As youth sports move from being cooped up for the spring to finding a home for the summer, the largest sports camp program in the company is trying to find a solution to give value, action and a glimpse at the future to families. US Sports Camps (USSC) the licensed operator of the NIKE Sports Camps with over 1,000 camps in 16 different sports totaling more than 100,000 campers annually, announced a deal on Monday with Famer, the sports coaching and mentorship mobile platform, to create interactive solutions for many of their campers this summer.
USSC and its coaches film dynamic skills and drills videos and upload them to the Famer platform. These drill videos are grouped into workouts that are then distributed to campers to view, perform, and record (if they choose). The drill videos that campers record are then shared with USSC coaches to review for accountability and provide feedback through a number of Famer analysis tools like voiceover, telestration, and text. Athletes can choose to sign up for group based or individual digital/virtual camps on Famer for programs lasting between two to five weeks in length. Campers in group-based training are able to interact with each other and their coach in a multi-media group chat that creates camp-like camaraderie.
“This has been a difficult time for us at US Sports Camps,” said Justin Hoeveler, EVP of US Sports Camps in a release. “2020 is the first summer in 48 years that we haven’t operated in-person summer sports camps for young athletes. While we decided early in the Spring that there was too much uncertainty around Covid-19 for us to feel comfortable operating our physical camps we did know that the demand for quality coaching and structured training for our campers would remain strong. We’re excited to continue to digitally connect our coaches and campers through the summer and beyond.”
While some may see the digital space as a bridge to salvage a lost summer, Famer has seen it as an opportunity to accelerate growth and have kids from around the world get access to training, and most importantly, feedback from coaches, that could only be done face to face. It will not replace the traditional experience, but it will give thousands of kids better access in a fashion they have now been forced to better grasp.
“Our goal this spring was to bring our unique cloud based interactive training technology to the camps market to give kids and parents a meaningful and worthwhile summer experience,” added Famer CEO Rich Abend. “Through launching the concept with the industry leader, US Sports Camps, we know we have found a fun and powerful alternative to keep kids engaged and active, and coaches involved and earning money doing what they love. Our business has grown ten-fold during COVID-19, and we are thrilled to be the go-to solution for virtual training which will continue to be important to athletes and coaches even after we all return to the fields and courts.”
As this week becomes the first “official” week of a summer unlike no other, maybe some joy and action can be found in the cloud, as kids and parents continue to look for healthy answers in the days ahead.
Information and registration for the USSC summer virtual youth camp programs can be found at https://www.ussportscamps.com/nike-sports-camps-virtual-training