Former ABC president launches MOJO Sports app to return fun to youth athletics

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- MOJO Sports is on a mission to keep youth sports fun.

The company was founded by Ben Sherwood, former Disney-ABC Television Group and ABC News president, who witnessed first-hand how youth sports can be stressful for both kids and parents. For 14 years, he was the soccer coach for his two sons. He often took calls on the practice field from then-Disney CEO Bob Iger while trying to organize drills.

"I had a PDF from 1994 for a soccer team and a book called 'Soccer for Dummies' that I bought at Barnes & Noble - when there used to be these bookstores where you could buy a book - and I did the best I could. And Lord knows I probably messed up a bunch of soccer careers, because I really didn't have any idea what I was doing," said Sherwood on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

He started MOJO Sports to put the fun back in youth sports, citing research that roughly 70 percent of kids dropout of organized athletics by the age of 13 because it wasn't enjoyable anymore.

"We set out with MOJO to make sports more fun for kids, easier for coaches and stress-free for parents," said Sherwood. "And so if you can take the stress and the pressure of all that out of the equation, you have more chance(s) of families participating and kids considering the play."

He told WCBS 880 the app already has 100,000 monthly active users since its launch in February 2021. It provides training resources and short videos of practice drills.

"Our machine generates a practice for you that fits the exact amount of time you've got, it tells you exactly the equipment you're going to need, and then, gives you high-quality videos that are about a minute to a minute and a half long that show you the activities that you're going to do in the order you're going to do them with coaching tips and coaching points," he said.

"All of these activities are age appropriate, developmentally appropriate for your team, and they've been vetted and approved by the best organizations in sports."

MOJO Sports has partnered with Major League Baseball, NFL Flag Football and Jr. NBA to develop the curriculum. Sherwood told the WCBS Small Business Spotlight that the professional sports leagues recognize the connection between fandom and playing the sport growing up. It is also their talent pipeline.

The MOJO Sports app, available on iOS and Android, is free for coaches and youth sports teams, but parents can buy additional resources with a subscription.

"There's additional content that families can purchase for a subscription fee of about five bucks a month or about 60 bucks a year," said Sherwood, continuing, "With that additional subscription fee, you get access to additional content that you can work on at home with your kids if you want to give your kids additional benefits and additional video and additional content to help them get better at sports."

See how the MOJO Sports app works to keep kids engaged and take the pressure off parent coaches on the Small Business Spotlight video above.