Signing Day Sports, a digital recruiting platform started in 2020 by former college coaches and athletes and already established in football, baseball and soccer, is going full speed with its softball-focused app with Sierra Romero—the Michigan four-time All-American shortstop and former NPF pro player—coming on board as a Brand Ambassador to work with Brittany St. Pierre, the company’s Director of Softball.
“We’re dedicated to building a strong community of female athletes, starting with softball,” John Dorsey, the CEO of Signing Day Sports noted in a press release issued this week, “and providing them with the technology tools to eliminate traditional recruitment barriers and get in front of more coaches and scouts.”
There is certainly an economic incentive to maximize scholarship opportunities: DI players’ average athletic scholarship is only about $18,000 and, even with the new NIL possibilities, Division I athletes are still only earning about $471 on average through NIL opportunities so far.
““I was fortunate to be a Top 5 recruit out of high school, which in return put a lot of eyes on me.” Romero explained this week when the company announced her hiring. “I recognize my recruiting process may have been different but the opportunities and growth I experienced from college are something everyone can and should have!”
“I’m a better and stronger woman from playing college softball and I want the same for all young women,” Romero added,” and that’s why Signing Day Sports is so important to me as it connects athletes with opportunities that might seem out of reach. Michigan was the best four years of my life and I want all female athletes to have the opportunity to experience the same.”
One key to the app-focused platform offered by Signing Day Sports is it allows athletes to upload video-verified measurables and testing, practice and game recordings, schedules and stats and even interview Q&A clips to present themselves to potential college coaching suitors.
Here is a video produced by the company of Sierra sharing her thoughts on Signing Day Sports…
Romero explains she’s also eager to take on the challenge of developing the softball division along with St. Pierre.
“It’s especially important today with the financials in college today as athletes are staying an extra year because of the COVID situation,” the two-time National Player of the Year says. “What I like is that, with this app, it’s up to you to do the work—nobody’s promising anything—and it’s going to be your profile, like a social media platform such as Instagram, where you get the cool opportunity to put yourself out there.”
Having been a volunteer assistant coach at Oregon in 2018, Romero says she also sees the benefit from the coaches’ perspective
“It’s going to help the college coach because he or she can click exactly on what they’re looking for in an athlete,” Romero adds. “It really helps coaches narrow down the search and anything to help them is important, especially with recruiting budgets getting cut and they not having the benefit of being able to go to one spot to find players. With the Signing Day Sports app and technology, coaches can find hidden gems and it will help that athlete who doesn’t have the opportunity to go to all the events, especially the high-profile club nationals and tournaments.”
Another benefit according to St. Pierre, who attended LSU and has been a high school coach as well, is that the Signing Day Sports app allows for more diversification in what can be put in front of the recruiter.
“We’re providing the platform to help coaches with what they want to see and every coach is looking for something different. Our goal is to help them in their search to get a scholarship by providing the tools so they can take the initiative to show data and video of themselves in workouts and in competition.”
“We’ve talked to the coaches and, from Juco up to DI, they want to see the fundamental drills,” the Director of Softball for the company explains. “For a shortstop, for example, they want to see how she moves, how she interviews and is she coachable? Also, how are her academics? Her character? How does she interview? How is she as a teammate?”
“The coaches are looking to see how an athlete is on the field, yes, but equally importantly how she is off the field. The Signing Day Sports app showcases all of this.”
There’s also another useful tool coaches can use on their side—they can get in the platform’s film room and compare two athletes’ side by side.
“It’s a way they can compare and also verify the data that has been submitted,” adds Romero.
Signing Day Sports as a company did a quiet softball launch in November and, as of the start of this month, had signed up thousands of athletes in all sports across the country with more being added each day.
Both Romero and St. Pierre believe softball, with the benefits and features offered by the company’s technology, is ripe to take off.
“My mom was a single mom and, with two kids, she couldn’t be everywhere,” explains St. Pierre. “We were from a small town and went to a small school but, fortunately, I was able to get seen and get to a JC late in the process. I’m just glad that now we have the technology to improve the recruiting process.”
Romero agrees that the app will improve the lives of both player and coach.
“It gives more power to the student-athlete,” she believes. “It’s also not just DI or nothing—this allows an athlete to pursue what her goals are, be it at a Michigan, UCLA or another school or place where they can have more of a chance to play.”
Reflecting on her own softball career, Romero concludes:
“I had such an amazing experience at Michigan and I want that for everyone. It’s an experience that’s once in a lifetime and we want that opportunity for everyone.”
— Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball