SBJ/January 9-15, 2017/Media

Mom, fan launches coaching video startup

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A mother of two who is an avid sports fan, but admittedly never roamed the sideline, is behind a tech startup that will aggregate coaching video and instruction.

She’s calling it Coaches Tribune and its website, coachestribune.com, will launch this week with instructional video for novice coaches, parents and anyone else who wants to learn how to run a practice.

The site is the idea of Michele Kiernan, an Ohio mother and commercial real estate developer whose husband grew frustrated with a youth basketball team he coached that couldn’t break a press. When Kiernan’s husband, Ed, a partner and chief marketer at Engine Shop, went online looking for instructional videos on how to break a press, he was surprised that there wasn’t a one-stop shop for coaching tips.

As Michele and her husband scoured the internet for coaching videos, it occurred to her that one site capable of aggregating all things coaching might be of value.

“You have a lot of youth coaches who are volunteers and they might not know that much about how to run a practice or give instruction,” Michele Kiernan said. “We really saw it as an underserved market.”

Michele Kiernan then reached out to a longtime family friend, John Kueber, whose Sirocco Media has helped launch several tech startups. Kueber’s agency helped create a business model and framework for Coaches Tribune.

Michele will be CEO and majority owner of the company, while also maintaining her real estate job. Husband Ed will help by providing introductions for sponsorship sales, which will be the sole source of revenue. Charlotte-based communications executive Jon Show will oversee content creation and aggregation from several different providers.

Coaches Tribune, which will start with sections for baseball, basketball, football and soccer, hopes to evolve into a social-centric site where coaches trade tips and stories, the kind of information that even in the digital age is mostly conveyed by word of mouth. There will be space on the site dedicated to other sports as well, including esports, as well as nutrition, health and safety, and training tips.

“We hope it will become the single greatest online resource for coaching youth sports,” Michele Kiernan said.

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