1st Down Technologies was created with a clear mission: Help coaches at all levels spend more time developing football players and less time consumed with designing plays. Its signature products - an Apple-based Dropback Pass App and, more recently, a comprehensive Web-based Youth App - are unique technology tools by a Coach, for Coaches. Therefore, when 1st Down Technologies' founder Coach Charlie Coiner, a 25+ year veteran at both the NFL® and NCAA® levels, was approached to affiliate with the likes of Wilson® and YFBCA, make no mistake, he welcomed the opportunities.
Wilson®, the world’s leading manufacturer of ball sports equipment, liked what they saw too. Craig Kopkash, Business Director, says, “We haven’t seen anything like it. Coaches need resources like this.” 1st Down Technologies and Wilson® collaborated to produce the first-ever Wilson Playbook™- Click Here for the FREE download. Further, through their creative resources, they designed a “miniPlaybook” marketing piece and now provide this information booklet within the Wilson® GST youth football shipments to leagues all across the U.S. One thing is clear, both of these companies know and understand football, saw a need, and worked together to address the need in ways that are sure to impact the game of youth football positively.
Similarly, Coach Joe Bouffard, Director of Youth Football Coaches Association (YFBCA), saw an opportunity to compliment his already extensive library of youth coach’s resources. He had already referenced a couple playbook products before, but once he saw this interactive tool and the depth of play quality and options, he wanted to make coaches more aware of it. Coach Bouf, as he’s commonly referred, says, “To have 1st Down Technologies’ playbooks and technology at their fingertips during practice, will only help coaches provide a visual learning tool for both players and assistant coaches so all are the same page. I am excited that Youth Football Coaches Association can help coaches be on the cutting edge of technology.” Right now, the two companies are simply co-marketing affiliates, but in time it’s likely these two will develop other coaching tools and resources together.
As with any good team, players continue playing hard after a score. One has to wonder then, what’s next for this football sports app startup? Since Coach Coiner is now coaching Division I football in the SEC, we asked the company’s Business Operations Executive, Keith German. Mr. German responded, “We’re listening and learning from a growing base of end users. Those involved in 7on7, Adult and Intramural leagues, and now Youth leagues. Now that football plays and playbook content is no longer constrained to 3-ring binders and spiral notebooks, the options for coaches and player development through tools like FirstDown PlayBook™ are virtually endless.”
Technology tools like FirstDown PlayBook™ and educational products and resources like those provided by Wilson® and YFBCA will only help as leagues with limited resources attempt to meet the needs of a new generation of players and fans. Further, as the NFL® continues its push for more teams to use iPads and stadiums to provide Wi-Fi access, tools like this are strategically positioned for the games ahead. One thing's for certain...these affiliations definitely have a win-win feel to them.