Athlete Network announces collaborative partnership with three college athletic departments

Kansas City-based Athlete Network, a provider of athlete services technology for intercollegiate, professional and Olympic athletics, recently announced a collaborative partnership with Kansas State University, Arkansas State University, and Lindenwood University Athletic Departments. Leaders from each athletic department joined Athlete Network to develop the game-changing software, with the goal of enhancing the student-athlete experience and…

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Kansas City-based Athlete Network, a provider of athlete services technology for intercollegiate, professional and Olympic athletics, recently announced a collaborative partnership with Kansas State University, Arkansas State University, and Lindenwood University Athletic Departments.

Leaders from each athletic department joined Athlete Network to develop the game-changing software, with the goal of enhancing the student-athlete experience and increasing the engagement of alumni athletes.

“The software is a platform that allows athletic departments, Olympic committees and professional sports to organize, track and promote all the services they offer their athletes,” said Chris Smith, CEO of Athlete Network. “We built this platform three years ago for the United States Olympics, and it’s gone well and fulfilled its goal. We wanted to be able to bring it to the collegiate market.”

By working side-by-side with their three collegiate partners through the beta process, the Athlete Network team was able to ensure all the colleges’ needs and goals were met on all aspects of the technology solution, including layout, content, and functionality.

“We’re beyond thankful to the Athletic Directors and administration at Kansas State, Arkansas State, and Lindenwood for partnering with our team to develop a customizable solution for every athletic department at every level,” said Brett Fuller, VP of Partnerships for Athlete Network. “Through their network, athletic administrators will not only be able to offer their services in one convenient location, but use data analytics to track the utilization of those services ensuring a beneficial relationship is maintained with their athletes for life.”

Finding widespread challenges in athletic management

Athlete Network surveyed dozens of schools and found several consistent challenges that have faced intercollegiate athletics for years: They’re working with decentralized services over multiple locations for current student-athletes, they have a lack of engagement with alumni athletes, and there are nonexistent data analytics and reporting.

The surveys found these barriers are consistent regardless of school size, geography, or budget.

“The challenges all these [organizations have, is that] these services are scattered all over the place,” said Smith. “What our platform allows our partners to do is organize those services into one spot. Our partners are able to see who is utilizing the services and who’s not, which services are having an impact and which aren’t, and then they can make better decisions on future services.”

Multi-year growth strategy

As part of a multi-year strategy, Athlete Network first focused on building a strong foundation with every Division I-A member school by making career and networking services available to all their student-athletes.

The second phase was developing and growing a successful on-campus internship program to help student-athletes leverage their competitive traits beyond graduation. Since  2010, the program has seen more than 2,300 student-athletes intern for Athlete Network at over 500 colleges and universities.

Now in the final phase of the strategy, Athlete Network is rolling out customized networks for athletic departments and associations in every division. As a result, athletic departments now not only have access to cutting-edge data insights and reporting, but will also have the tools to modernize career placement services, offer robust mentoring programs, enhanced Letterwinners Clubs that further alumni engagement, and student-athlete development opportunities.

Smith said there are over 14,000 athletic departments, hundreds of Olympic committees and thousands of pro sports teams that could be helped by the platform.

“Right now our goal is to get 100 collegiate athletic departments onboarded,” said Smith. “We’re also looking to bring on professional sports teams and competitive athletic associations, and we’ve had a lot of interest overseas from Olympic committees. As we continue to iterate the technology, our big picture is to provide this platform globally to athletic associations and anyone who oversees athletes.”

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Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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