In February, Nebraska-based Agile Sports announced a partnership with CBS’s MaxPreps to expand marketing of its Hudl program to high school sports departments. Having begun in 2006 with the University of Nebraska Husker football team, Hudl has grown to a service for college, professional, and high school sports ranging from football to basketball, volleyball, rowing, and even Ultimate Frisbee.
According to Agile Sports COO John Wurtz, Hudl “is giving new access to coaches and players.” The server-based system allows recording of game video that can be edited, notated, and made accessible to players, coaches, and even recruiters.
“We do all the heavy lifting for the teams,” he explains. “We keep everything secure, allow them to set up as many accounts as they want for their players and coaches so they can access the video and data from anywhere.”
He expects the partnership with MaxPreps to further expand Hudl’s growth in the high school marketplace. “We’re relatively new, and we’re growing,” he says. “Having MaxPreps help spread the word and get the brand out there is a huge benefit to us.
“Now that we are integrated with MaxPreps,” he continues, “as players build their highlight videos on Hudl, those videos will automatically show up on the MaxPreps athlete page and their MaxPreps team page. They literally just star the clip on Hudl, and Hudl will automatically get those on MaxPreps so they can share those with a broader audience.”
The Unionville Sports Council in Chester County, PA, recently introduced the Hudl program for Unionville High School. In an article in the Kennett Paper there, head football coach Pat Clark says, “The best feature of Hudl is that you can get access from any computer. Coaches don’t have to worry about burning DVDs and getting film to assistants who work outside of the district. The coaches will need to review the films and analyze them in order to prepare reports, but the time spent upfront will result in time savings later.”
Wurtz agrees that “DVDs are problematic on a lot of levels. They are totally insecure. When you hand them out, you have no idea where they went.” And, he adds, “coaches have no idea which players are watching.”
With Hudl, coaches can track who has logged in and how much time was spent watching films. The system also allows contributions to videos and notes. New tools “give the coach totally new workflows,” he says. “The coaches are able to add their voice, telestrations, and text at any moment in the video.”
Players are also taking advantage of the system. “We’re always hearing about players digging into the system,” he says. “A couple of teams have told us one of the things they love about Hudl is, their top linebacker or quarterback was in the system making his own notes and telestrations and sharing out [to teammates].”
Hudl also allows players to build individual videos that can be made available to recruiters. At the same time, recruiters can browse Hudl for highlights.
Hudl is available in two versions. Hudl Pro, which serves NFL and Division I college programs, is “our heavyweight system,” says Wurtz. A fully installed system with servers, it resides at a team’s or athletic department’s facility. Hudl, which is oriented to all sports “from Division II down to Pop Warner,” is hosted by Agile Sports.
For Wurtz, one important benefit for college and high school athletic programs is that Hudl can be used by a variety of sports: “It’s the first time that athletic directors can go out and find a system they can purchase for the whole athletic department; their track and field coach can use it, their wrestling coach can use it.”