Did you know that Minnesota is home to over a dozen tech companies playing in the wide world of sports?
Scott Wright’s Draft Countdown provides a mock draft, rankings, scouting reports, interviews, blogs, podcasts, predictions and in-depth analysis NFL drafts.
When was your company founded and what phase would you say you’re in?
I technically launched my first NFL Draft web site back in 1997, although on a much smaller scale than what you see today. In fact, it was just one page at a “members.aol.com” address! After I graduated from college and starting doing NFL Draft coverage full-time I had the site re-designed and branded “Draft Countdown”. As far as phase goes, I am extremely happy with the way things are going and wouldn’t mind keeping the status quo until retirement. However, I am always open to potential opportunities as they come along.
How many employees do you have?
It’s just myself, although for the past few years I’ve had an assistant named Shane P. Hallam. Shane has been great and will be branching off and launching his own site soon.
How do you make money?
The sites revenue stems from advertising. I had ads on sites as much as the next person but it’s kind of a necessary evil to keep everything free. In the end it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.
What are your core technology products/services?
Information. I provide expert analysis on the NFL Draft from scouting reports on prospects, rankings, mock drafts projecting where players may be selected, all-star game coverage, prospect interviews, etc. I also host a podcast that I really enjoy and am super proud of, which can be found at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/draftcountdown and on iTunes.
What sports/markets/audiences do you serve?
Die-hard fans of both college and pro football.
How does your company and technology enhance or advance the sport?
The rise of the internet has been amazing for the NFL Draft. It just makes the information so much more readily available whereas twenty or thirty years ago draftniks simply had to wait for the Mel Kiper, Jr. book to come out a few times each year. The internet has also made it much easier to fans of the NFL Draft to connect with each other.
How do you see technology in general changing the game in 5 – 10 years out?
I think the next big thing could be making the coaches tape, or as they call it the “All 22”, available for college games. The NFL is already doing this for all of their games both on television and the internet. Whereas the television view is somewhat limited the “All 22” is a high-angle shot that shows the entire field. If someone could figure out a way to do that for all of the college games it would basically be the Holy Grail for fans of the NFL Draft because they would be able to evaluate the players just like the pro scouts do.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Just want to give a shout-out to my alma mater St. Cloud State for preparing me to be successful. Since graduating I’ve been on the radio and in newspapers all over the country, I’ve been on national television (NFL Network) and even appeared in a video game (Madden 13). Needless to say it’s been a fun ride full of surreal moments and I couldn’t have picked a better career.