On March 13, Upper Hand, a sports software platform that helps sports organizations manage their business, announced their acquisition of Double Blue Sports, a company that develops advanced and affordable video analysis and sharing applications for athletes, teams, coaches and sports organizations.
As part of the acquisition, Upper Hand has acquired Double Blue Sports’ industry-leading app-based video analysis platforms, CoachCast and the Save Review System (SRS).
Upper Hand has steadily grown their footprint in Indianapolis, from moving out of The Speak Easy co-working space to their own office in the Morrison Opera House building, to landing a $1 million round of financing from Finish Line executives and others for a total of $2.4 million invested into the company. Now, Founder and CEO Kevin MacCauley made a strategic decision to scale his business by including new features that would solve another need for his customers.
“Video was something we wanted to be involved in and add to our software platform. We’re sports professionals, and we know video is happening in sports organizations,” said Kevin. That’s when he came across Double Blue Sports through a channel partner he’d been working with for a few years as they were exploring enterprise sales.
Maine-based Double Blue Sports’ video analysis products are described as easy-to-use video analysis technologies developed for mobile devices that incorporates unique methods designed to extract meaningful information and edit videos.
“The acquisition allows us to be the world’s first sports and fitness management platform to integrate video analysis and video coaching in our platform,” said Kevin.
Upper Hand’s software platform already offers scheduling, payment processing, marketing and more for coaches and organizations to operate as a business in ways the customer expects from a global brand. Kevin explains that adding video allows them to increase the value add for the company and provide a solution to the coaching market that decreases the amount of other applications they need to do business.
“Most organizations and most parents with kids who play sports use multiple applications or products to manage one kid’s schedule with one organization, let alone if you have kids playing multiple sports, or with multiple organizations, or multiple kids,” said Kevin.
“Video was something we always looked at, and we happened to come across Double Blue Sports over the last year. In the last six months we discussed integration, and then we spoke about an opportunity for them to be part of the Upper Hand offering.”
The video product Kevin references is Double Blue Sports’ flagship product, CoachCast. a multi-sport video analysis tool designed to make the coach’s use of video analysis fast, simple and productive. Another product, the SRS, is the world’s first video and analytic platform for hockey goalies.
Kevin explains that this video technology is important to athletes who want to increase their performance by reviewing video of themselves through the lens of how coaches and trainers would want to use it.
“It’s important to get in-person training, but at the same time, if you’re an athlete, it’s no different than sales. The best way to learn how to sell on a cold call is to hear yourself talk. In sports, it’s important to see yourself performing the action,” he said.
The National Hockey League hit the ice with Double Blue Sports’ SRS product and both hockey players and coaches have shared how the product has enhanced their training.
Mike Valley, Dallas Stars Goalie Coach, says “Double Blue’s new Save Review System is a complete package for goaltenders and their coaches. The system provides an accurate review of the goaltender’s performance. While doing so, the user experience is at an unprecedented level. There is no doubt that all goalies and their coaches from minor hockey to the pros will be using this on a daily basis. It’s that good.”
But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to find value in the platform. Kevin says sports organizations or large camps and teen groups with sports have a need for video, even if it’s just recording the game and having an easy way to share it with everyone involved.
“It has a widespread application. It can help not just a competitive athlete looking to elevate their game, but also help a parent who spends a lot of money on their kids playing sports and wants to see them out there having fun,” said Kevin. “Capturing those moments is really special.”