Updated February 23 at 11:56am
12/31/69 07:00PM

Company’s Business Plan: give the profits to youth sports

February 2, 2012 – Littleton, Colorado The Active Youth Network, LLC is a company with high expectations for profits and a unique business plan: it doesn’t want to keep the profits. …

February 2, 2012 – Littleton, Colorado

The Active Youth Network, LLC is a company with high expectations for profits and a unique business plan: it doesn’t want to keep the profits.

The company’s mission is to generate revenues that will be given to the youth sports clubs and schools to offset rising expenses that are straining family budgets.

Nick Cavarra, founder and CEO of Active Youth Network is a media veteran of 20+ years and has raised five kids who have been active in youth sports. While he was able to afford the costs of his kid’s participation in soccer, he saw other families making big sacrifices to keep their kids active or being forced to drop out altogether.

“The costs keep going up for dues, equipment and travel says Cavarra. Depending on the sport, parents can expect to shell out $6,000 - $10,000 for one or two kids per year. Budget cuts are forcing cutbacks in programs at public and private schools”.

Youth sports in America are huge with an estimated 65 million kids and young adults participating. Add to that the parents, coaches and family supporting young athletes and the audience is even bigger.

Cavarra called Chris Westerkamp, a former colleague in the TV business and they set out to build a business plan.

“We realized all the elements existed for us to build an extensive online network of youth sports websites that would deliver a valuable audience for advertisers”, said Westerkamp. “But it’s more than just an ad network with eyeballs, it’s a community of people dedicated to the ideals of youth sports. People hold deep feelings about the important role sports plays in their kids’ development. They learn about teamwork, leadership and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a perfect place to align a brand around those feelings.”

The pitch to advertisers points out that the AYN network has a built in force for customer loyalty. AYN members know that 70% of what companies spend on ad campaigns goes back to their clubs to lower costs to families and as a result, advertisers are the “Superheroes” of the websites.

Rhode Island designer, Steve Ruggieri is Chief of Design and Marketing for AYN. He is finishing up websites for youth soccer and figure skating – just two of the 19 categories AYN has identified for inclusion in the network. After researching hundreds of youth sports websites, Ruggieri created a framework that offers all the information necessary to communicate with families, coaches and supporters; plus the ability to post pictures and videos.

“Our goal is to make it a destination where everyone goes to get information and engage as a community, says Ruggieri. “It’s easy to navigate and it showcases lots of pictures taken by proud parents.” In addition to his extensive background in design and media, Ruggieri teaches at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

With few exceptions AYN’s designs will be a great improvement over most youth sports websites, which are pretty basic.

Every website will carry ad units commonly used by national advertisers including rich media and video ads that generate more revenue. AYN will sell the advertising and serve the ads.

For any clubs and schools that want to keep their websites but still be part of the network, AYN will work with them to insert ad units so they can share in the revenue.

The Active Youth Network is in building mode leveraging its relationships with US Skating Association in Colorado Springs and elite soccer clubs including REAL Colorado. Dr. Bob Contiguglia, former head of the US Soccer Association recently joined AYN’s advisory board.

AYN is careful to separate itself from the dozens of fundraising consulting companies that help non-profits and youth sports clubs with a variety of programs.

AYN is a business that delivers a valuable audience for advertisers who want to connect with a community engaged in youth sports. As Mr. Cavarra puts it, “we’re not collecting donations, we’re delivering a sustained revenue stream to our members. Hopefully they will be able to cut back on fundraising programs, which just add more stress to family’s lives. It’s a common condition I call fundraising fatigue”.

To distinguish itself further, AYN will contribute premium content to the website about coaching, training, leadership, and health and nutrition in its newsletters, articles and blogs. The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University will provide the latest information on all aspects of youth sports for coaches, parents and athletes.

AYN is on a mission to build a national network and invites youth sports clubs to contact the company. “We’re taking the sports categories a few at a time starting with soccer, figure skating and private schools said Mr. Westerkamp who is SVP of Business Development, we want to hear from as many youth sports organizations as possible to make the AYN network more attractive to advertisers”.


Chris Westerkamp

(401) 477-0610


Nick Cavarra

(303) 886-5538


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