SMART BASKETBALL TRAINING
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From College Player to Championship Coach
Austin McBeth, head coach at Smart Basketball Training got started with basketball at an early age. When he reached his late teens, his years of dedication and training paid off and landed him a spot on the Iowa State team. “Through my experience playing at Iowa State, I discovered that basketball was my true passion and I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to coaching others,” explains Austin. “I knew as a coach I would be able to impact the lives of other basketball enthusiasts like myself, and pass along the skills and lessons I’d learned along the way.”
After college Austin began pursuing his coaching dream by applying to coaching jobs around the country. “It was around that time that I was introduced to the video production company Championship Productions,” recalls Austin. “Championship Productions historically created products for coaches, however, they wanted to build out their basketball training courses targeting players and were looking for a coach,” explains Austin. Before being connected with Championship Productions, Austin was committed to coaching in person, but quickly realized that coaching through videos accessible online would allow him to reach many more players who could benefit from his skills and training.
It wasn’t long before Austin committed to developing a new training program produced by Championship Productions. “We put our heads together, came up with a business plan and curriculum, outlined what we wanted it to look like, and Smart Basketball Training was born,” says Austin.
A year and a half in the making, Smart Basketball Training was launched in early 2015 and is a comprehensive, online subscription based training business marketed toward athletes. The frequent introduction of new content, skills training models and the online format make it possible for students to access the content anytime, anywhere.
Marketing to Millennials
Although the Smart Basketball Training audience ranges from 9 year old budding athletes to 23 year old college players, Austin primarily finds himself marketing to a junior high aged crowd armed with a smartphone. “Reaching a young and technologically advanced audience has its own unique set of challenges,” says Austin.
“We know who our customer is and how they’re getting their information, so we meet these kids where they’re at,” he explains. With kids these days on their devices 24/7, on and off the court, Smart Basketball Training has seen great success by connecting with their audience on YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and other social media outlets.
But figuring out how to do that took time. According to Austin, unlike with marketing to adults, brochures and emails touting the benefits of a coaching service don’t resonate as well with the younger demographic. Austin, however, being a millennial himself was able to bridge the gap. “We put out as much free content as we can on our social channels,” says Austin. “We provide motivational content, training tips and highlight our products in a way that catches these kids’ eyes.” Above all, Austin explains, it’s important to keep a constant, slow drip of information flowing across the social networks to keep Smart Basketball Training relevant and top of mind for their audience.
Winning On and Off the Court
“There are a lot of talented kids in this world who aspire to be big time, and a lot of parents willing to throw money at a trainer who can get their kids to the next level,” says Austin.“What’s different about Smart Basketball Training, is that our coaching goes beyond the drills and skills. We help these kids win the head game. We’re focused on basketball strategy and answering the ‘why’ behind the skills.”
Additionally, Austin says they set themselves apart from their competitors by choosing the right partners to support their business. “Our numerous product offerings, high level of customization, reliable methods of content delivery and seamless customer experience has all been made possible by working with Intelivideo,” says Austin.
Striving to offer their customers the absolute best products and training materials available often means incorporating content and resources from other coaches and trainers into their Smart Basketball Training product offerings. “Other platforms make it much more difficult to bundle digital content in the variety of ways necessary to support our trainees in the best way possible,” said Austin.
Additionally, Smart Basketball Training customers trust their trainers and rely on brand consistency. Therefore, it’s important to Smart Basketball Training to maintain a branded experience, from marketing efforts through the purchasing process to consumption of the video products. “To help us build a strong, recognizable brand and maintain consistency, Intelivideo worked with us to develop a custom, white label app to make it as easy as possible for our customers to access our content anytime, anywhere while maintaining a consistent look and feel,” said Austin.
“As with any new business,” explains Austin “we ran into some hurdles along the way. What’s important is that we chose a business partner that could actually help us overcome these hurdles and get up and running as quickly as possible. We knew from day 1 we were working toward the same business goal, and that made all of the difference. Intelivideo has been this trusted partner for us, and I can’t recommend them enough.”
“Intelivideo has been a trusted partner for us, and I can’t recommend them enough.”
Austin McBeth, Coach at Smart Basketball Training
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