What is OTM?

1. What is OTM Sports?

The OTM (On the Market) Sports Network brings the collaborative power of a social networking platform to the elite hockey industry for FREE. OTM connects the global hockey community and facilitates communications and interactions among players, coaching staff, management, scouts, agents, athletic trainers, equipment managers, skill coaches, goalie coaches and teams all over the world.

OTM technology is changing the way hockey professionals conduct day-to-day business by enabling all parties to access each other and the information necessary to make informed professional decisions.

2. How does technology play an important role in the life of an athlete? 

Regrettably, I don’t believe that technology is currently playing enough of a role in the life of today’s athletes.  Through technology most industries and cultures have pressed towards globalization, by opening channels of information and communication.  Although athletes use social networking technology in their everyday lives, unfortunately up until now there hasn’t been a platform for them to advance careers, share and stay connected.

The technology developed by OTM provides athletes with a platform to:

  • Easily identify and seize opportunities aligned with career goals.
  • Speak with peers and colleagues through our Discussion Boards and internal private messaging services.
  • Find additional employment opportunities, as well as detailed profile search engines to network within their sport on a global scale.
  • OTM has also sourced resources needed to help our OTM members with life during and after sports. This will include educational, finical, personal fitness, nutrition, skating coaches & training or any other resources needed including mental health& substance abuse. Though we are not facilitating the help directly, we want to help connect our members with professionals that can help them with personal needs.

Technology should play a significant role in the life of athletes, and through OTM it can.

3. Why should the sports industry adopt this new product? 

I’m glad you asked, because OTM isn’t merely a platform for athletes; it was created to service the entire industry. Most people who have been involved in the industry long enough would agree that “who you know” can make the difference in being successful or not; whether you’re a manager, coach or athlete. The problem with this old-school approach is that it limits coaches and management to word of mouth recruiting; leveraging only their own internal networks when trying to construct championship teams. Think about it: the job of a professional coach is to find the best players available.  Traditional methods (i.e. word of mouth, free agent clinics, agents, etc.), do not allow them to access the full range of potential talent that is available; the problem is systemic. In my opinion those who try to build championship teams using the traditional philosophy are not doing their jobs effectively – but up until now they haven’t had any other way. I think it’s important to include that we offer current professional Management, Coaches, Agents and Scouts free profiles at OTM.  We offer them free membership because we want to eliminate any barriers to their participation. Consequently through Management, Coaches, Agents and Scouts involvement we can assure players that their profiles are being seen.

OTM has developed a means for the entire industry to communicate and share information. Management, Coaching staff, Agents, Scouts, Athletic Trainers, Equipment Managers, Skill Coaches and Goalie Coaches have the ability to:

  • Access unprecedented visibility into the talent pool, to improve their teams.
  • More efficiently and economically build competitive franchises.
  • Be connected to information and resources, in regards to all aspects of the industry.

The world is advancing, using technology as a means to improve in virtually every industry; sport needs to conform.

4. What can an athlete hope to expect from this? 

OTM is a game changer! There is nothing out there that comes close to what we have to offer athletes. We are the first and only social networking site that has everything they need to be able to network and advance their careers. Professionals, who have been exposed to the challenges of the old-school method, recognize quickly how OTM can help direct and achieve their career goals. For those just entering the professional market, struggling with the decision to depend on word of mouth and their own network or to pay a large fee that offers no guarantees from representation, OTM will connect them to same opportunities that seasoned veteran have.

OTM Sports was developed with the support of past and present athletes from various leagues, focusing on ways to overcome the challenges they face in pursuing a career in sport. The features and tools available to our members will allow them to network and expand their career like never before.

  • Athletes will have an open platform to build their own profile pages, similar to other major social networking platforms, with features that include automation of their career statistics, highlights, etc. through a partnership developed with Elite Prospects – the largest hockey database in the world.  Linking their personal social media pages (i.e. Instagram, Twitter, etc.) is another feather that can be included in athletes profiles, to leverage additional exposure.
  • The ability to upload their hockey resumes as well as work resumes. Athletes can be references for each other, as well as have the ability to solicit references from past management or coaches.
  • Our members have access to personal financial advisors, assistants in perusing or continuing online degrees with accredited colleges and universities, professional on and off ice trainers, as well as resources for mental health & substance abuse programs. To help OTM members find work in their offseason or in between contracts, we have opened our database to employers whom specifically seek athletes for work.
  • Our Discussion Boards create a way for the athletes to share information.  Deciding to sign with a team is a major decision, and typically one that players do blindly, without any idea what to expect.  Coaches, management and agents will do their best to describe the culture of their team, but speaking to current and past players will give OTM athlete’s insight like no one else can provide.  “What’s the coach like”, “What’s the team and city like”, “Do we actually get everything that is being promised?”.  Who best to answer these questions than players past or current? Send direct messages to past or present players of a particular team or league, or search the Discussion Board for conversations on topics of choice.

This is a feature that I am most proud of because for the first time athletes will have the ability to educate each other on virtually everything in their sport. Their opinion of teams they played for… their experiences with coaches, countries they’ve lived in, agents & scouts they have worked with… did they get paid on time?, does they team take care of them?… and so on. Our members get real time information to allow them to make informed decision.

Our team consists of past and present professional from all levels of sport around the globe, we’ve thought of everything! OTM is the only company out there that offers this all in one social networking site for the sporting industry absolutely FREE.

5. Who is your main target for this, just players?

As I mentioned in a previous question, OTM Sports Management was designed to service the entire industry.

  • Owners & GMs will now have the tools to do everything on one site. Finding the right coach or replacement at anytime, network globally with other Owners & GMs, post and view job openings for their sports teams.
  • We are a Coach’s dream! A free site for them to find every available free agent worldwide. Search our player database to keep track of players, also be able to view our live transaction page so they can here it right from the source when the player becomes available. When players have been waived or unsigned the coaches with be able to pounce right away on their next big signing before it’s even posted anywhere online.
  • The job of an Agent or Scout is now easier than ever before. As members they will have a pool of players to choose from. Detailed information and references needed to place players to desired teams is available.
  • Male & Female Athletes can become OTM members. OTM has developed unique platforms to meet the specific needs of male and female athletes. Basically, we designed separate platforms for males and females, in order to best meet the need of each specific athlete.

6. How did you come up with this idea? How long did it take before you could implement it? 

When I share the vision of OTM Sports with someone new, typically the first thing they say is “Wow! That is an amazing idea.”.. it’s usually followed by, “How did you come up with the idea?”.

When I sit back and think over my hockey career it became apparent that every opportunity I have, country I visited or team I was a part of was because I knew the right person or paid the right agent to get me there – I can’t help but to consider that a problem. Why is it fair that I got these opportunities over other qualified athletes? Just because I knew the right person or had the money to pay an agent doesn’t mean I was necessary the best person for the job. Though I am very grateful for the opportunities that I experienced, this is something that needs to change.

After spending time in different leagues around the world I quickly came to realize there were a lot of other problems with the business side of professional sports. This is when the light bulb went off. Through the experiences and people I interacted with over the years I began to start putting together a business plan on how we can help improve the game and hold everyone in the industry accountable.

Not only will OTM help improve the game but it will provide all members with equal opportunities.

7. Where do you see OTM Sports in 5 years from now?

In five years from now we will be known as the premier social networking site for everyone in the elite sporting indusrty.  By then we will have expanded the OTM platform into other major sports around the world.

We have come so far since the idea came to me to create OTM Sports… I am excited for all that we have accomplished so far, and am even more excited for what the future holds ahead.

 

Q&A provided by: Ashley March @MarchHockey