Hudl acquires main competitor DSV, doubling client base (Update)

Lincoln-based Hudl, a company that has made it a mantra to "dominate," appears poised to do precisely that in terms of market share, thanks to an acquisition announced today. Hudl, which makes web-based video coaching and analysis tools, purchased Digital Sports Video (DSV), its primary competitor in the high school football market. With the acquisition

Lincoln-based Hudl, a company that has made it a mantra to “dominate,” appears poised to do precisely that in terms of market share, thanks to an acquisition announced today. 

Hudl, which makes web-based video coaching and analysis tools, purchased Digital Sports Video (DSV), its primary competitor in the high school football market. With the acquisition of DSV, which is based in Reno, Nev. and works with more than 3,000 high schools, Hudl now has a client list of about 6,500 high schools.

Hudl CEO David Graff declined to discuss terms of the deal, but he said that Chris Griffin, the founder and president of DSV, will serve as a consultant for the next year-plus as DSV’s clients transition to the Hudl system. There are no immediate plans to expand the size of Hudl’s team, which currently stands at 41 full-time employees, twice the size it was one year ago.

Hudl’s 6,500 high school customers make it the clear-cut leader in a market that, by Graff’s estimates, includes some 18,000 teams. Graff said Hudl’s client base, which also grew by three NCAA Division I clients for video editing services and 25-30 Division I teams for recruiting services, will continue to expand between now and the start of football season. 

In a phone conversation, Graff reiterated the points he made today in a blog post about the benefits of Hudl buying out DSV: 

  • A broader network of teams that use Hudl, which reduces the chances that coaches have to go to the trouble of exchanging DVDs or game film in person
  • More player highlights available in one place, which helps recruiters find players and helps players catch recruiters’ eyes
  • A larger sampling of feedback from coaches to help Hudl improve its tools and processes

“This way, all the film exchange, all the highlight creation, all the recruiting tools for colleges can all be under one roof,” Graff (below, photo from Twitter) said.

Over the weekend, communication from members of the Hudl team suggested something might be afoot. Graff Tweeted about Hudl entering “in-season mode” early, and Matt Mueller, vice president for coach relations, Tweeted about “working late into a Saturday night” like it was “football season already.”

Today, Graff said, the activity at Hudl headquarters resembled that of an autumn afternoon. 

“It’s been full in-season mode here at the office today,” Graff said. “We’ve got about 20 people on the phone at a time sitting out there in the support pit and the sales pit, so it’s definitely like we’re on the first Saturday of football season right now as we work getting all of the DSV clients transitioned into Hudl.”

Graff estimated that, by purchasing DSV, Hudl now has at least 5,000 more clients than its nearest competitor in the high school market. 

“If they didn’t use Hudl or DSV’s online tools, especially in football, the offerings are pretty limited from an online perspective,” Graff said. “So we’re excited to work to aggressively attack the rest of that market.”

For more on Hudl’s recent growth, see our story: “With expanded facilities and team, Hudl gears up for the fall

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