Each year, hundreds of millions of kids from around the world are introduced to sports. I was one of them starting back in 1988. My life was designed around sports starting at the age of six and continued, without interruption, until I took off to college when I was 18. This level of involvement meant that sports was more than a game I played on nights and weekends. It was my social circle for much of my life and it’s where I spent some of the best time with family too – playing alongside my brothers, having them cheer me on from the sidelines, or being coached by my dad. Sports also served as a purveyor of valuable life lessons, such as the value of teamwork, hard work, determination, and so on.
Despite the significant role that sports played in my life, however, I have almost nothing left from those years other than memories and a box of miscellaneous home run balls, trophies, and newspaper clippings buried in a box, tucked deeply into the corner of my closet, only to be revisited in a random bout of nostalgia once or twice a decade. No video footage. No letters from college scouts (because I was never “discovered”). And no way of sharing those moments with family members that didn’t have the chance to be there while I played.
That’s how things were when I played in the 80’s and 90’s – but with today’s technology, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Which leads me to the team at BallerTV and why I am keen to invest in this remarkable company.
BallerTV makes it easy for anyone to watch live streams of high school sports from a growing list of games across the country, whether it’s a family member who is unable to attend an away game or a college scout looking for talent in parts of the country they typically can’t cover. Not only can users watch games being broadcast live but they can access unlimited replays, download games to keep a digital memory to revisit, and player profiles that include highlight reels helping today’s up-and-coming players get discovered by other coaches and scouts.
I first met the founders Rob Angarita and Aaron Hawkey over coffee in the summer of 2018. They shared their passion for sports and their prior entrepreneurial history as co-founders of a product called Cramster, which was sold to Chegg and is now know as Chegg Study. They unpacked their vision for BallerTV and helped me understand the potential for the business and the underlying drivers they see shaping the industry that they are helping to create.
When an investment opportunity gets to the finish line, I always do a gut check and ask myself, “Would I want to work here as a full-time employee?” In this case the answer was a clear “yes!” due to a constellation of factors. They have a small yet deeply committed team led by two co-founders with abilities in both execution and vision, a fast growing customer base that finds emotional value in the product they provide, and an increasingly large market that serves the greater good of helping kids grow up to be healthy, well-rounded adults. A company like this needs to exist and I’m very happy to be a part of it along the way.
To those of you looking for a great company to join down in LA, BallerTV is hiring!