Below is an excerpt of the feature on Finnerty in Authority Magazine. To read the full interview click here.
New technologies have changed the way we engage in and watch sports. In this interview series called, “The Future of Sports; New Emerging Technologies That Are Disrupting The World Of Sports,” we are talking to sports leaders, athletes, sports tech experts, and sports equipment companies who can talk about the new technologies that are reshaping the sports world.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Following my professional soccer career, where I played goalkeeper for the Detroit Rockers of the MISL, I applied many of my athletic qualities such as vision, work ethic, constant learning, and team building to other endeavors. I was founding partner and CEO of ProtectCELL, a $125 million mobile device insurance company. I was also a founding partner of a large sports training facility, High Velocity Sports Center, which I still run today. In addition to my role as CEO of V1 Sports, I am chief giving officer of Opportunity Seed Capital, where I seek ways to leverage time, treasure, and talent for community benefit. The common thread through all of my roles in both business and charitable endeavors is a passion for sports and bringing people together, as well as a strong commitment to giving back to the local community.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Meeting Michael Jordan to ask him to invest in V1 Sports would have to be one of the biggest highlights of my career. He immediately recognized our vision, and his Golf Technology Fund, Black Cat Ventures, was in full support our strategic growth plan. Now that he is an investor in V1, it makes it even that much more incredible to me that I have the opportunity to meet and talk with him to discuss the business going forward.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me” — John C Maxwell
Whether it’s as a friend, father, husband, CEO, Founder, Investor, etc., I have always firmly believed that if I can’t lead myself then how could I possibly lead others? This one principle is absolutely bedrock for me when it comes to my drive to be a continuous learner with the desire to get better every day. From there my hope is that with a “full cup” I can positively spill over into others’ lives.
Can you tell us about the sports technologies that most excite you at the moment? Can you explain why you are passionate about it?
Ground pressure and Vision AI
V1 Sports delivers leading video and ground pressure analysis, game and stat tracking technology for coaches and athletes in golf and baseball. A growing trend in sports today is the study of ground force, and the integration of V1’s portable pressure mats offer a solution to capture data on athlete’s interaction with the ground. These measurements sync with high-speed video and proprietary software to create a powerful combination of motion and ground force analysis, enabling coaches to more accurately evaluate and assess athlete movements, then provide immediate feedback to help improve performance.
Our golf technology suite has been validated by consistent usage from the most accomplished PGA Professionals, PGA TOUR players, teachers and golfers of all levels over the past 25 years. Now, we’ve adapted our technology to baseball, and this partnership with the Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center represents a true innovation for the sport.
The evolution of this technology is a performance gamechanger for athletes and coaches. In fact, Chad Miller, Founder, Louisville Slugger Hitting Science Center recently informed us that V1 Sports technology is exponentially expediting his ability to assess, evaluate and help fix hitting, pitching, and fielding mechanics of baseball and softball players.
How do you think this might change the world of sports?
As we introduce new ways of learning (visual, tactile, kinesthetic) without having to put a device on your body or equipment — in other words, just go play — the ability to learn will happen quicker which in turn leads to more enjoyment of a certain activity of sport. The more enjoyment, the more fun, the more participation. More participation means that the world is impacted with better equipped future leaders!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Democratize the cost and access to sports so all kids around the world, wherever they are could play. Sports is the greatest teacher in life (IMO) and if more kids were playing without the financial and logistical pressures that currently exist; more lives would be impacted for good, more leaders would be growing and more lives would be changing for the better regardless of race, religion, sex or socioeconomic position.
Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success on your great work!