Plutus Sports Analytics
Betting on the odds: Founding N.L.’s first sports analytics company
In February 2020, Brandon Loveless, Andrew Greek and Joel Hatcher sat bickering about their favourite sports teams in the engineering building at Memorial University.
The fourth-year process engineering students had become fast friends since meeting in their first year, fuelled by their common interest in process engineering – and sports.
This time, however, they had more than last night’s scores on their minds.
Instead, they focused on what those scores would look like in the future, and how they could calculate the odds to create more accurate predictions of team performance. For an amateur sports bettor, this information would be useful in deciding where to place their bets. The trio knew they had a profitable business idea on their hands and, within a month, Plutus Sports Analytics was created.
Sports analytics applies data analysis techniques to analyze components of the sports industry, such as player health or team performance. For sports bettors, using data analysis to predict how teams will perform allows them to make more informed decisions when placing their bets. While most bookkeepers use past performance as a predictor of future odds, Plutus Sports Analytics uses models that take into account several years of past statistics and project the direction the numbers are trending to create a more predictive model.
This past March, the trio applied for Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship’s (MCE) $500 Spark Fund and began setting up their software and website. They received the funding, but had one hurdle left to clear: the day they planned on launching, Covid-19 shut down the sports world.
Undeterred, the co-founders took advantage of the setback and used the extra time to prepare. Over the summer, Mr. Loveless participated in an entrepreneurial work term with the MCE, which allowed him to work on Plutus Sports Analytics full-time while receiving mentorship and a $4,500 bursary.
When asked what advice he would give to students interested in taking the leap into entrepreneurship, he responded:
“Don’t be afraid to take chances and ask questions. The Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship is a fantastic resource.”
They began building their clientele by speaking with potential customers and recruiting ambassadors who helped them advertise across North America.
“I made it a point to speak to over 20 people each week during my work term, both potential and current customers,” added Mr. Loveless.
On July 23, 2020, the opening day of Major League Baseball, Plutus Sports Analytics had clients ready to go. They’ve been in operation ever since.
For now, the guys are back in school. While they’re still regularly creating predictions for their customers, the co-founders have future plans to expand the service in different sports leagues such as the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association.
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To learn more about MCE’s early-stage programming, startup coaching or funding visit www.mun.ca/mce/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information about our entrepreneurial work terms here and apply for the Spark Fund here.