Started by a husband-wife duo, SPORTIV is an online community that aims to help players and athletes build their profiles digitally, track and improve performance, and help them get sponsorship support.
At a glance
Founders: Geetha Karthik and Karthik Krishnasamy
Year it was founded: 2017
Where is it based: Coimbatore
The problem it solves: SPORTIV is an online platform that connects athletes/players, sponsors and clubs/academies in mutually beneficial ways.
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Cricket may continue to be the leading sport in the country, but other sports, be it football or hockey, have started garnering significant attention over the last few years. But the sector needs a lot of work.
“The sports sector in India is still emerging and we have a long way to go before we become a strong nation in sports,” says Geetha Karthik, Co-founder of SPORTIV.
With viewership increasing due to various professional sports leagues, players and athletes are now getting a global stage to showcase their talent.
Geetha feels the best reward that can cheer a sports person is the recognition that s/he is deserving; this motivates them to perform better day after day. This realisation made Geetha and her husband take the entrepreneurial route in the sports industry with SPORTIV.
SPORTIV is a comprehensive technology platform (mobile and web-based) for professional sports players. The platform claims to be a hub of sports players, from aspirers to achievers.
Currently, SPORTIV is incubated in PSG-Science and Technology Entrepreneurial Park (PSG-STEP), Coimbatore, and has over 500 registered players on its platform. Available both for web and mobile, the SPORTIV app is available for Android users on Playstore.
How SPORTIV aims to help
Identity: SPORTIV digitally helps build sports profiles of aspirants and professional sports players with details of events participated, levels played, positions secured, and key performance metrics. This digital identity is a never-like-before experience for players, and gives them a huge advantage of visibility to showcase their championships to the world.
Performance evaluation: SPORTIV has an internal algorithm that benchmarks the player’s performances against districts, state, national, and international bests, to help them understand where they stand and what's ahead of them. This system, along with their coaches’ inputs, provides them with good insights on how to refine their trainings and practices.
Connecting players with sponsors: SPORTIV acts as a bridge between individuals and corporate sponsors, who address the various needs of players.
Clubs/academies and medal dashboard: A club or academy page can be maintained with a medal dashboard of all its team members. This is just to inspire and get inspired by peers.
“We are beta testing the portal for clubs/institutions to give feedback to their players on a continuous basis. They can also plan training programmes on the platform and automate the process. This portal can also be used to enrich the profile of the players associated with the club,” Geetha says.
The story behind SPORTIV
Geetha and her husband, Karthik Krishnasamy, were working abroad and wanted to build a platform for amateur sports collaboration.
“While we were on a vacation to India, we happened to witness a district-level athletic event in our city’s stadium. Our athletes kept running with heart and soul, but with worn-out shoes, exchanging shoes for a run or even bare-footed!” Geetha recalls.
It made the duo realise that life was often a struggle for professional players. The nation has a lot of determined athletes for whom sports is not a choice but passion.
Sports as a category is gaining momentum in India, but Geetha believes it still has a long way to go before things are streamlined. There are good support systems and schemes available, but often they don’t reach the masses. SPORTIV was launched with the aim to provide the right exposure and connect professional players with other key stakeholders in the industry.
Prior to SPORTIV, Geetha, 34, worked in the IT industry for over 13 years. She has done her engineering, following it up with an MBA. Karthik Krishnasamy, 36, is Co-founder and a technologist with 15 years of industry experience in Information Technology. He holds a graduate degree in software engineering.
The differentiating factor
According to KPMG, the sports market is globally worth around $750 billion. In India, 29.3 percent population falls in the age group of 0-14 years. The middle class as a percentage of the population is estimated to increase from 4 percent in 2005 to 41 percent by 2025. The average share of educational and recreational activities in the annual household consumption is estimated to increase from 5 percent in 2005 to 9 percent in 2025.
In the last couple of years, several startups like Bengaluru-based Playo and Sportobuddy, and Delhi-based GoSporto, among others, have entered India’s sports market to disrupt the space with innovative offerings.
SPORTIV is betting on being the first-of-its-kind platform that provides holistic support and nurtures budding players from “Aspire to Achieve” level!
“Our platform enables players to build a digital identity profile and keep track of their progress and achievements. We also help in meeting the needs of players by finding them right sponsors,” Geetha adds.
Plans for the future
Backed by a six-member team, SPORTIV is currently bootstrapped and is not looking to raise funds.
Currently SPORTIV has been rolled profiling for athletics (track and field), football, hockey, basketball, and motorsport. Going ahead, the platform plans include other sports like swimming, cycling, volleyball, tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis, and cricket.
It is also working on in-depth analysis for athletics and aims to add this for other sports subsequently. SPORTIV also has plans to leverage the power of IoT and wearables for an effective performance management system with key performance indicators (KPIs) of the players. This is expected to help in self-analysis and performance improvement.
The startup has a multi-fold revenue model. It offers a free version, where sports players to create their digital identity, peer connects and event updates. It is mainly monetising via its premium version, where it helps users with more detailed profiling with performance management and profile visibility to as many sponsors as possible. The company also does affiliated marketing related to sports industry.