Who, What, When & Where?
You can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why Davyeon Ross and Bruce Ianni started ShotTracker. The company aims to improve the performance of competitive athletes who participate in team sports. By making advanced analytics available to coaches and players at all levels, ShotTracker motivates athletes to work harder, track performance, and generate data that positively impacts their game. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, the company launched its first product for individual player training in 2014, and its new ShotTracker TEAM technology will be available for sale Q2 2017.
How long has your company been around? What type of growth have you experienced from that time until now?
ShotTracker was founded in 2013 by Bruce Ianni and Davyeon Ross. Ianni played competitive basketball at a high level through high school and continued his athletic career at John Carroll University, where he was a three-year letterman and starter at defensive back for the football team. Ross, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, received a basketball scholarship from Benedictine College, where he was a four-year letterman and led the nation in field-goal shooting percentage. Since its inception, ShotTracker products have resulted in impressive sales, top-tier athlete and corporate partnerships, and investment from venture capitalists and basketball legends like Earvin “Magic” Johnson and David Stern.
When was ShotTracker TEAM created?
ShotTracker TEAM has been in development since 2015, and was first previewed at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
ShotTracker TEAM requires the athlete to wear a shoe sensor, use a ball with a small sensor in it, and for court sensors to be placed on the walls of the gym, how tough of a sell was this too early adopters?
The technology on the shoe and in the ball is invisible to players, so it’s not a hard sell at all. The installation of the sensors in the rafters above the court is handled by professional installers, so that process really does not impact coaches or players. Once the system is installed, players just hit the court like they normally would.
How long does the process of getting a team set up with ShotTracker TEAM take?
The installation takes 1-2 days, but that estimate can depend on the configuration of the gym and the number of courts being outfitted with the technology.
Tell us about your partnership with Spalding?
Spalding is the largest basketball manufacturer in the world and has over 100 years of experience manufacturing balls. At ShotTracker, we’re experts in hardware and software that collect data. Together, we were able to develop a technology enabled ball that handles just like a regular ball. The technology inside is undetectable to players, which was a critical success factor for us.
Both Magic Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern have invested in your product. How did they initially become involved in this project?
Johnson and Stern were introduced during the fundraising process. They both visited ShotTracker headquarters and when they saw what the ShotTracker TEAM technology could do, they quickly recognized the potential and wanted to be a part of it.
Since we’re seemingly in the analytics boom, what does ShotTracker TEAM offer that makes it stand out as a product?
ShotTracker TEAM is unique in that it automatically captures virtually every stat for an entire team in real-time. This has never been done before at any level of the game. ShotTracker TEAM can accommodate multiple players, balls and hoops during both practice and games, giving coaches and players immediate feedback on their performance. Another major differentiation for this system is the price point – it’s priced to be accessible for teams at all levels of play.
A major issue currently affecting tracking is the accuracy of data. How does ShotTracker TEAM account for accuracy of data?
It’s almost impossible to have a system that will be perfect or 100% and deliver in real-time. We’re confident that the accuracy, analysis, timeliness and resource benefits of capturing data through our system make it far superior to traditional methods. If there is an instance where we are not perfect, we do provide a game management app that allows customers to easily correct any data.
What do you see as the next evolution of ShotTracker TEAM?
Like any technology company, we’ll continuously improve the technology to make it smaller, faster, and cheaper, while adding additional levels of functionality. We’ll also look to expand into other sports.