NextPlay joins Teamworks: The Operating System for Sports™

I am thrilled to announce that NextPlay has been acquired by Teamworks, a company that shares our mission to empower athletes for life.  We are fortunate to have had the support and guidance of Zach Maurides, Founder and CEO of Teamworks throughout the NextPlay journey, and are excited about this next step.

With this acquisition, Teamworks will consolidate NextPlay with Grafted, another recently acquired alumni engagement platform, into Teamworks Communities. Together they will become a newly formed content-led collegiate alumni engagement product. I will remain focused on the product innovation and work with the team on integrations into the Teamworks product ecosystem, such as alumni connectivity and connections for NIL deals via the INFLCR app.

“With the acquisition of NextPlay, Teamworks is gaining technical expertise and dedicated focus on alumni engagement,” said Zach Maurides, Founder and CEO of Teamworks. “We are excited to realize the vision of integrating alumni engagement into the Teamworks operating system.”

Since 2018, NextPlay has supported elite athletics organizations across the country, building and maintaining custom communities to connect generations of athletes with a common experience: their team. We were founded on the belief that team > individual; when athletes have a wide and strong network to rely on for advice, encouragement, and inspiration, they are empowered to achieve more – on and off the field.

Our belief in the power of teams, and this acquisition embodies that ethos, as Teamworks is a company that shares our mission to empower athletes for life.

NextPlay was originally inspired by a series of conversations about how athletes are more than just their sport. They are more than just the players in the big game on a Saturday afternoon or the talented people on our TV screens. As Teamworks CEO Zach Maurides shared during one of NextPlay’s first events, athletes are the best among us. By equipping athletes to succeed beyond their sport, we not only enhance the impact of elite athletics but also develop the next generation of leaders and build a sustainable culture of support for universities.

An elite athlete’s identity revolves around their sport from childhood. Their skills, friends, and self-worth are all often inextricably tied to their team and athletic pursuits. They experience high school and college with the same obligations of personal growth and academic rigor that the rest of us do, but they do it while spending countless hours honing their craft, maintaining peak physical condition, and competing for championships. They become entrenched in the concept of “athlete” as their entire identity rather than just part of it, which can lead to significant challenges when the final whistle sounds.

But that is where we can help. Belief in oneself is built through a community of peers; it is fostered through connections with others who share experience, have common ground, and “have been there before.” Our communities are the support systems that can guide athletes through this identity shift and propel them into their next play alongside their team.

NextPlay has supercharged these support systems for athletes while they compete and when they retire. Our exclusive athlete-alumni communities help athletes navigate their transition from sport while maintaining a close connection to the program that shaped their identity. In the end, everyone wins: athletes are part of a powerful community for life, and athletic programs build a lasting legacy of support from their most important constituents.

I want to thank Zach Maurides, James Coffos, and Anna Resman for a warm welcome to the Teamworks family. We also want to thank Jeff Fox and our group of investors for enabling us to pursue this vision. Finally, we want to thank Kevin Lehman, Ben Hansen, and all of the customers and athletes who showed us how impactful this work could be.

Going forward, you will see us as Teamworks Communities. In pursuit of becoming The Operating System for Sports, Teamworks has created a suite of products that empowers athletes as recruits, student-athletes, and alumni throughout their lives. As part of this ecosystem, we can exponentially grow our impact to the schools and athletes already using Teamworks daily. We are fortunate to be part of this incredible team, and we could not be more excited about our next play.

Kyle Mumma