On Monday, Blue Star Sports, a technology company formed two years ago to help support youth sport, rebranded to Stack Sports. The company also announced a major partnership with the financial services company Mastercard.

When Stack Sports was founded in 2016—with an infusion of capital from, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, payment services company World Pay, and others—the goal was to address a youth sports market that had grown largely fragmented and wholly untapped. The organization has since acquired more than 25 companies that serve all facets of that youth sports marketplace. More importantly, CEO Alex Alt said, Stack Sports has pulled all 25 under the same umbrella.

“It’s important to understand the concept behind the vision, which was to transform the youth sports ecosystem—a highly fragmented landscape at the youth and grassroots level,” Alt said. “The belief was always that these companies can work together in a way that can present an unmatched business proposition.”

Alt was brought aboard eight months ago to help spearhead the consolidation of those companies into one cohesive unit, while focusing on four key pillars of the youth sports market: organizational solutions, which help with league and team management and registration; athlete and team solutions, including recruiting platforms, highlight tools and video analysis; competition management, which includes sports event, camp and tournament planning and travel; and brand management, as youth sports is a fertile market for third-party partners like Nike, New Balance, and others.



The objective, Alt said, is a simple one. Stack Sports aims to take the hassle away from everything that bogs down the youth sports experience, everything from registration and dues collecting to equipment purchasing and travel plans. The takeaway is more time on the field, less time filling out forms. Reducing the paperwork burden can have a major impact on the end consumers: the coaches, the parents, and the athletes themselves.

“Some products in isolation can be successful, but when we can complement those same successful products with other services is where we start to transform the space,” Alt said. “Our vision is to have a “stack” of products and services  that work synergistically to enhance the experience for all involved.”

Blue Star Sports’ rebranding process, which involved renowned marketing agency Siegel+Gale, started with more than 100 potential company names. The company eventually landed on Stack Sports, borrowing its name from one of the 25 properties it had acquired: Stack Media, a youth sports media company with a powerful mission of empowering athletes to reach their goals on and off the field of play.

“You can always put these decisions off, because they require a lot of work,” Alt said. “But the timing was right given our efforts to bring all of our companies together and have one unified platform for growth. Stack, even though it was right under our nose, it just kept coming back around to us given its relevance to sports and technology and its authentic mission which we all rally around. Sometimes what you are looking for is right in front of you.”

When the company was conceived by founder and former CEO Rob Weschler, who became the chairman of the board once Alt was brought in, Blue Star had a trickle-down approach, targeting strategic alliances with national governing bodies, including US Soccer, AAU and USA Football, before reaching out to state governing bodies, and eventually, leagues, teams, coaches and players themselves. Stack is hoping to continue that theme, providing obvious answers to all the problems that vex the youth sports market, from the top on down.

“It’s about the ease of use,” Alt said. “As you work your way down the ecosystem, the reality is it’s moms, dads and volunteers who run and coach these teams. The software has to work, and has to be easy and intuitive. Over time it just hasn’t been so. We think there’s an absolute opportunity to continue to push highly to the end users. We’ve got volunteers across clubs and leagues, tens of thousands of them, using our products today. At the end of the day, the more time the volunteer, the coach, can spend on the field with the kids is the difference we’re trying to make.”

Alongside news of its rebranding, on Monday Stack Sports also announced a partnership with Mastercard that could have wide-ranging implications. In addition to payment processing and financial management tools, this could lead to debit and credit cards being directed to the youth market, potentially easing the burden of handling what can be thousands of dollars each month in an athlete’s team and travel costs.

“One of the biggest challenges in youth sports is involved in the movement of payments,” Alt said. “It’s still relatively unsophisticated, and you’ve got registration, tournament dues, uniform purchases. And, questions like ‘Who pays for the team party?’ It was time to partner with somebody who had similar views of not only how to make a better experience, but for someone committed to the sports world. They shared our vision that there is a better way to do it, and there just aren’t great solutions out there.”

Sherri Haymond, EVP of digital partnerships at Mastercard, stressed the importance of building this type of strategic partnership in a statement. “With its ability to reach a passionate consumer base at scale,” she said, “Stack Sports is an ideal collaborator as we look to provide our technology, products and platforms in new and differentiated ways.

To Alt, the partnership with MasterCard signifies the continued evolution of the company he joined just eight months ago. “First, it’s an honor for us to be working with such an established brand like Mastercard,” he said. “If you know anything about Mastercard, you know they’ve got a huge position in sports. They’ve been active in the sports ecosystem for a long time. It’s a mission-driven organization, which we loved. When we think about Stack and our growing prominence of our brand, it’s a great signal that we’re active and willing and able to partner with brands like Mastercard to solve really big problems for our customers.”

To learn more about Stack Sports visit the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages