Sports tracking startup Dashtag wants to motivate kids to play football

Sports tracking startup Dashtag wants to motivate kids to play football

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Professional football players are equipped with the latest technology to track their performances during the match. The founders of sports tracking platform Dashtag thought it was about time to bring a similar technology to young amateur players. The startup has just announced it will receive an investment of €250.000, partly from a private investor and partly the result of a successful Leapfunder campaign.

Just like the pro’s do!

Dashtag offers a platform on which amateur football players can track their sports improvement. A tiny chip that the players wear during their trainings measures real-life data, such as distance, speed, and ball possession. An easy and relatively cheap way to track performance, just like professional football players do.

Team work

Dashtag co-founder Dirk van den Berg explains what is unique about Dashtag: “Whereas most sport trackers are designed for individual sports, Dashtag specifically focuses on team sports. This makes it possible to analyze the performance of the team as a whole, and not only the personal progress of individual players”. In professional football, all players are being tracked and their results analyzed. Dashtag aims to make something similar possible for amateur footballers.

Beta Test

Part of the investment will be used to extend the network. Dashtag is especially interested in the United States, where the technology of sports tracking is already far more developed than here. “The Americans are already very used to measuring their performances”. Dashtag hopes to introduce their idea firstly in Europe, and afterwards to the United States. The startup hopes to launch the chip in the Netherlands in March 2017. At the moment, Dashtag is doing a beta test in which 200 young players try out the platform. With this test they aim to map out the exact needs and wishes of the potential users.

Perfect for Generation Z

The Dashtag chip can be directly purchased by the player. The primary audience is football youth in the ages between 12 and 20 years old, the so-called “generation Z”. Van den Berg believes this audience in particular to be suitable for the platform: “This generation is surrounded by technology all the time. They are used to getting direct instant information. Dashtag gives them a statistical overview of their performance directly after training.”

Pressure to perform

We nowadays live in a highly competitive society in which young people in particular experience more and more pressure to be good in everything they do. Isn’t sport tracking just another way of putting pressure on the kids? Van den Berg emphasizes that this is certainly not the aim of the platform. He explains the background of the concept: “Football didn’t change, but the world surrounding it, did. Nowadays, many young people sit at home and play with computers. Dashtag connects to the daily reality of these young people. Dashtag is not designed in order to measure who is the best player and who is the worst. It is designed to get the children back to the sports field. Fun and motivation are the crucial factors. Our dream is to get the teenagers back to the football field.”

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