On the surface, the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s special announcement Tuesday morning looked like an invitation for open skepticism.
It was billed in advance as the relocation to Colorado Springs of a “new company that is within our sports economy sector.” Yet, nobody had any idea what that meant, and the Colorado Springs Sports Corp. apparently wasn’t in on the secret.
Then came the actual news: fuseSPORT, an ambitious sports-centric software company from Australia, is moving its headquarters from Sydney to Colorado Springs, with smaller offices to continue operating in London and Sydney.
That sounded encouraging. But the fine print showed only 11 employees in fuseSPORT, with four to start in Colorado Springs. Depending on investors and business, the company’s owners project the possibility of adding up to 20 more jobs in the next year, and as many as 100 in four to five years.
Based on that, one had to wonder why the initial announcement would merit an appearance and a welcoming speech by Mayor Steve Bach — not to mention an “all hands on deck” assemblage of community leaders pulled in by the Business Alliance. You could be cynical and call it a severe overreaction by a city craving any kind of positive economic news.
But that wouldn’t be fair. Instead, let’s check out the positives, which are abundant. We start with the fact that fuseSPORT considered Orlando, Fla., and the Silicon Valley in California before deciding on Colorado Springs. That’s good to hear, and nice ammunition for pursuing other companies that might move here.
Next is the fact that Chris Clark, the Aussie founder and CEO of fuseSPORT, is all of 34 years old. That’s right, 34. So it was encouraging, to say the least, just seeing how warmly the mayor and other Springs business leaders greeted Clark (along with his wife and two young children) and his brother/partner Andrew.
“We need more people like you,” Bach said in his short talk, emphasizing that attracting more companies with young executives would help the city in years ahead.
But the best part of fuseSPORT has to be its potential, and how well the company fits here. In its literature, fuseSPORT bills itself as a provider of software programs and services for large-scale sports events and organizations. Given the 30-plus sports headquarters here, from national governing bodies for Olympic sports to other multi-sport federations, fuse-
SPORT obviously will try to meet with many of them and cultivate possibilities. That might mean setting up registration for national meetings, entries for competitive events, organizing volunteers and more.
As Clark put it, fuseSPORT “can manage the whole online operation of an event,” and it already has a 15-year agreement with the National Senior Games Association, which oversees the National Senior Games with 10,000-plus participants.
Granted, fuseSPORT isn’t the only company in that field. But considering how deeply involved some of the Springs-based governing bodies are with maintaining huge databases for their national membership, meetings and competitions, that should only add to the appeal. Already, fuseSPORT has other clients in Europe, Africa and Asia, so it’s far beyond infancy.
With even a modest level of success and growth in Colorado Springs, fuseSPORT could become one of the pillars for a developing sports business industry here.
In other words, this is no time for cynicism. Just hope.