By Mike Freeman
The San Diego Union-Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Roughly 31 million kids nationwide participate in youth sports and each year, there are an estimated 25 million youth sports games. If video is shot at these games, it’s usually by a parent. Afterward, they might spend hours downloading and editing. This article takes a look at a few innovative startups that are coming up with unique solutions to make the process easier.
In February, SoCal Volleyball Club set up a couple of video-capable iPods at the games of its four teams playing in the Las Vegas Classic, a large college recruiting tournament.
Instead of recording the entire games and manually editing out the highlights, SoCal Volleyball used a new app from San Diego startup ClipCast Technologies. It let parents tag the best plays, kills, digs, blocks and so on, by simply tapping a button in the ClipCast app on their smartphones during the games.
Parents tagged about 2,000 plays over three days, which were uploaded to ClipCast servers in the Internet cloud. Each parent was able to select specific plays to stitch together a highlight reel for their child, creating a “SportsCenter”-like clip of the best action.
“It was fantastic. It did exactly what we thought it would do,” said Scott Phillips of SoCal Volleyball.
ClipCast, founded in 2014 by former Qualcomm business development executives, is trying to tap into the massive yet fragmented youth-sports market, where an unwieldy number of clubs, leagues and tournaments can make it expensive to get a critical mass of sales.
Moreover, parents already paying hefty amounts on youth sports may balk at spending more for a service like ClipCast. And there are potential competitors in the market such as Shutterfly, TeamSnap and Hudl.
The prize, however, is large. Roughly 31 million kids nationwide participate in youth sports, said ClipCast Chief Executive Manuel Jaime, citing figures from several sources. Each year, there are an estimated 25 million youth sports games, he said.