As has been the inevitable truth in Boston over the past 15 years, it was a major year for the local sports scene. Both on and off the field, teams like the Patriots with players like Julian Edelman were matched by local innovative companies in achieving huge results. Still, only a few can be deemed “on fire.” Here’s the list of finalists for 2015:
- As Tom Brady’s business manager and close confidante, Rawitz has been labeled the “gatekeeper” to the best quarterback in the NFL.
- In 2015, Rawitz helped Brady through one of his most dramatic years. Winning the Super Bowl coupled with the Deflategate saga provided plenty of headlines, but Rawitz’s management of (for example) Brady’s fantastically popular Facebook page showcased his day-to-day talents.
Chad Flahive, Public Body
- Having led fitness classes for recognizable Boston names such as Equinox, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Reebok in the past, Flahive now brings his energetic style to Public Body.
- Having founded Public Body in 2012, Flahive is in his own with the very unique fitness company in 2015. Staging fitness events in all corners of Boston, Flahive’s drive and creativity have helped the company elevate.
- As the largest private coaching company in the United States, CoachUp has emerged as a Boston sports startup that is dominate on a national level.
- With Julian Edelman and Stephen Curry, CoachUp arguably had the two most successful athletes as endorsers in 2015. And with continued expansion both domestically and abroad, CoachUp quietly put together another banner year.
- One of the two dominant forces in the new market of daily fantasy sports, DraftKings has achieved staggering success since being founded only a few years ago.
- DraftKings achieved new records in both users and entry fees in 2015, adding a number of new partnerships and
funding deals. Even as it navigates its way through the current daily fantasy crisis, it continues to be a dominant force in fantasy sports.
Dustin Martin, Barry’s Bootcamp
- A longtime fitness professional, Martinpioneered the first Barry’s in Boston.
- As the co-owner of the Barry’s in Boston, Martin has helped it grow significantly in 2015. Engaging with classes in his love of fitness, Martin also has shown a strong business sense in leading the company’s ongoing growth.
Eliza Shirazi, Kick it by Eliza
- Teaching a very distinct brand of fitness, Shirazi heads Kick it by Eliza since founding it in 2009.
- Leading her own brand of fitness classes, Shirazi has added to her already venerable reputation in the Boston fitness world. And the latest goal is to bring Kick it by Eliza to a national audience.
- What began as a social media company specifically for sports fans is now growing to be a more versatile app.
- In 2015, Fancred not only launched a highly successful offshoot site, but it expanded to the second aspect of the company founders’ ultimate goals. New components include a score app as well as a live-streaming feature.
- A digital content publisher, Gameface relies on a new model that brings professional sports pictures to the masses.
- In 2015, Gameface raised more money than in every other year of its history combined. The company has also expanded on its already strong ties to national fitness events.
- Started as an unconventional program to work with inner-city young people, the group has proven to be successful in helping provide an outlet for people in troubled areas avoid violence achieve social mobility.
- Following years of running a single gym in Dorchester, InnerCity has expanded in 2015 to Kendall Square.
Joe De Sena, Spartan Race
De Sena is the founder and CEO of the highly popular Spartan Race.
In 2015, Spartan Race has continued to expand on its popular format among everyday fitness enthusiasts. It’s also currently in development of a new series with NBC.
Julian Edelman, Superdigital
- The Super Bowl champion Patriots receiver is an icon across football, combining with his marketing partners at Superdigital to create a uniquely popular brand.
- In 2015, Edelman caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Aside from that obvious accomplishment, he’s escalated his brand with the help of Superdigital. The duo has once again worked together on recent projects like his trip to Israel, as well as a hilarious fake car commercial. Edelman continues one of the most unconventional commercial stars in American sports.
- McCann is an accomplished professor of law at the University of New Hampshire, as well as a writer and legal expert for Sports Illustrated.
- Given the unusual number of local sports legal situations in 2015, McCann was seemingly everywhere. Appearing frequently on radio as well as in many publications (including BostInno), McCann offered an always professional and reasoned breakdown of complicated legal scenarios.
- Pavlok has created a wristband that will electronically help users maintain good habits, while “punishing” bad ones.
- So far this year, Pavlok has won a Build a Business Competition that will get them a mentorship from Richard Branson. The app has seen more than 3,000 production pre-orders and 800 prototypes of their bands.
- As a global brand, Reebok continues to be a leader in athletic apparel that’s headquartered in Massachusetts.
- Along with having superstars like J.J. Watt, Reebok has also gone through a successful rebrand and the buildout of its exclusive deal with UFC.
- A brand new concept, Wellcoin offers users the first ever “health currency,” rewarding healthy activities with points. After accruing enough points, users can then buy items sold through Wellcoin partners.
- After launching earlier in 2015, Wellcoin has seen strong interest, adding 2,000 to 2,500 new members each week. It has also increased its partnerships with notable fitness brands like FitBit and RunKeeper.
- Developed by former Harvard students, the wearable tech device allows athletes to measure the human body to help
with “predictive analytics.”
- WHOOP more than doubled its total funding in 2015, raising $12 million in Series B while attracting advisors such as LeBron James and Michael Phelps.
- WOO is another wearable tech item, though with a drastically different purpose than others in the market. It allows action sports athletes to track their performance in-depth, as well as compete against each other.
- WOO has raised $2.7 million in funding in 2015, more than doubling its previous total. It’s currently being sold in over 90 countries.
- Zagster is a bike-sharing service that promises to be a “leading part of the transportation mix for people of all incomes, regardless of where you live, work, or play.”
- The new company is already used in 28 states in over 50 cities.
Photos courtesy of the companies or taken by BostInno.