Welcome to

Evolution Sports Partners

A new breed of technology, analytics and consulting that drive revenue and results for sports organizations. It's innovative business solutions for the sports world.

It's the ESP way.TM

We bring technology and data analytics to

Intercollegiate Athletics and Professional Sports

And we bring highly specialized consulting and advising services to our clients, ensuring results are achieved.

Our unique approach blends revolutionary tools, technology and people to grow revenue and improve operational results for our clients.

Business Units

Revolutionary Products and Data Analytics

Game-changing, revolutionary tools and technology to address and solve specific challenges unique to Intercollegiate Athletics and Professional Sports.

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From the creators of GoalQuest- a company that delivered innovative solutions for student enrollment and retention to more than 500 institutions, our focus is on developing products that drive measurable results for college athletics and professional sports. We believe these organizations can benefit tremendously from technology solutions that better engage constituents and analyze data to capitalize on growth opportunities.

Yet beyond ground-breaking technology solutions, we're also an extension of your team- comprised of experts and analysts who bring a watchful eye and strategic thinking to all areas of your business.


FanGaugeTM

This comprehensive program drives fan acquisition, engagement and retention, fueling data capture and revenue growth for athletic departments and sports organizations. It's based on the issuance of a "FanID" to your fans (like a frequent-flier number, expect for fans). That's their gateway to a web and mobile experience that elevates fan engagement, influences their behavior and extracts data insights that drive revenue.

Fan retention is a challenge for every organization. You're not just competing against the other team, you're competing against living rooms, man caves and Buffalo Wild Wings, all of which provide a rich fan experience. Attendance is declining across all sports- in both the college and professional worlds. Our 15+ years of retention expertise is dedicated to keeping the fans you have and optimizing their LTV (lifetime value) potential as your customers.

FanGauge is so much more than a program; it's backed by our marketing and data experts who ensure the three program goals (fan acquisition, engagement and retention) are always optimized.


ESP Data Analytics

ESP Data Analytics is the process of inspecting, scrubbing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision making for sports organizations. Our technique focuses on modeling and knowledge discovery for predictive rather than purely descriptive purposes, and it was designed to address the specific needs- and opportunities of sports organizations.

In the world of sports, there is a great deal of data that is often underutilized- in part because data experts may not be part of the organization, or because the right analytical tools, experience and strategies are not used or available. Data insights can be gleaned from a variety of information, including:

· Ticket purchases (trends, timing, locations, sources, retention and more)

· Attendance (frequency, seat location, games)

· Demographic Info (donors, alumni/ae, proximity, income, giving history and more)

· Psychographic Info (attitudes, purchasing habits, social media and more)

ESP establishes mechanisms that query fans to engender useable and statistically relevant data (through self-identifying and other prompts). From there, we generate behavioral typologies derived from segmentation of the fan data to glean the most actionable insights to drive revenue and results. ESP's professional staff analyzes data that quantifies fan interest to generate metrics, or performance indicators, that are effectively communicated to the client.

Finally, we work closely with your team to formulate strategies on how to effectuate change (revenue growth, operational efficiencies, etc...) from the data findings.

SA360TM

This Student Athlete success program was built by the founders of GoalQuest- creators of revolutionary tools for student retention. The program consists of web and mobile-deployed learning modules that communicate important success information and NCAA compliance reminders and education to student athletes. Our staff monitors and optimizes the program, and when warning/critical activity occurs (student athletes identified as high-risk or attrition candidates), we discuss our findings with the institution/athletic dept. to address the situation. The content foundation is a proprietary library of information that benefits students athletes during their three critical stages (in the classroom, on the field and off the field). Topics include:

  • Time management
  • Study skills
  • Eligibility
  • Sportsmanship
  • Compliance
  • Fan management
  • (there are more than 100 content topics)

With a vast library of content written by student retention experts, a robust deployment platform and analytics that monitor student athlete engagement, SAccess brings a revolutionary approach to engaging and helping student athletes succeed.


APRwatchTM

The NCAA predicts there will be twice as many APR violations from schools in 2014 vs. last year. Many schools think they "have it covered", but even the NCAA admits it is an extremely complicated process to manage. APRwatch includes:

Training: We provide initial and ongoing staff training to manage APR effectively.

Best practices/Process Implementation: We institute and oversee processes at your institution for successful APR management.

Improvement plans: We develop and help execute APR improvement plans.

Data preparation: Experienced statisticians work with your certifying registrar to ensure data is prepared properly for NCAA APR and academic reviews.

Predictive Modeling: Our analysts run predictive and scenario modeling to project APR outcomes, eliminating surprises and optimizing opportunities.

