It’s been a busy year for Boston-based private coaching service CoachUp. Continuing to expand the network of thousands of private coaches (forming the largest company of its kind in the United States), the former 2011 startup also managed a major victory in partnering with NBA superstar Stephen Curry. The timing of the deal could not have been better for both sides, as Curry went on to win not only league MVP, but also an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors.
And CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel recently spent time with Curry for a current project the company’s engaged in with one of its star partners.
“He’s awesome,” Fliegel said of Curry. “I think he’s in a pretty good place.”
In the event-filled months since bringing CoachUp together with Curry, Fliegel sees it as a mutual success.
“It’s a huge win for us, and I think it’s a huge win for them too,” he noted, pointing out that the partnership works because it’s derived from both sides genuinely believing in the other, as opposed to merely doing it for cynical marketing purposes.
“We didn’t pursue Stephen because we thought he was going to be MVP of the NBA,” Fliegel said. “And I don’t think he chose to partner with CoachUp because he thought it was going to be the biggest company ever. We just believed that he is a really great representation of what we stand for. He’s had private coaching since he was 13. You know his coach is on CoachUp. He believes in it.”
Curry won the ESPY award for “Best Male Athlete” on Wednesday night, referencing how he’s never actually been considered the best athlete. His success has been derived from his intense work ethic, with private coaching clearly playing a role in that.
“I’m 6’3″ and 180 pounds soaking wet,” Curry joked, “so it’s really nice to be called an athlete every once in a while.”
Fliegel, who also helped to bring Patriots receiver Julian Edelman into the CoachUp ranks in a deal in 2014, referenced how the company has had a knack for picking future champions (both Curry and Edelman won in their respective sports).
“We actually were really good at the analytics of it,” Fliegel said jokingly. “We can predict when everyone’s going to be a world champion before they are.”
Yet humor aside, it’s clear that CoachUp has provided an intriguing option for athletes looking to partner with a brand that they actually believe in.
“They’re very passionate about their own brands,” Fliegel explained. “They’re very interested in startups and technology, which a lot of people actually don’t know about. (They) think they’re stereotypical jocks, but they really are very interested in technology. Even outside of sports.”
As far as what else CoachUp is planning in 2015, Fliegel alluded to (eventually) expanding internationally. He also suggested how CoachUp could make itself more available to a greater number of athletes.
“Clinics and camps I think are a big opportunity for CoachUp,” he added. “Sometimes athletes aren’t quite ready for private coaching, or maybe it’s a little too expensive in certain situations, but they could afford a clinic.”
Another possibility is CoachUp helping some of their younger athletes get recruited. Ultimately, Fliegel thinks the company just needs to stick closely to its original goal.
“How do we just provide more value to our coaches and our athletes? And if we can do that in ways that are closely tied with our mission of helping athletes reach the next level in sports and life, that’s probably an exciting opportunity.”
Featured image via CoachUp.