Jump Forward is a comprehensive software solution and platform designed to help athletic departments communicate better and operate with more efficiency. Every person in the department, from student-athletes and staff to coaches and ADs, can all collaborate and communicate with each other on the Jump Forward platform.
It allows them to access information and forms, share them, text and email each other, create workflow processes, and even connect to the campus database or information system securely to access data. Moreover, Jump Forward offers a suite of integrated solutions that cater to users’ specific day-to-day software requirements.
It also offers a web-based Recruitment board and a Predictive Analytics Vault for data-based strategic planning. Coaches can review athlete profiles and contact them through Jump Forward. Ultimately, Jump Forward makes it easy for athletic departments to grow, succeed, and take their organization to the next level.
Jump Forward was first featured on Shark Tank season one, episode eleven when it was in its early stages.
Brian Duggan and Adam McCombs had the idea of creating the Jump Forward website when they saw that there was a strong need for a streamlined communication system between student-athletes and universities to connect while adhering to stringent NCAA guidance, regulations, and compliance standards.
They came to the Sharks requesting a $150,000 investment for a ten percent stake in Jump Forward, evaluating the company at $1.5 million. They showed strong sales revenue and even had a patent for the mobile application of Jump Forward that includes proprietary software.
After some back and forth, Duggan and McCombs accept a $600,000 offer from Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec for a 50 percent stake in Jump Forward.
Our Review of Jump Forward
Since its launch in 2008, Jump Forward has witnessed remarkable growth. While Duggan and McCombs saw much of its success, they have since left Jump Forward, and the company was acquired by Active Network for an undisclosed sum in 2016.
Having used the Jump Forward software, we fully understand why it experienced immense growth and a successful acquisition in a short span of just 8 years. Jump Forward is an excellent space for high school athletes who want to get noticed by college coaches and sports recruiters.
It only takes a few minutes to create a profile, and athletes can instantly let recruiters and coaches know of their existence and achievements. On the other hand, coaches and sports recruiters can easily get in touch with student-athletes using the mobile app on their smartphones.
In the past, coaches were only able to make one phone call or send a letter to prospective high school athletes to get in touch under strict NCAA guidelines. With Jump Forward, they can connect with student-athletes more conveniently while adhering to the NCAA guidelines.
Furthermore, the automated reporting of recruiting activities, log approvals, compliance features, and flexible workflows all help save countless hours of time and effort for any athletic department. The web-based recruiting board and new workflow system, in particular, are game-changing.
They allow smooth and streamlined digital processes across the campus and department. The ease of communication between users is seamless and further improves recruitment, workflows, and processes. Most importantly, their customer support provides a proactive and hands-on approach.
It is no wonder that the company has benefitted over 250,000 student-athletes, 20,000 coaches, and 350 institutions to date.
Pros of Jump Forward
Jump Forward offers immense benefits for campuses, athletic departments, and student-athletes. Here are some of its most notable pros:
- Student-athletes can quickly and easily get noticed by sports recruiters and college coaches
- Coaches can conveniently communicate with prospective recruits while adhering to regulations
- Proactively prevents violation of NCAA guidelines
- Convenient and patented mobile application
- Easy communications between staff, coaches, AD, and student-athletes
- Streamlines and improved campus and department workflows
- Offers complete institutional control
- Integrates easily with information systems
- Customizable and intuitive web-based recruitment board
- Easy management of camp registrations and payments
- Comprehensive web-based equipment management software
- Good IT, technical, and professional support
Cons of Jump Forward
As with everything, there are a few cons with Jump Forward as well:
- There is a slightly steep learning curve to the entire platform and its products and services. It may take some time to get used to
- Multitasking on a single page is not the best, often creating navigation issues
- If you are inactive for a while, you may get locked out and lose progress
- Products and plans are somewhat expensive depending on the size of the organization
Who is Jump Forward For?
Jump Forward is for all student-athletes, sports recruiters, coaches, ADs, sports staff, athletic departments, campuses, and organizations that want to improve their sports workflows, communications, processes, recruitment, control, compliance, and management.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Brian Duggan answers this exact question in the Shark Tank episode, saying that there are a number of smaller competitors, but none of them offer the proactive prevention of violating NCAA guidelines like Jump Forward does.
This is still true because most of those smaller competitors are now out of business. Moreover, not only is Jump Forward the only company that proactively and effectively complies with NCAA rules and regulations, but they also own the proprietary software and patent for the mobile app.
This mobile app and patent are the key reason that Jump Forward has remained at the top of their field with no real competition.
Our Final Thoughts
Jump Forward is a unique and incredible software solution for student-athletes, sports professionals, and organizations. It has been one of the fastest growing companies from Shark Tank, especially from season one, and still runs at the top of its field.
Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec made an excellent decision negotiating for a 50 percent stake, and Brian Duggan and Adam McCombs made a once-in-a-lifetime deal securing the Sharks’ marketing and tech business expertise.
If you are a student-athlete, sports professional, athletic department, or organization, we highly recommend trying the Jump Forward software to grow and expand.