RealResponse just reached 100 clients using their online platform solutions offering safe and real-time, reporting, surveys, and a document storehouse. Founded in 2015, the sports tech company based in Charlotte, NC secures user feedback, while providing secure monitoring together with anonymous reporting capabilities. The list of colleges and universities represents 50,000 athletes. Feedback from the men and women who take part in giving feedback and those that view the information has never been so important. One reason is because hackers all over the world are looking to infiltrate software with the end result being to leek classified data across the dark web, or even shutting down systems then holding the fix for a paid ransom, most often in cryptocurrency. The subject matter RealResponse collects, cares for and distributes can be very private in nature making them a must have partner for coaches and administrators to have, or consider using. The real time technology offers a safe and secure environment when discussing mental health issues, social inequalities and civil rights violations to name a few of the kinds of topics and resulting input the company keeps locked up. Just about any issue from sexual harassment to COVID-19 policy irregularities, fit the bill as to why this business is booming. Details about misconduct, hazing and intimidation need a repository for documentation to be stored and accessed using digital devices. The Sports Techie community blog has been a more than decade-long champion of most of these real issues, many often underreported and even dismissed. Not anymore, thanks to RealResponse.
Where do sports organizations and schools go to find best practices regarding how to handle, what to ask, and when to follow up, with many of these highly sensitive topics? RealResponse has the backing of 50K athletes, and the coaches and staff in institutions of higher learning, now numbering 100 customers.
Their claim to fame is the ability to empower athletes to report concerns anonymously and in real-time using any web-enabled device, and help leaders connect athletes with resources.
Authorized personnel find it easy to securely store and track delicate information in the platform’s documentation hub. Athletic organizations can also use their benchmarking tool to compare metrics to peer and national averages then identify areas of competitive advantage or vulnerability.
“As we head towards a period of increased scrutiny and challenges for athletes in everything from the Olympics to the return to play in colleges big and small this fall, the pressure and challenges placed on athletes and coaches at all levels has never been greater, and we are proud to be able to work with this growing number of colleges, universities and organizations to document, address and most importantly, head off issues within any size programs,” said 31 year old David Chadwick, founder of RealResponse, himself a former Division I basketball player at both Rice University and Valparaiso University. “We started this because we saw, and heard, the need to help the athletes speak, and to help coaches and administrators address issues safely and securely, and the response continues to speak loudly. We are thrilled to eclipse 100 partner institutions and welcome our recent members and look forward to additional news, partnerships and growth in the coming weeks.”
As a result, their pioneering efforts were recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal this month as one of the “Fifty Most Innovative Companies in the Region.”
RealResponse added the following to get to the milestone number: Boston College, Campbell University, Appalachian State University, Cal State Northridge, UNC Asheville, and Arkansas State University.
“We are living in a very changing, dynamic time, for intercollegiate athletics and the world in general. Within our athletics department we challenge our coaches, staff, and even our student-athletes to question whether just because we have been doing something one way does not mean we need to keep doing it. Is there another better way? Or are we missing something? And that is where RealResponse came in,” said Janet Cone, Director of Athletics, UNC Asheville. “We wanted to give our student-athletes an easy to use and real time tool to provide us with critical information. We are now very confident that the anonymous aspect is going to allow us to gather more information. Instead of someone hesitating and trying to decide, ‘Should I go forward or not?’ They know they can send a message to us. And we now have some information that we did not know that can help us address concerns and issues.”
These were added to previous schools using the proprietary sports tech including from the Major Five Conferences (Wake Forest, the University of Maryland, Ole Miss, TCU) in addition to mid major schools (Army, Georgetown, Grand Canyon, and Liberty) and schools from Division II and III (Cal State Monterey Bay, Western New England, Bowdoin).
Three additional athletic directors, two from the Big 12 Conference, and in the ACC, commented about their overall satisfaction with RealResponse:
“RealResponse is used extensively by our Leadership Team, especially our Sport Administrators. The Survey Platform streamlined how we collect feedback and measure our student-athlete experiences, both internally and benchmarked against national trends,” added Jamie Pollard, Director of Athletics, Iowa State University. “The Real-Time Reporting has created an open and safe channel for our administration to stay responsive to student-athlete needs. Lastly, the Documentation Repository has allowed our team to centralize and manage important notes and communications in the daily execution of our departmental processes. It has truly become an essential part of our operations, and I would recommend RealResponse to any peer.
“RealResponse has been tremendous for Baylor University. Student-athletes can approach us anonymously and I can still communicate back, creating a safe environment while offering key resources such as Title IX, Equity, and Mental Health Services. Importantly, these conversations are automatically captured, and the documentation trail and timeline generated provide peace of mind to our department,” said Dawn Rogers, Deputy Director of Athletics, Baylor University
“Protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes and the integrity of the institution are paramount responsibilities for an Athletics Director. RealResponse is an invaluable tool to help identify student-athlete needs and concerns – and determine the right administrative response – before they escalate into a crisis,” added John Currie, Director of Athletics, Wake Forest University
RealResponse diversified from the collegiate space recently and are working together with organizations the likes of the NFLPA.
Also, National Governing Bodies such as USA Gymnastics, whose female athletes just left the Olympic Village at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for private accommodations at a hotel as the pandemic rages across Japan mostly due to the country’s low vaccination rate. The organization had 368 females involved in a sexual abuse case mostly done by USAG national team doctor, Larry Nassar. Had a system like that of RealResponse been in place, the sexually abused women may have have a neutral place to voice their allegations and be taken seriously. Without this type of solution, then President, Steve Penny, someone I have know since my college days, simply did not do his proper due diligence when first alerted to the crisis and appeared to not want to be a third-party reporting the incidents to authorities. On top of this gross misconduct by many in positions of authority throughout USAG that did little to nothing when told of the violations, the investigating FBI agents, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, lied and covered up the botched investigation. Improved checks and balances are needed to ensure this type of behavior never happens again.
Expect more corporations to non-profits to be part of an expansion announcement by RealResponse over the next several months.
Additional info can be found at RealResponse.
Sports Techie, often times is not necessary to reinvent the wheel which is why RealResponse also acts as a portal that highlights what is working and what is not, while providing a digital opportunity to offer tweaks and suggestions to existing protocols, questionnaires and follow-up procedures.
Thing is, as is the case with RealResponse, this particular wheel hadn’t been invented yet until 2015. In 2020, the company expanded their presence leading up to the 100.
Next up, might be the entire NCAA, ripe with issues ranging from the recent NIL ruling causing a wild, wild, west effect, to the amount of money the organization wastes or spends unfairly, or ongoing social issues they ignore, It may ultimately take a few reluctant whistleblowers to truly expose the depths of it all, as long as they feel safe with reporting the facts, and secure in the knowledge that something will be done to stop the possible madness.
Why not, RealResponse?
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