Since founding Sports Recruiting USA, Chris and his team initially used email as their primary channel of communication. Everything from communicating with coaches, players, and families to sending out reminders for events was done over email. While collecting email addresses was convenient, response times and open rates were abysmal.
From the first time a kid kicks a soccer ball, dreams of playing on a larger stage begin to fill their minds. For the few that choose to chase these dreams, being recruited to play college soccer is a monumental step on their road to glory. With over 750K high school soccer players in the United States alone, standing out to one of the 800 NCAA schools can be a daunting task. For those gifted athletes who live overseas, their dream of playing college soccer can seem nearly impossible. Being a former D1 college soccer player himself, Chris Cousins knew first hand the challenges these young athletes face. After growing up in the United Kingdom and starring on the Illinois men’s soccer team, he founded Sports Recruiting USA in 2010 to help guide young international soccer talent to schools in the United States. The services they provide include holding recruiting showcases, guiding and marketing young soccer players to colleges, and advising them and their families on their path to playing college soccer. Today, Sports Recruiting USA has a staff of over 90 former college coaches and players and work with 99% of college soccer programs in the United States. Overall, they have helped over 1000 athletes, from all over the world, receive over $10M in scholarships and achieve their goal of playing college soccer. With a track record of over a decade in the recruiting industry, Sports Recruiting USA has cemented themselves as the world’s leading college soccer recruiting agency.
The Struggle of Email
Since founding Sports Recruiting USA, Chris and his team initially used email as their primary channel of communication. Everything from communicating with coaches, players, and families to sending out reminders for events was done over email. While collecting email addresses was convenient, response times and open rates were abysmal. In the recruiting industry, where timing is everything, waiting hours or even days can be the difference between receiving a scholarship and getting passed over. Frankly, the players that get recruited the hardest are the ones that are able to build the strongest communicative relationship with interested schools. After years of settling, Chris and his team knew it was time to change the status quo by upgrading their communication channel.
The Power of Text
When searching for a solution, the Sports Recruiting USA team prioritized finding a platform that had robust features, dynamic filtering and segmentation, the ability to mass message, and one that had international capabilities to communicate with their global audience. With SuperPhone, they were able to check all these boxes. Since coming onboard in 2019, their entire communication strategy has shifted to text. Now, all contact with coaches, players, and recruiters is all done through text messaging. By promoting their number on social media, podcasts, their website, and through word of mouth, they have been able to grow their text list to over 1K contacts. Once a contact is added to their phone, they are then tagged and segmented to allow the Sports Recruiting USA team to streamline communication. Throughout the season, Sports Recruiting USA also holds exhibition soccer matches across the UK. This allows athletes looking to play at the next level to showcase their abilities in front of college recruiters from all over the world. Utilizing SuperPhone’s Keyword Response feature, a recruiter is able to gain information on any player they see by simply texting their jersey color and number. Once sent, they immediately receive a text back containing that player’s profile and highlights. By significantly cutting their communication time, Sports Recruiting USA has been able to place more athletes on college soccer teams than any other program in the world. With a brand built on connections and communication, text will be an essential part of their stack for the foreseeable future.
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