Dick's Sporting Goods has acquired sports management software company Affinity Sports to provide capabilities and services to youth sports governing bodies and other groups served by the retailer's Team Sports HQ platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Affinity's software can facilitate and simplify registration, scheduling and communication processes between national or regional governing bodies and their associated leagues, working to close existing communication gaps and enabling better player and coach visibility between these groups.
Dick's Team Sports HQ launched in January of 2016, aiming to support youth sports leagues with online registration and team/league websites, custom uniforms and FanWear, and access to donations and sponsorships, all from a single platform.
The Affinity acquisition gives Dick's some technology that will enhance some of the registration and support aspects of its Team Sports HQ offering. TSHQ is still a young project, and Dick's may be looking to further enhance the platform's capabilities as it encounters more of its prospective customers' pain points.
There's good reason to continue investing in the TSHQ model, too. Coinciding with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, TD Ameritrade released the results of a survey showing that parents of youth athletes spend an average of $100 to $500 per month on organized sports participation, gear and uniforms, with 20% of them spending a whopping $1,000 per month.
We all may have our own opinions on how sensible that is, but it makes one thing clear: With TSHQ, Dick's is tapping into a large and growing market. If it can entrench itself in that market with quality technology that helps leagues, teams and parents coordinate registration, uniform and gear needs, it will only guarantee itself a bigger payback on whatever it's paying to acquire Affinity Sports.
This deal also comes not long after the demise of Sports Authority, a rival of Dick's in an athleisure space that has been undergoing great change. Dick's effort to branch out and cater to youth sports organizations also may help it ride out broader market changes.