Press Sports Provides a Space for Amateur Athletes to Market Themselves

The mobile app empowers younger athletes to share their favorite moments, engage with fans and potentially gain attention from recruiters.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Jan. 04, 2022
Press Sports Provides a Space for Amateur Athletes to Market Themselves
press sports cofounders
Drew Williams and Conrad Cornell, co-founders of Press Sports | Photo: Press Sports

During an era where fame and success are measured by the number of likes a post gets, scores of people may find themselves outside of the social media limelight. For athletes in particular, sharing their achievements online is generally only well-received when they’re playing at the professional level. On a mission to combat this trend, Atlanta-based Press Sports developed a way to ensure athletes of every level have a chance to shine.

Press Sports serves as a platform for athletes, coaches, organizations and fans to post and view athletes’ highlight reels from any point in their career. The idea for Press Sports was conceived by co-founders Conrad Cornell and Drew Williams, two former college athletes. They envisioned a digital space where others following in their footsteps could comfortably share their achievements with the social media world and establish a network.

“At the amateur level, really only five to 10 percent of athletes have highlights that are ‘Instagram worthy,’ [and] even those five to 10 percent don’t want to just flood their pages with only highlights or else people will just think that they’re full of themselves,” Cornell told Built In. “We’re allowing athletes to overcome that through giving them a sports specific and positive uplifting community.”

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On the Press Sports app, users can post quality sports content of any kind and earn “hype points” to climb Press Sports’ leaderboard, a gamified function the company developed to measure user profile engagement. With new releases on the way sometime this quarter, earning enough points will enable them to create personalized channels where they can curate the content they see on the app, according to Cornell. It also has its Hypezone feature which the company likens to TikTok’s For You page.

press sports
Photo: Press Sports

With the rise in popularity of niche social media, such as how fitness enthusiasts strut their stuff on Strava or avid readers post their favorites on Goodreads, Press Sports is attempting to capitalize on this trend by launching a similar product within the sports social category. In addition to having a tool that appeals to younger generations, Press Sports offers them a resource that could help them get scouted and build their careers since the pandemic has shifted many athletic recruitment efforts to mobile channels.

“The NCAA transfer rule just went into effect this year that allows college athletes to transfer one year penalty free,” Cornell said. “And most importantly…college athletes are now allowed to get paid for their name, image and likeness. The NIL rule went into effect five months ago, so we’re uniquely positioned to empower college athletes.”

With plans to launch new platform features centered around the NIL rule, Press Sports is continuing to pave a path of innovation. Having recently secured a $1.5 million round of seed funding led by General Catalyst, Press Sports will invest in product development, focusing on improving its platform’s utility applications and social use cases. 

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With $2.8 million in funding to date, the platform currently has over 250,000 users spanning 70 countries, as mentioned by Forbes in the founders’ recent “30 Under 30” feature.

The company hopes for its platform to become a safe and supportive space for users to grow as athletes, track their progress and document their careers. With Press Sports, student athletes at different levels can connect with one another to offer advice, and they can establish relationships with institutions across the country. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“I think what’s most exciting is empowering our users to connect with athletes and coaches that they look up to and want to have a meaningful engagement with on a deeper level than the horizontal social media allows,” Cornell said. “We’re chasing this vision of building the first global sports social network.”

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