UCD tech spin-out Output Sports eyes expansion into international soccer market

Posted 20 August, 2021

Julian Eberle, Dr Martin O’Reilly and Dr Darragh Whelan, co-founders, Output Sports. Credit: Damien Eagers

 

Output Sports, a University College Dublin technology spin-out, is planning a €3 million funding round to fuel a significantly expansion into the professional soccer markets of Europe, the UK and the USA.

The company already has a strong client base in several sports including, baseball, basketball, GAA, rugby and soccer, at professional and elite levels, based on its single matchbox sized wearable sensor that allows athletes to optimise their performance.

Over 40,000 exercise reps (in exercises focused on power, strength/ endurance, stability, and balance) per month have been captured by Output // Capture – an end-to-end system developed by the UCD spin-out that tests and tracks multiple components of athletic performance and training programmes.

Since launching last February Output Sports has gained a significant number of professional soccer teams and organisations as clients including, English Premier League clubs Burnley FC, Norwich City FC, and Watford FC; and Spanish La Liga club, Cádiz CF; and Major League Soccer clubs, FC Cincinnati and Colorado Rapids in the USA.

"In our first year since launching Output, we are delighted to have onboarded several exciting soccer clubs from around the world as clients,” said Dr Martin O’Reilly, CEO and co-founder, Output Sports.

“We see the global soccer market, from elite to grassroots levels, as an area Output can bring huge value in terms of understanding and optimising athletes’ performance in the years ahead.”

Output // Capture uses advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques to give athletic staff a full understand of an athletes’ performance.

Phil Pomeroy, head physiotherapist, Burnley FC’s first team said the technology had allowed the club to measure metrics with “far more granularity than ever previously possible without more expensive or cumbersome equipment.”

“As a club we are always looking for new ways of improving players and mitigating potential injury risks. To help with this we collect baseline values on a range of different metrics including power, speed, mobility, and balance. It is key that this data is reliable and valid in order to ensure decisions around player welfare can be made with confidence,” he said.

“We were initially drawn to Output by their ability to accurately measure a wide variety of performance metrics in a portable and user centric system.

“We’ve found the Output team great to deal with. They’re always looking for methods of improving their system and understand the importance in practitioner input to help with the same and have been very responsive in adding any new features we’ve requested.”

Headquartered at NovaUCD, and co-founded in 2018 by Dr Martin O'Reilly, Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Professor Brian Caulfield as a spin-out from the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, Output Sport has to date raised €1.3m in a seed funding led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund.

The other investors include Elkstone Partners, Enterprise Ireland, and angel investors, John Hearne, co-founder and former CEO of Curám Software along with Leinster Rugby players, Adam Byrne and Dan Leavy.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)