Serving more than one million current and former athletes across the country, Athlete Network provides an online community and engagement platform where athletes can advance their careers through internships, career coaching, new jobs, networking and exclusive athlete-to-athlete content.
To reach their goal of engaging with 5 million athletes, Athlete Network realized it needed a solution for building customized networks for a specific group (e.g., a team, sport or league) that was less costly and time-consuming than the current model.
These “Branded Networks” enable custom branding, unique landing pages, configurable features, segregated membership and tools to onboard bulk quantities of new members. The company wanted to reduce the creation time from around 1,000 hours to just 60 hours each.
The new solution also needed to adapt to the unique needs of different customers and include a variety of new capabilities—all without disrupting the current platform serving the existing client base.
After a search that included other Kansas City development firms, Athlete Network selected 27Global to develop a platform that would cut the time to create new networks. The 27Global team spent six months on the initial build with many meetings and checkpoints along the way.
“27Global is unique,” said Brian Corn, CTO of Athlete Network. “They have a strong local presence with a deep technical background. Their in-house architects were critical in building a solid foundation for our technology.”
27Global created a new tech stack that included a .Net Core back end, an AngularJS front end and a MySQL database, blending it with the existing stack. It also introduced a new technology called the Recommendation Engine to Athlete Network that boosted the platform’s performance—based on an object graph database called Neo4j. The database allows Athlete Network’s clients to deliver weighted content recommendations to their end users, creating a more tailored experience for the athletes.
At the conclusion of the eight-month development process, 27Global delivered a modern architecture that drastically cut Athlete Network’s development time to spin up a new network for a client from more than 1,000 hours to now just two hours.
The new technology solution now allows higher-education athletic departments to enhance the student-athlete experience and create lifelong relationships by organizing and centralizing services, providing tracking and reporting in a user-friendly dashboard and by driving meaningful engagement and services for former athletes.
Additionally, the platform has increased sales and allowed the business to be more scalable. Plus, the containerized architecture lowers the risk during deployments, leaving the Athlete Network team assured that only the intended code will change.
“This is the foundation to be able to scale our business,” said Chris Smith, CEO of Athlete Network. “Our pipeline continues to build, and we are truly excited about the future.”