The sports social media app that is now known as the Press Sports App has a story that dates back long before its initial public release in September of 2018. Co-founders Conrad Cornell and Drew Williams practically grew up in the crib together. That friendship continued to grow stronger as they became teammates on a number of little league football and baseball teams. Although they never attended the same schools, their connection remained strong, despite moving on to rival high schools and competing against each other in the state championship baseball series their junior year. They spent countless hours training together outside of school, and although Drew never aspired to play at the college level, he did everything in his power to help Conrad keep grinding toward that goal.
College Baseball Recruiting Inspires the Founders
Approaching the end of his senior year, Conrad was still undecided on where he would continue his baseball career. He was presented with a couple offers, but none were either affordable or desirable. It became clear that he was not getting the necessary exposure or education on the course of action to find the right college fit. Like everyone else, his dream was to play for a big SEC or ACC school. However, he soon found that unless you are one of the top recruits in the nation, it is extremely difficult to receive those opportunities without a handful of smaller offers or a notable amount of game footage to prove your abilities. Conrad could have used a platform like the Press Sports App that assists athletes with the college baseball recruiting timeline.
When their senior seasons finished, Drew prepared to start his freshman year as a student at the University of Mississippi while Conrad continued to play summer tournaments in hopes of catching the eye of a D1 coach. Sure enough, around the beginning of July of 2014, he played really well in a tournament and Coach Craig Gibson from Mercer University decided to bring him on with a scholarship just a month before school was set to start.
Press Sports App: The Idea
Throughout college, Drew and Conrad collaborated on a number of ideas that either were too expensive to start or would take too much time to really get going as students. Following their junior year, Conrad and Drew were both spending the summer working for companies in Atlanta and attending many Braves games together. They started talking about how cool it would be if MLB players had easy-to-access profiles that showed all their highlights from growing up as multi-sport athletes. As they thought through this more, it became clear that the platform could be for athletes from all levels to share their highlights from the entire range of sports that they play…something very similar to Instagram, but because users would be building a fan base, they could avoid feeling arrogant posting their own plays to create good press for themselves. Conrad and Drew envisioned it as a place where athletes, coaches and fans could all connect around sports highlights.
After returning to college in the fall, Conrad called Drew to talk seriously about making this sports platform they thought up into a reality. Conrad saw great potential in athletes using it as the free college recruiting tool that he never had access to. Drew agreed and realized that although he never had aspirations to play at the next level, he could have shared his highlights with his friends and enjoyed the sports app as a social media platform. Conrad and Drew also discovered that their idea would have been a great memory bank that they could have used to go back and show their kids all their best moments on the field. If a platform like the Press Sports App were around for them when they were growing up, all the memories of playing little league baseball and football together, as well as high school sports against each other, would be there for them to access at their fingertips. With their two different perspectives and Conrad and Drew’s drive to succeed, the Press Sports App was ready to be born.
Press Sports App: The Game Plan
In October of 2018, Conrad and Drew started working on a detailed plan for what the app would be. It took just one meeting to get an angel investor on-board. Soon after, in November, they started searching for companies to develop the app (that was referred to as “GameVault” at the time). When the winter holidays rolled around, they had interviewed six different developers. The pair finally settled on one to come down to Atlanta and make a road map for the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and how long it would take to develop. While both were in their second semester of senior year in college, Conrad and Drew were waking up at 5 a.m. several times a week to meet with their team in Gujarat, India via video chat to collaborate on the creation of the app and test its functionality. The time difference was actually quite helpful, as it allowed the developers in India to make the most of their days, while Conrad and Drew worked to finish school and Conrad played his final season of college baseball.
Following graduation and the end of baseball season, Conrad and Drew moved back to Atlanta to start working full-time on the Press Sports App with the overarching goal of providing a free platform to athletes to showcase their abilities. Currently, they are establishing local relationships in the athletic and Atlanta tech startup communities…focusing on creating a local community of users first, with hopes to expand quickly throughout the southeast and the country.