The Story of PlayOn! Sports
How a team of experienced media professionals and a group of Atlanta investors came together to build the nation's largest high school sports media and technology company.
Bringing The Idea To Life
Have you ever wanted to watch a sporting event that wasn't being televised? Well, that's exactly what happened to now PlayOn! CEO, David Rudolph. This inspired Rudolph to start a project that would produce and distribute untelevised live sports. The idea came to life during the first ever broadcast of a Georgia Tech vs. Florida Atlantic baseball game in 2005.
Launching The First School Broadcast Program
In September, PlayOn! launched the first School Broadcast Program pilot with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA.) This relationship was the first of 50 + relationships with state associations, covering 90% of the high school market.
In 2013, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approached PlayOn! about creating a joint venture that combined the sports media and related rights of the state high school athletic associations. So in August of 2013, the NFHS Network was born!
Launching the Consumer
After joining forces with the NFHS, the NFHS Network launched a direct to consumer subscription service that streams high school sporting events. Subscribers can watch unlimited high school sporting events with a monthly or annual subscription to the NFHS Network.
Introducing The Pixellot
PlayOn! quickly learned that the key to unlocking the full potential of the high school market is accelerated growth in the number of events produced by schools. The automated technology of the Pixellot cameras solved all the key challenges of manual production and allowed for more exposure for schools.
Expanding The Experience
To Mobile And TV Apps
In 2019, the NFHS Network expanded the ways consumers could watch high school sporting events with the launch of the NFHS Network App for smartphone and tablet. Then even more options were added once the NFHS Network went live on Apple TV, FireTV, Roku, and Google TV. With these options, viewers can stay connected by watching at home or on the go!
During The Pandemic
In 2020, as more people were unable to attend events in person, the NFHS Network was able to provide more ways to view high school sporting events. During this time, schools were given two pixellot cameras for free. The NFHS Network saw substantial growth during this period and gave back over 8 million dollars through the high school support program.
"It’s never as bad as it feels or as good as it seems. For me, the emotional ups and downs of starting a company have been much harder than anything else."
KKR Makes An Investment
In PlayOn! Sports
In February of 2022, KKR makes a significant investment with the goal of helping support the company's growth as it continues to focus on building exceptional products and experiences.
GoFan Joins PlayOn! Sports
In May of 2022, GoFan joins PlayOn! Sports - this merger brings together two mission-oriented teams with a shared vision of elevating the event experience for high school administrators, coaches and fans.
"On behalf of the entire GoFan team, we’re excited to build something special together. It’s incredible to think what both teams have accomplished the past several years, but fully believe the best is yet to come as we integrate."