Dallas Youth Sports Tech Startup Moves Into Esports, Partners With HBCU Go

AMPlifi Sports Group levels the playing field for amateur athletes through a cross-platform mobile app and convergence platform. Now, the startup has signed a deal with HBCU Go to extend its platform into the esports ecosystem with a strong focus on mental performance, social gaming, and lifestyle.

Dallas-based AMPlifi Sports Group, a youth sports tech company, has been expanding beyond its core hardware and software platform with major deals in the esports space.

The heart of AMPlifi Sports’ mission is to level the playing field for amateur athletes and competitive youth sports by democratizing cutting-edge wearable technology and applications. Founded in 2017 by Erin Patton, AMPlifi was built on the successful launch and early exit of Patton’s startup, LET IT FLY Performance, that was co-founded with ex-NBA star Mike Miller. LET IT FLY was known for developing A+TECH—which Patton calls the “world’s first smart compression shooting shirt”—in partnership with wearable tech provider ShotTracker.

Through a cross-platform mobile app and convergence platform, AMPlifi aims to unite the youth sports ecosystem, help young athletes and their parents make better decisions, and aggregate data to a central user profile. Patton describes his team as brand creators and content curators fully immersed in youth culture.

The data being aggregated is often scattered, unstructured, and largely locked up in B2B verticals. So, AMPlifi provides a vehicle for talent identification and a peer-driven platform.

And now, the tech company is moving into the booming esports industry.

“Our foray into esports was a natural progression for us as a consumer-facing platform,” Patton told Dallas Innovates. “In the simplest of terms, when the amateur athlete isn’t playing the game, they’re playing the game.”

AMPlifi signs big-name partners

Last summer, the startup partnered with Bravado Gaming, an Africa-based esports organization. The startup is aligned with youth sports content platform Unguarded, which gives it a platform to tell stories about both traditional sports and esports.

And, last month, it announced a partnership with HBCU Go.

The partnership brings together AMPlifi’s mobile platform and HBCU Go’s network. This will provide a connection to millions of households, on-campus events, administrative relationships, and what Patton describes as the inter-generational HBCU experience.

He says the deal is significant because Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) haven’t yet “been invited to the esports party.” But, that audience loves to party, play games, stream, and “spend disproportionate amounts of time and money on gaming.”

He also says it will build the pipeline to bring new “innovation, ideas, and creativity to the technology industry, as well as contribute to future growth of the esports industry.”

Overall, Patton’s excited about the partnership because it’s a perfect example of AMPlifi’s philosophy to—metaphorically speaking—skate to where the puck is going.

“It’s no secret that college campuses are fertile ground for planting seeds of future growth in the esports category,” he says. “None better, perhaps, than the pioneering efforts of the Guildhall program at SMU.”

AMPlifi shifts gears

The change that AMPlifi is taking is holistic, as it includes every aspect of esports from teams and venues to events and merchandising. The business model isn’t dependent on sponsorship for monetization, rather, a “vastly different, grassroots” approach to esports is being taken.

AMPlifi’s first initiative is a college tour and mobile activation incorporating music, lifestyle, and gaming. Patton says the concept is curating the overall experience: streaming, live competition, and a mobile gaming activation.

“As the lines between traditional sports and esports continue to blur, we believe we are in position to deliver a differentiated approach that extends our platform into the ecosystem in an authentic fashion with a stronger focus on mental performance, social gaming and lifestyle in a way that broadens the access point,” he says. “Obviously, North Texas is fast becoming a hub and epicenter for esports, so it’s an exciting time to be actively engaged in shaping the future narrative and experience.”

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