We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Leary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had the original idea for Sports Thread after I went to play junior college baseball at Orange Coast College. While I was at OCC I met dozens of other athletes who were having trouble with the recruiting process. At the time, the only options to get help obtaining a college scholarship were very costly and antiquated. I had the idea to use social media to provide a way for athletes to connect with college coaches and network to get scholarships for free. From there, I spent the next two years playing D1 baseball at Oral Roberts University and writing the initial business plan and scope of work for the first version of the social network. Once I graduated I was lucky enough to find an incredible group of mentors in Silicon Valley including our CMO Dick O’Donnell who helped me improve the business model and get the company ready to scale by incorporating our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform and expanding our product offering to a larger total addressable market. Today thanks to those early mentors and advice, Sports Thread is one of the top 200 Sports Apps on the Apple Store in the world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Sports Thread is the first social network for the approximately 125 million participants in the $19 billion youth and amateur sports industry. Sports Thread has been ranked as a top 200 Sports App on the Apple App Store every day since March 2020. The Company provides functionality and value for anyone in the market through the variety of products and services it offers in its social network and SaaS platform. The social network allows players to promote their talents to college coaches and a nationwide audience as well as receive important team and event related information including game scores, schedules and practice times. It also allows coaches to connect with their players, parents and youth sports event organizers. The Company’s broad product offering, and free price point can capture a significant portion of the market for subsequent ad sales as well as provide a marketplace for youth sports products and services. Sports Thread is positioned to provide a platform for this highly coveted demographic and create data-driven insights on a market segment of athletes and families that advertisers and third-party vendors want to reach. Sports Thread’s business model – providing free features and services to a mass market has disrupted the industry and allowed the Company to quickly scale. I have learned countless lessons along the way but none more important the importance of building a great team that works relentlessly towards a common goal.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I were entertaining anyone on a trip to Colorado, I would take them to Red Rocks for a concert, and to the mountains to ski – my favorite mountain town is Breckenridge. We would go for a run on the Cherry Creek trail, and drinks at 54Thirty.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank everyone on the Sports Thread team for their incredible commitment and work ethic. I would also like to thank my mentors Dick O’Donnell, Tab Evetts, Gordon Dihle, Brad Parker, Kevin Faulkner, my father Bill, and countless others who have shared their time and advice. Without their guidance and direction, Sports Thread would not be what it is today.