Hershiser takes stake in data firm
Sports data provider Inside Edge has added an ace to its staff to help expand its product line and customer base.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and current TV broadcaster Orel Hershiser has taken a stake in the Minneapolis-based company, known for its statistical product called Remarkable. He’ll advise the firm as a longtime customer and help the marketing pitch to potential customers.
Inside Edge counts among its clients 21 Major League Baseball clubs, media including ESPN, MLB Network and regional sports networks, plus fantasy sports firms.
Hershiser has used Remarkable’s data as a player, a coach and now during his Dodgers broadcasts. “Remarkable turns data into words and gives it great context, making [the service] important to the front office, manager or coaches, players, broadcasters, producers and directors, or the audience that’s watching or listening,” he said.
For broadcasters, Remarkable pops up data-based phrases and graphics that can quickly be incorporated into game coverage. Or a team may use the technology for its social media efforts, as the notes produced can be tweeted directly from the system.
Hershiser is the data provider’s first outside investor in its 26-year history. The size of his investment was not disclosed. Inside Edge’s Kenny Kendrena, vice president of product and sales, said the proceeds will be used to expand Remarkable into other sports and verticals. A college football version may be released as soon as this month, Minor League Baseball is on the way, then college basketball.
Kendrena said the biggest opportunity may be in gambling, adding that betting applications for Remarkable may be live before the end of the NFL season.
He added that Inside Edge’s products will likely remain business-to-business, targeted to media and sports organizations. However, a new Sociable app in beta may have consumer appeal. The app allows fans to quickly share infographics on social media using Remarkable data and player photos. Sociable is expected to make its debut soon using NFL data.
Kendrena said the privately held Inside Edge has been profitable in all but two of its prior 25 years, with record revenue last year approaching $2 million, so it’s not looking for more outside investment, instead preferring strategic partnerships.
Robert Gray is a writer based in California.