Upper Hand CEO Kevin MacCauley uses the cloud to aid sports organizations

Kevin MacCauley is mixing his love of business with his love of sports. (Upper Hand)

As CEO of Upper Hand, Kevin MacCauley is mixing his love of business with his love of sports to create a company that makes it easier to run a sports organization.

Upper Hand is a cloud-based mobile platform that helps simplify sports business management.

“We are rewriting how people do business in sports,” MacCauley said.

The platform includes “features for registration, scheduling, marketing, point of sale, custom membership pricing and payment plans, a mobile app and business reports,” MacCauley said.

In essence, Upper Hand makes it easier to manage the books, this time with cloud-based sports management software.

Upper Hand registration aims to simplify checkout from start to finish, allowing clients to pay by credit, check or cash, MacCauley said. Clients can schedule directly at registration and access an automatically populated calendar with scheduled dates, times and locations, avoiding double booking and phone tag sessions, MacCauley said. Features for payment splitting allow users to set up staff payouts for private lessons.

Marketing tools allow users to create event invitation emails and reminders as well as to send off surveys, MacCauley said. “Tools for SEO management help spread the word and bring clients to events or training. Owners can take control of the most important aspect of the business and make decisions with Upper Hand’s built-in financial intelligence and reporting.”

MacCauley started Upper Hand in 2011 while he was coaching a sports team. He had experience as an entrepreneur, having started a nonprofit charity and a company in the watch industry.

Going way back, he started a golf tournament company in third grade, and in fifth grade, a business that created jingles for local retailers to use for advertising.

Upper Hand is funded by a combination of family, friends and private investors and has raised $2.4 million.

MacCauley is “absolutely” thinking about going public, he said, if the company "felt it would deliver to the process and help us do more research and innovation,” he said.

Statistics from Upper Hand suggest the company is making progress:

  • Its software saves coaches an average of 200 minutes per week.
  • With Upper Hand’s marketing automation tool integrated within the platform, sports professionals have an average email open rate of 80%, which is 60% higher than the industry average.
  • Sport professionals who use Upper Hand are four times more likely to close a purchase with clients.
  • In the last year, its user base has grown by more than 125%, revenue is up 165% and payments made through the platform have increased 14-fold.

Fast Five with Kevin MacCauley

When did you want to be a CEO?

It’s just a natural transition when you're leading something.

What is your favorite question for a job interview?

What animal would you be if you could be one?

What is the single most important trait of a leader?

Knowing how to communicate with transparency.

What keeps you up at night?

That there are not 48 hours in a day. There is so much to do.

What is the key to new revenue opportunity?

Listening to your customer and spending time where your customers are.