This new application wants to be the Airbnb of sport
Casey Trujeque remembers exactly where he was when the idea for Sports Source, a new iOS-only app that aims to connect athletes, coaches and more to gyms and sports facilities, came to his mind. He was at home in Portland. He was on his bed. And he was crying.
Trujeque, a former Montana State University Division I athlete and trainer (having even trained trailblazer Allen Crabbe), was at a crossroads. His old gymnasium was not functioning very well. He seemed to have a constant need for upkeep, and Trujeque admits he just didn’t know the ins and outs of running a brick and mortar gym like he thought he would. “I was naive,” he says.
“I thought, since I was a well-known trainer, that the clients would come, the business would be good, that I would own this gym and the numbers would add up. And I quickly realized that managing a brick and mortar is very different from training because you have to wear so many different hats, ”said Trujeque.
The gym therefore did not work as he had expected. And one fateful day in January 2019, he found himself crying on his bed, asking his sister for advice on what to do about it. She told him to put his gym on Peerspace, a peer-to-peer marketplace for events and meetings. Unfortunately, a sports facility did not quite correspond to the philosophy of Peerspace.
“I was so angry at the time. [I was like,] ‘That’s not what I want. I need something that targets my audience, that gives access to parents, coaches, coaches, athletes. Where am I going to find this? And then I was like, ‘That’s it. I’ll just create it.
Two years later, Sports Source, which Trujeque co-founded with COO Molly Kline, finally gives up. Its mission: to provide access and convenience to the rental of sports halls and public or private sports equipment. By allowing facility owners and operators to host their space (courts, fields, pools, backyards, garages, etc.) through the Sports Source app, users can rent spaces in their region, filtering the types activity and size.
Even as a professional trainer, Trujeque says finding a gym on the road can be a grueling experience, often relegated to word of mouth rather than a reliable search engine result.
“It was basically such an archaic way of doing things. I had the impression that with sport and the rental of gym spaces, we were living in a totally different era ”, said Trujeque. “Just with the way the world is today, you can do it all with the click of a button. You can rent a house, you can rent a car, you can have food delivered. You can do everything else except rent and find a sports venue.
After a beta test phase with 25 spaces in the Portland area, Sports Source plans to expand the deployment internationally. Trujeque says the pandemic has caused more people to prioritize their mental health and training. The biggest and most recognizable gyms weren’t where people congregated anymore, and instead, “They were the basketball courts the athletes trained in. These were the backyard pools. It was the garages. The pandemic has given way, I think, to Sports Source because now people are much more open to different ways of training or different ways of playing. “
A lot has happened in those two years after Trujeque lost his gym. Not only did the pandemic slow down Sport Source’s initial schedule, but Trujeque returned to his hometown of Los Angeles and ended up finding a job at Equinox, where he had his first job as a teenager. This time around, he applied to become a Floor Manager. His time there, treated as “less than,” sowed the seeds of what would become Sports Source’s philosophy: service.
“I just remember going to the interview and the hiring manager said to me, ‘Why are you doing this? »…. And I was just in the place where I didn’t want to be known for anything or for the accomplishments that I had made. I just wanted to be of service to people, ”says Trujeque. “I just thought the next time I did something it would be from scratch. We would have a bottom-up approach.