Analyst Oversight: Highly experienced APR professionals, from a watchful eye to fully-managed APR solutions.


Consulting

From strategic plans to assessments and feasibility studies, it’s consulting services that blend fresh perspective and relevant experience to bring clients the best services in the industry. We also offer a custom suite of services built around an institution's relationship requirements with the NCAA.

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ESP offers a wide-array of consulting and advising services for Intercollegiate Athletics, Institutions and Professional Sports. We bring a fresh approach and experienced minds to explore and solve the challenges of our clients.

The "strategy" and the "plan" in strategic planning are changing. We use a nimble, agile approach to planning goals and objectives, coupled with technology to keep stakeholders on track to ensure goals are achieved. Our Consulting services include:

  • Financial Management (budget reviews and fiscal guidance)
  • Strategic Planning
  • Fan/Student Engagement & Retention
  • Academic Analysis
  • Organizational Assessments
  • Student-Athlete Success/Development
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Industry Research
  • Revenue Enhancement Strategies
  • Division Reclassification
  • Data Capture & Analysis
  • Compliance Reviews
  • Market Entry Strategies
  • Title IX & Gender Equity


Beyond industry-leading consulting, we take an ownership role in our work, ensuring goals and objectives don’t simply live in a nice report, but are actually achieved.


Most consultants come in and give clients a nice report that tells them what they need to do. And more often than not, the report goes up on a bookshelf and never gets fully implemented. ESP takes an accountable, ownership role in implementing the ideas and strategies from our advising and consulting work (or coming in and bringing accountability to your existing plans). We become an extension of your team to ensure objectives are met.

But we also make sure stakeholders from your team are on board and working in sync toward the desired outcomes.

A unique feature of our consulting work is the ability to enter an engagement at any stage. For example, you may have a strategic plan, but not quite sure how well your organization is doing against the plan. ESP can convert the plan to goals and milestones in our web-based, Project Manager, and assign an expert from our team to make sure your plan stays on track.

Our approach meets you where you are in the planning and action cycle. Whether we support you with comprehensive strategic planning or in a targeted area, our process will energize your team and provide you with tools and focus to drive toward your goals.


Meet the Founders

We came together to share our respective experiences to bring outstanding solutions to the college and professional sports world. As a widely-respected leader in Intercollegiate Athletics, Damon was a progressive thinker who recognized how action, tools and technology could help drive results for sports organizations. Peter and Tracy were the founders of GoalQuest, a revolutionary suite of tools that helped drive revenue for universities by increasing enrollment and retention. Together, the three realized that college and professional sports could benefit greatly by having a team of experts take an ownership role in strategies to ensure results are achieved for clients. Furthermore, and when appropriate, using custom technology solutions and data-dependent analytics delivers even greater success. Ergo, Evolution Sports Partners was born, to bring a new breed of service and solutions to the industry we- and millions of fans- are passionate about.

Damon Evans

Damon Evans

Damon is the former Athletic Director of the University of Georgia, and former Vice President of IMG College.

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Damon is the former athletic director at the University of Georgia from 2004 - 2010. When appointed AD in 2004, he was just 34 years of age, and one of the youngest athletic directors in the country.

However, he had already established himself as an up and coming athletic administrator. Evans has received several honors including the Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal “40 Under 40 Award” for 2004, 2005, and 2007, the UGA Terry College of Business Award as the “Outstanding Young Alumnus”, and Sports Illustrated’s “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports”. And, in 2009, he was named The Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the Division I Southeast Region. At UGA, Evans oversaw a nationally recognized program with 21 intercollegiate sports teams involving more than 600 student-athletes, an $84 million budget and a 260 person staff. He served on several Southeastern Conference and NCAA Committees, was Chairman of the NCAA Division I Leadership Council, and was involved in volunteer and community service roles across the state of Georgia. During his football career at Georgia (1988-92), Evans earned a starting assignment four consecutive seasons, played in three bowl games (‘89 Peach, ‘91 Independence, and ‘92 Citrus) and was a member of the ’91 and ’92 teams that won nine and ten games, respectively. He earned two degrees from the University of Georgia, receiving a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1992 and a master’s of education in sports management in 1994.

Evans joined the staff at the University of Missouri, serving as Director of Compliance and Operations (1994-95). After holding the positions as a Director and Assistant Commissioner for Eligibility and Compliance Services at the Southeastern Conference (1995-98), he returned to his alma mater. Before his appointment as UGA Director of Athletics, he held titles of Associate and Senior Associate A.D. for Internal Affairs.

