Last modified on 2 August 2012, at 08:38

Sport Innovation/C360 Competitors

-Nike SPARQ- Nike SPARQ is the name used under a marketing relationship between Nike and SPARQ, under which Nike sells a line of cross training footwear, apparel and equipment [9]. A partnership similar to the one of IMG and Under Armour. SPARQ was started in 2004 to create a standardized test for athleticism called the SPARQ Rating and to sell training equipment and methods to help improve athleticism in athletes. 'SPARQ' is an acronym that stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness [10]. SPARQ’s mission is to help athletes improve in all of the areas in the acronym represents through focused, dynamic training. It’s training program, which you can do on your own or with a certified trainer, focus on three phases of sports performance, TEST, TRAIN and COMPETE. These core phases all complement each other and help to mold a better athlete.

Like Combine 360, SPARQ uses a sport specific rating system to measure athletic performance(SPARQ RATING). It has comprehensive assessment procedures for six sports - football, boys' soccer, girls' soccer, baseball, softball, boys' basketball and girls' basketball, as well as a general athletic assessment. These tests help reveal strengths and weaknesess of athletes as well as act as a benchmark for comparing oneself to other athletes in your age group within your sport. The general tests SPARQ athletes endure consist of:

20 Meter Sprint/40 Yard Dash (Speed) Kneeling Power Ball Toss and Vertical Jump (Power) Agility Shuttle (Agility) Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Reaction and Quickness) Following each test, the results are turned into a SPARQ points which help calculate the athletes official overall SPARQ rating. Athletes can then take this SPARQ rating and compare it to other SPARQ athletes and use it to get better as it comes with training recommendations as well. In additon, the SPARQ rating is made available online for athletes to plug in their results and receive a rating even if they dont endure the SPARQ training with SPARQ certified trainers or training facilities [11]. SPARQ also gives athletes the opportunity to access their website and profiles via their mobile phones through SPARQ's new moblie site [12].

Nike SPARQ has a similar target market as Combine360 as they target athletes in high school, college and at the professional level. Often being referred to as “The SAT of Athleticism” their main target is developing high school athletes.

SPARQ doesn’t own any training facilities or have any specific training method. SARQ's business is focused on the rating system and selling advanced fitness training equipment to help train and with the SPARQ assessment. They provide training videos and tips from a number of top speed, strength and conditioning coaches on the SPARQ website. SPARQ developed a SPARQ Training Network that is made up of over 750 SPARQ Certified Trainers located throughout the country who are both independent coaches and trainers at chain performance centers. Athletes can now use Nike SPARQ training methods at more than 65 Velocity Sports Performance Centers across the United States as Velocity is a national partner with Nike SPARQ. Therefore, making it more known in the sports performance world and solidifying itself as a competitor to IMG/Under Armour's C360. Each location will feature the latest in dynamic training equipment and Velocity Sports Performance Center trainers will be officially certified as SPARQ trainers. Additional Elite Performance Training Centers around the world, like Texas-based Michael Johnson Performance Center, also assist Nike with product development, drills, and instructional videos for SPARQ Training.

Nike SPARQ is becoming very popular as SPARQ has tested over 200,000 athletes in the past four years. In Addition, more than 44,000 athletes from 2,000 teams across 38 states were SPARQ tested in the past two years. Many famous athletes have included SPARQ training in their training regime to improve their athletic performance. Some famous athletes who have used Nike SPARQ are Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, Jacoby Ellsbury and Gold medalist decathlete Bryan Clay.

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