(WINDSOR, ON) – An athletic recruiting company currently enrolled in the University of Windsor’s EPICentre’s business incubation program has helped up-and-coming professional soccer players secure $110 million (USD) in international contracts for the new season; all without international tryouts.
Pursue Sports, founded by UWindsor alumnus Mike Murad, and headquartered at UWindsor’s EPIC Innovation, uses a numeric ranking system to rate soccer players. The company offers comprehensive athlete profiles through the analysis of data gathered through a process of rigorous testing.
The process allows athletes interested in international playing contracts to be tested close to home, rather than travelling internationally for team tryouts.
“The advantage that we provide to professional clubs located abroad is that the athletes are being compared to players on international teams before they arrive in a new country for a tryout,” said Murad. “This gives the soccer club an opportunity to compare players before even meeting them. The advantage for the athlete is that they save a large sum of money that would otherwise be spent travelling. They are able to use their score to not only apply for multiple contracts but also to improve themselves, which leads to better offers.”
Though athletic recruiting agencies haven’t been quick to adopt standardized testing, Murad says the team at Pursue Sports have capitalized on their own experiences to build an unparalleled system to rank players more accurately. He says that over the company’s two year history they have seen a growing demand for athletes, as well as a rise in contracts.
“Our process begins with building the demand first,” he explained. “We use our network of soccer clubs to receive offers and post them in the system. When a contract comes up we have a specific deadline to fill that contract and we then filter through our supply of athletes.”
Murad says they then work with the teams and the athletes to find a perfect match.
“It is also important to remain transparent while working with our clients. We are very clear with our goals and we work to build a close relationship,” Murad continued. “We want to work with our clients over time to find the best offer possible. By personalizing our service for each client, we maximize customer satisfaction which encourages referrals and repeat clients.”
Pursue Sports currently has offices in Canada and the United States with 10 employees, and recently opened an office in England thanks to a successful Canadian Digital Media Network Soft-Landing application through WEtech Alliance.
The CDMN program provides qualified entrepreneurs with exposure and the opportunity to grow their businesses internationally. Pursue Sports has explored business opportunities in Brazil, England, Spain, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, and parts of Africa.
The company hopes to eventually expand operations into the Middle East and is also considering future expansion of services into such sports as basketball and hockey.
Murad says the company is currently hiring two additional employees and seeking investors in order to continue expansion.
“Even though sports do not change over time, the technology behind sports is quickly changing and evolving,” he said. “It is important to keep expanding. Each country that we have expanded into helps to broaden our network and ultimately contribute to our success.”