t afford all of the time, financial sacrifice, and effort needed to gain the necessary exposure.
That’s how the idea of SportsConnectU came about. We developed this app to help give every young athlete the opportunity to chase their dream of playing at the collegiate level on more of a leveled playing field, by increasing their opportunities for exposure.
How was the process of building the technology?
Not being experts in technology and programming, the process has been challenging. I think my background in technology product marketing helped us get going, but definitely didn’t save us from many lessons learned that came with building a technology product for the first time. Which is great, because it has really helped our team grow! Going through the process of creating a tech product for the first time has given us the experience needed to continue to evolve our product and to create a roadmap that leads to the development of a tool that truly makes a difference not only in the world of sports, but in the lives of student-athletes and their families.
What has the overall feedback been?
Overall feedback has been extremely positive. I think parents and athletes in the sports community that have downloaded the app are happy to see a recruiting resource that is affordable and accessible to everyone. It gives our users another tool to add to their college recruiting toolbox.
What’s next for the platform?
We are currently focused on continuing to evolve the app as a tool for both college coaches and athletes. It is important that our app is just as useful for college coaches as it is for the athletes looking to play for their programs. We are working extremely hard to ensure this is reflected in our app in order to increase engagement with college coaches in making more connections with athletes. Users can expect many new updates on the SportsConnectU app throughout the coming months.