Dating App for Athletes


She Created a Dating App for Athletes

Amanda McGrew came up with a great idea to connect athletes and her dating app launches this month! I have been friends with Amanda for about 3 years now and she is one of my favorite people! We connected immediately since we were both competitive athletes and coaches. You see, her concept makes perfect sense!

I got to ask her about why she created the app, the struggles she has faced so far and what her future plans are. 

Playoff is a dating app for current and former college and professional athletes. It was created in an effort to connect like minded people with a shared life experience. Playoff verifies that each user played at least one season their sport at the junior college, NAIA, NCAA, professional or Olympic level. There is a free version of the app that allows athletes to filter other athletes by age, gender and distance. There is also a premium version that is available for $7.99/month. The premium version has all the same filters as the free version, along with filters for specific sports and schools. 

Dating is hard enough these days, and with the rapid adoption of online dating in the recent years, I found myself swiping through potential matches without ever really knowing anything about them. There was no common ground or basis for a connection. My feed was flooded with so many men, and there was no way to narrow down the search or to hone in on the kind of person I was really looking for. Athletics has played a huge role in my life since I was a little kid. It has shaped the person I am, affects the decisions I make, how I see the world, and how I create relationships. I knew that I would feel much more comfortable about the online dating world if I had a way to know that I shared some sort of meaningful connection with someone before meeting them. That is how the idea of a dating app for verified athletes was created. 

One of the most daunting moments that I found myself in while starting this business was trying to find a developer to create the app for me. I searched through tons of people, but at the end of the day, I was not native to the tech world, so I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I had friends who were willing to help me verify the credentials and resumes of potential developers, but most of it was a foreign language to me. It was incredibly intimidating to have conversations with people about something I knew nothing about. I did not want to lie or try to lead people to believe that I knew more than I did. The only thing I could do was be honest and upfront with them. With help from friends, I was able to narrow it down to a few developers. At some point, I knew I would have to take a leap of faith on someone. I am incredibly happy with the way the development of the app has gone thus far. We are only a couple weeks away from launch and I am incredibly excited. I know that there are many aspects of starting this business that are going to be out of my element, but I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed or discouraged by things that I don't know. It is my job to do as much research as I can to put myself in the best possible position for my business to be successful. I continue to remind myself that there are plenty of people who have been incredibly successful with just an idea. 

The tech industry is dominated by men and I knew that would be an obstacle for me. So far, my interactions with others have been great. I have been very upfront about not knowing much about the tech industry, and my attitude has been met with great support and honesty. I think that since my app will revolve around athletes, my athletic career gives me a bit of instant credibility. Athletics and competition have been part of my life for so long, and it is an area that I am incredibly comfortable navigating and discussing. Having to meet so many new people and ask for help in areas that I don't know much about can definitely be intimidating, but I think athletics has given me a great amount of confidence to confront issues head on and not be afraid to ask for help when I need it. 

My biggest fear is putting something out into the world that is close to my heart and hoping that people love it as much as I do. Creating something that is special to me has been incredibly rewarding and empowering. I try to keep a level head when envisioning the way my project is received by the world. I know that it will not be loved by everyone, and I can't expect that. I just want to make sure that it can serve to help plenty of like minded people find one another, and potentially create strong, lasting relationships that are built on a shared life experience. The feedback that I have received from fellow athletes has been unbelievably positive, so I try to remind myself that this app has the potential to serve a lot of people in a positive manner. 

The main goal for my company is simple - I want to help like minded people find one another and give them a chance to cultivate relationships with people who have gone through a shared major life experience. I have quantitative goals that I would like to reach in terms of numbers or users and matches, etc., but all of those numerical data would just be in hopes of connecting people. I know how powerful sports can be and I know I am not alone in that belief. I want people who may or may not still be involved in sports to be able to continue to interact with others with a similar perspective. This is a very exciting journey for me, and the basis is connecting people. Everyone deserves an opportunity to be with someone who makes them happy, and if this app can provide some or many people with that opportunity, then I will be incredibly proud. 
Amanda will be a part of our Female Founders giveaway tomorrow.  We will be giving away a pair of our sporty sweatpants with a PLAYOFF  T-shirt.