Who Are The Sports Techie Community?
THE Sports Techie community now numbers over 21,000 people worldwide plus a few cherished animals and friendly robots. As the founder and curator of this original sports technology venture and adventure, it is my pleasure to connect with each one of you via tech, social media and blogs. Sport, fitness and recreation are part of our core values but as many of you know or are finding out for the first time reading this blog but there are many other topics that help define our online culture such as sustainability, longevity and obesity, muscular dystrophy in honor of a set of twins from my hometown of Redmond with this disease I cared for, and autism because of my beautiful son whom is on the ASD. So who are the Sports Techie community followers and readers?
Sports Techie Community
Five and half years ago after working as the Moderator for the official New York Giants, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets) and HBO Entourage historical wiki’s and online communities, I launched this startup because of my lifelong sports tech career history and passion for the space but little did I know it was to become a $250 billion Industry making it a top five market in the world according to our mates down under at the Australian Sports Technologies Network.
It was back then I started blogging on WordPress and began our Twitter handle @SportsTechieNET with zero followers but nearly 90,000 tweets later and two FIFA World Cups, the community has grown steadily in numbers. Soon after came @THESportsTechie handle which gives me a personal voice. Next up were a Facebook fan page, LinkedIn group and Google+ user names. It was daunting to be the only group member on LinkedIn and Facebook at first but soon thereafter my family and friends began to support my vision. At first it was probably because they liked my determination but now, more than 21,000 human beings later, I like to believe it is because we all make a global difference together because sports tech is truly a global game-changer. My belief and the company mission is to even the playing field for everyone through sports tech.
Shout Out To Y’all
I want to thank my parents and brothers for their lifelong support. Thanks to the good folks of Bellingham where I attended elementary school from second to fifth grade and because of Facebook am back in contact with them. A shout goes out to the city of Redmond where I grew up down the street from Microsoft beginning in 1977 and attended high school, eventually coaching the lacrosse team a few years ago. My regards go out to my fellow Poets of Whittier College where I started in 1984 and finally graduated in 1995 making me the original “Old School” movie charter.
Much appreciation goes to my partner, Jessica Stone, thank you for believing in me. Having a child together is the best accomplishment of my life. We now all live in Atlanta, my second time living here. The first was back in 2001 when I worked for Dartfish, a sports tech company pioneer.
Born To Be THE Sports Techie
I was born a Peace Corp baby in East Lansing where my Father attending Michigan State University. Coach Roble married my Ecuadorian Mother, the best basketball player in Ecuador’s history. I grew up around Spartans athletics where my Dad recruited for the football team and put up the hoop at the community center Ervin “Magic” Johnson grew up playing basketball on. I was eight months old and attended the greatest college football game of all-time, the 10-10 tie with Notre Dame. The awesome stories I heard from Daddy about Jimmy Raye, Clinton Jones, and the Smith brothers, Bubba and Tody, stick with me for life.
My jobs have allowed to me make lifelong connections with fellow sports technologist’s and savvy business minds. My first real break was as a gopher for CBS Sports during the 1989 Final Four in Seattle. I was the assistant Director Operations for the LA Summer Pro League in 1994 and met my all-time idol Magic Johnson and told him in person that my Dad got our family nose bleed tickets to see MSU play in 1978 down in Portland.
The following year I was a basketball agent before the movie “Jerry Maquire” came out in 1997 and placed two players with the Los Angeles Lakers training camp thanks to then Head Coach Del Harris and present General Manger, Mitch Kupchak. The ironic thing is the movie character was based on super-agent Leigh Steinberg, a friend and connection on social media now thanks to Sports Techie.
My first real sports tech break happened twenty years ago upon my return to Seattle in 1995 when thanks to family friend and long-time Seahawks Vice President of Communications, Gary Wright, I secured work for the “Our Team Works” stadium Referendum 48 campaign team (now Century Link Field) for Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen.
After that stint ended, I looked in the Kirkland phone book white pages and found a company named Sports 2000 and cold called the owner, Colonel James Thomes. He hired me on the spot at Seahawks HQ to be their Director of Sales for a revolutionary football sports tech product called the GridIron 2000 developed from Gulf War I U.S. military software. The GI2000 was an expert game planning system that ran on Windows 95. Back then the NFL was mostly MAC users but I did my best with no marketing money to convert the entire league as well as NCAA college football staffs and high school programs to our expert system because it was ahead of its time in terms of the use of video, statistics and analytics.
I sold a single site license to the Buffalo Bills and am now connected to their former video coordinator Henry Knuttu on social media two decades later. I maintained the seat license coach Jim Zorn used at the Detroit Lions and coach Clarence Shelmon used at the Dallas Cowboys. The multiple seat licenses I sold to the University of Washington football program for $12,000 to Head Coach Jim Lambright’s staff and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan (current Cowboys offensive coordinator), “was a miracle,” according to Colonel Thomes because he had moved to Indiana to work with the Indianapolis Colts and their new draft choice Peyton Manning, thanks to highly respected offensive line coach, Howard Mudd. I supported the Seahawks coaching staff and IT department for the season by myself which ended when Vinny Testaverde scored the NY Jets “Phantom Touchdown” ending Coach Dennis Erickson’s coaching tenure in Seattle in 1998. This play is perhaps the primary reason video instant replay was brought back to the NFL.
Along the way there have been many sport technology work opportunities. One of my favorites was working with Dr. Bob Ward on a couple of sports technology ventures. He was Head Coach Tom Landry’s strength and conditioning coach and the person behind the scenes that helped the Cowboys and the NFL enter a new era of football because of their emphasis on metrics during the 1970’s.
No question though, writing blogs for Sports Techie has been outstanding in terms of meeting like-minded people with a passion for sport tech and what technologies they create. I have written hundreds of blogs and stories about sports tech, interviewed founders, CEO and IT executives about their endeavors and learned a great deal along the way in order to share the experiences with the Sports Techie community.
In 2012, I was selected to be an official blogger for the Global Sports Forum Barcelona. What a marvelous event it was. The experts, athletes and celebrities I met are cherished lifetime memories during my first visit ever to Europe. I stay in touch with new friends I made in Spain via social media networks.
Just this year I have written about unique eSports, wearables and smart devices, the All Blacks rugby team and the digital fan experience. I was honored to be present at the College Football Hall of Fame opening last year here in Georgia. I currently write for SportsBlog and Ticketing Today and am an affiliate for adidas and Spartan Race, in addition to being a former iQ by Intel and NASCAR contributor.
What’s around the corner beyond 2015? How about virtual reality sports like the Star Trek holodeck, races in space or on other planets like in Star Wars and competitions between stadium venues across the globe to name a few. In terms of business, look for more sports tech tools such as NFL Next Gen STATS that are sponsorable, increased game enhancements for athletes and brand new sports driven by technology.
Next Business Steps
Nearly 22,000 Sports Techies later, here we are. I have been yearning to raise some capital and create my own sports tech products, solutions and systems so look for a crowdfunding campaign to launch sooner than later, thanks in advance for your support. It may be a unique wearable tech, a useful app or I might finally open up the online store I have always wanted to make so in order to sell and market sports technology assets for the benefit of you all, or even do all three.
Ideally, these projects will make a difference for the world and fellow human beings, animals and robots because that is what Sports Techie is all about.
Sports Techie, one thing for certain, you cannot grow a web based community by yourself so I wish to thank those behind-the-scenes for helping me. Your dedication to assisting me with achieving my career lifetime dream is more than words can express, I am forever grateful.
Our next future milestone is to grow to 100,000 and beyond with a diverse demographic mix made up of senior citizens, adults and Generation X, Millennial and my son’s Generation Z. Perhaps your dog, cat or horse will have a voice by then and can join in the fun too. Robot coaches, fitness partners and rehab companions are also welcome.
Please be sure to continue engaging with me over any of our social network links below.
Thanks once again to each of you for being a pioneering Sports Techie community member.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
Sports Techie Social Media Networks
Sports Techie SportsBlog.com: http://www.sportsblog.com/profile/SportsTechie
Sports Techie Skyword: http://robertroble.skyword.com/
Sports Techie Skype: sportstechie
Sports Techie Twitter: @SportsTechieNET: http://twitter.com/SportsTechieNET
THE #SportsTechie Twitter: @THESportsTechie: https://twitter.com/THESportsTechie
Sports Techie Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/SportsTechie
Sports Techie YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/sportstechie
Sports Techie Google+: http://gplus.to/SportsTechie
Sports Techie Google+ Community: https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103708211458464405078
Sports Techie (Robert Roble) Google+: https://plus.google.com/+RobertRoble
Sports Techie LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sports-Techie-2958439
Sports Techie LinkedIn (Robert Roble): https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertroble
Sports Techie Instagram: http://instagram.com/sportstechie
Sports Techie Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/SportsTechie/
Sports Techie Moby Picture: http://www.mobypicture.com/user/sportstechieNET
Sports Techie Myspace (Bob Roble): http://www.myspace.com/549000677
Sports Techie Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/86791607@N04/
Sports Techie Vine: https://vine.co/u/906354614369136640
Sports Techie Quora: https://www.quora.com/Bob-Roble
Sports Techie Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user36773456
Sports Techie FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/sportstechienet
Sports Techie Guy: https://twitter.com/sportstechieguy