Edition 25 of the SportsBiz Spotlight focuses on Playermaker, the sports technology company providing next-level insight into athletic performance. We sit down with CEO and co-founder, Guy Aharon to find out more…
Tell us about the business? What does Playermaker do?
My co-founders, Moran Gad, Yuval Odem, and I established Playermaker in 2016. We are a sports technology company that provides athletes – at all levels – with next-level insight into their performance through a wearable footwear performance tracker, in order to revolutionize the way they develop their skills. The company is now the fastest-growing footwear performance platform with our technology able to transform any footwear into a connected solution that provides the wearer with in-depth analysis and monitoring of key player performance indicators, derived through foot-to-ball interactions – all with no additional infrastructure or installation required. We are already the main player’s performance tool selected by more than 250 elite clubs and academies globally.
What’s the main purpose of the organisation?
Playermaker is driven by a purpose to leverage the power of technology to allow any athlete to have an equal opportunity to be the best. We want to allow dedicated athletes to enjoy being part of their team and community, regardless of their gender and economic background.
Playermaker is creating a service, not just a product, for athletic achievement, we are in the business of long-term engagement and tangible performance growth. I find it incredible that a top-level player and a young, grassroots dreamer, are using the exact same tool in a way each can benefit from – developing basic skills and fundamentals beyond the vacuum of a practice or a pick-up game with friends and enabling them to set tangible goals or markers of success to meet.
Playermaker is passionate about helping to inspire and motivate aspiring players. Such players seek to belong within their team, to better know and understand the sport they are playing, and to improve their skills and abilities. By providing insights to inform these players of the right metrics for success and what it will take for them to improve, we aim to empower players to improve their skills on both personal and peer-based levels and, ultimately, enhance their sense of belonging and their sense of accomplishment.
If failure wasn’t a possibility, what would be your biggest ambition?
Failure is a critical aspect of our journey. We are paving our own way. We don’t really have competition, so we need to try to learn and improve. The connected footwear vision goes far beyond sports, so probably my answer here is in a world where all options were on the table, perhaps we would consider extending our tech to wellness and health solutions for those who just walk and want to do it safer.
What’s your USP?
Unlike other fitness trackers on the market, the Playermaker wearable footwear performance tracker is able to track technical performance and offer further-reaching insights due to the position on both left and right shoes. Our device also doesn’t require WiFi, cell service, or external power to collect and analyse data from any given playing session and can be used both indoors and outdoors which differentiates it from the many GPS systems that are available today.
Furthermore, until now data and insights on athletic performance couldn’t be collected at the source of movement, i.e. the foot, and so have been relegated to more readily “quantifiable” metrics (i.e. goals scored, shots taken, average speed, etc). The Playermaker solution, however, is able to collect motion data at the foot itself, which allows us to pair the usual surface-level metrics with complex functional factors such as foot placement/angle for on-target shots vs missed shots, foot velocity for shots vs passes, acceleration on hard cuts vs. straightaway runs, etc. This allows for more unique and astute insights for any given player.
Another USP we’re proud of is our affordability and our ability to use data to democratize the access players have to the metrics necessary to improve their game. Particularly at the youth/amateur level (school or local club teams), coaching and training resources are not always robust enough to let players truly understand where and how to improve. Playermaker allows coaches to understand their team in a new way as well as allows individual players to take improvement into their own hands by providing them with the same elite-level insights where expensive, lab-grade resources are unattainable. In this same way, Playermaker’s wearable footwear performance tracker rectifies the historic disparity in funding and technology between male and female teams at all levels of the game. Our unique solution gives female players access to the same elite-level performance tracking/insights as their male counterparts at a fraction of the cost, which is vital not only in enabling individual players and teams to improve but also in ensuring the development of the women’s game.
How many people work at Playermaker and in what capacity? I.e. job roles etc.
We have about 80 employees across Tel Aviv, London, and Miami in various roles across marketing, product development/innovation, customer success, and more. Some notable team members and roles include Erez Morag, our Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Steve Barrett, Playermaker’s Director of Sport Science and Research Innovation, Hilit Maayan Ph.D., our VP Product Strategy, and Eran Amit, Head of Innovation.
Who are your clients?
Playermaker has developed both a B2C and B2B/Elite solution. This has allowed us to not only put our technology in the hands of players at all levels of the sport but develop solutions to be used by both teams and individuals.
Today, Playermaker’s solutions are used by elite teams, athletic organizations, academies, and recreational athletes worldwide and deliver a competitive advantage to some of the most forward-thinking athletes, teams, and coaches. About a third of the EPL is using Playermaker, from the age of 12 all the way up to the senior team. As part of our ongoing support to the FA, we provide teams from the WSL, Championship, and WSL academy with our solution. Among the clients we can mention by name are Leicester City, Aston Villa, Rangers, Fulham FC, Hull City, Norwich City FC, LA Galaxy, Atlanta United, FK Bodo Glimpt, FC Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Wellington Phoenix, and hundreds more.
Who would be your dream client?
We recently announced Harvey Elliott as a brand ambassador. What’s exciting about our relationship with Harvey is that it started during his days in the Fulham Academy, supported him as a young player, and tracked his progress over time. We also were there to support him during his injury rehabilitation. So you can imagine our pride in his success. But our dream client is every girl and boy that has the love of a game. We want to motivate and inspire them to be the very best they can be.
How can people connect with Playermaker? What’s your website and socials?
Playmaker can be reached via our website – https://playermaker.com/ – as well as on all the usual social media platforms and via email:
Thanks to Guy and the team for sharing so much great insight about Playermaker!
If you would like to feature your sports based business or know of an organisation you would like to see feature on SportsBiz Spotlight, get in touch.