Huddersfield-based Pro Sport Support aims to create individualised athletic development for young football players, with its ultimate goal to produce better, young athletes. “It is impossible to become a very good technical footballer without obtaining excellent, core movement skills,” says the company, which has worked with more than 3,000 young players from more than 20 professional football clubs over the last three years.
Identify and assess IP
The foundation of Pro Sport Support’s knowledge has been gained from testing, analysing and training young players. Having been introduced to the company, the Enterprise Europe Network team quickly identified that Pro Sport needed support to identify and assess the intellectual property (IP) within their product.
Working with Kieran Perkins, an innovation specialist on the Innovate2Succeed programme, Pro Sport Support got an IP Audit on their AMAT Performance product. AMAT is a motion capture system based on infrared camera technology and is used for the quick and easy assessment of the movement quality of athletes. The system is already in use in the UK in football academies and has been very successful.
The IP Audit made it clear that Pro Sport had potential to scale; it was important to understand how to protect its product and fully access opportunities for commercialisation. In particular, Pro Sport wanted to scale up its manufacturing. They looked to China for potential partners. Here the Enterprise Europe Network was able to assist them further.
Finding a partner in China
The EEN partnership programme allowed them to explore different manufacturers and distributors within China to develop the AMAT. Enterprise Europe Network adviser Leo Donato was able to introduce them to a company called The Good Family (also known as Shenzhen Family Enterprise Co. Ltd), and after a process of negotiations, the two companies agreed on a co-operation strategy.
Under licence from Pro Sport Support, the Good Family will manufacture and distribute the Pro Sport Support developed AMAT system in China, which will be sold from April 2018 to Chinese sport teams and associations, schools, sport centres and gyms.
“This has been the most amazing experience of my career,” says Leo Donato, Enterprise Europe Network Team Leader. “Helping a small company like Pro Sport Support agree a deal of this magnitude has been an amazing achievement for the Enterprise Europe Network team.”
“This opens up unthinkable opportunities for us over the next five years,” says Guy Parkin, Managing Director at Pro Sport Support. “In China the sport sector is booming and being at the forefront of that for us is a great achievement. I would like to thank Enterprise Europe Network team who played a crucial role in making this happen.”
This opens up unthinkable opportunities for us over the next five years