Damon then served as VP Business Development for Markley Group, New England’s largest and longest operating multi-tenant, mission-critical telecommunications and data center facility. There, Damon developed and oversaw operations for clients including industry leading financial, healthcare, academic, government, entertainment, and science & technology firms.

Most recently, Damon served as Vice President of IMG College, the leading media rights holder in College Sports.

Damon was named Sports Illustrated’s “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports”, and one of SBJ's "40 under 40". At Georgia, he ran one of the few cash-flow positive athletic departments in the country.

Personally, Damon resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife Kerri and their two children, Cameron (15) and Kennedy (12). When he is not working, Damon enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, traveling, going to the movies, and as you might imagine, watching and/or attending sporting events. Damon is also very active. He recently completed his first sprint triathlon. But most of all, Damon and Kerri enjoy nothing more than watching their kids compete in various sporting events. Cameron is an accomplished football and basketball player, while Kennedy is serving up aces in tennis and volleyball!

Inter-partner contention: Damon feels he can "easily" beat Peter in a 40. He even is willing to spot him 10 yards.

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Damon Evans

Tracy Howe

Tracy is the founder of three previous marketing and technology companies in the higher education and sports industries.

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Tracy went to Oakland University (MI), then began her professional career at Young & Rubicam Advertising in Detroit, Michigan, where she managed a number of automotive accounts.

Soon after, Tracy was recruited by Lane Meyers Marketing Company, where she developed and sold high-level sponsorship deals to General Motors, Ford, AT&T, and dozens more. Howe represented top media brands in both publishing and broadcast, and established trusted, c-suite relationships which fueled millions in revenue across the properties she represented.

In 1994, Howe took over sales and marketing for CMG Media Group and delivered extraordinary revenue gains by bringing in deals across key categories, including Automotive, CPG, Financial Services, Travel, and more.

In 1997, Tracy played an integral role in the sale of CMG to College Television Network (CTN), where she continued to deliver expansive deals across the publishing and broadcast conglomerate. CTN developed a custom news program in partnership with CNN for the college market, as well as a proprietary music video network on the entertainment side.

In 1999, Howe was part of the transition team when CTN was acquired by Viacom, effectively converting College Television Network to MTVu (MTV on college campuses).

In 2000, Tracy founded GoalQuest with Peter Kraft. The company provided custom recruitment, enrollment and retention programs for colleges & universities around the country. During her seven year tenure at GoalQuest as Co-founder, EVP-Sales & Marketing, Tracy delivered more than 1,000 programs for more than 500 clients, ranging from U of Alabama, Missouri and SUNY Albany to Loyola Marymount and American University.

In 2007, Tracy facilitated the sale of GoalQuest to private equity firm Halyard Educational Partners (GoalQuest was renamed Education Dynamics after the acquisition). By 2009, revenue for Education Dynamics exceeded $120 million and the client base expanded further to include not-for-profit and international schools. In 2009, Tracy once again founded a new business, SequentialT, with Peter Kraft. The business provides custom technical and marketing solutions for college and professional sports, sporting events and entertainment venues.

Tracy currently serves on the board of SequentialT, where clients include University of Wisconsin, Temple University, and numerous clients in the world of professional sports. The company serves its clients by capturing and monetizing fan data across ticket sales, development, sponsorship, merchandise and concessions.

Tracy is the founder of GoalQuest, which was acquired in 2007, and SequentialT, a fan engagement and data analytics company whose services are offered through ESP.

Personally, Tracy is the mother of 4 (two boys, two girls), and lives on a farm in Frenchtown, NJ. Her passion is horses; having grown up on a horse farm in Michigan, Tracy now spends her free time (with 4 kids and two businesses, there isn’t much of it!) riding and spending time with the horses. She is also an accomplished equestrian, competing in the “Jumpers” at nationally ranked horse shows in the adult amateur division. Yet to add one final bit of complexity to this consummate multi-tasker, Tracy also competes against Peter in the show ring (be sure to ask her who usually wins when you speak with her)!

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Damon Evans

Peter Kraft

Peter is a seasoned entrepreneur with a track record of developing ground-breaking products and services for colleges, universities and sports organizations.

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Peter went to Ithaca College (NY). In the late 80’s, Peter had his hair winged-back and began his professional career in the family business (metal finishing for aerospace/military components), where he learned the fine art of entrepreneurship from his grandfather and father, as well as general business acumen that guided him through his proven track record of successful startups.

After his father fired him (first valuable lesson was respect!), Peter went to work for Lehman Brothers, circa 1990, where he further honed his skills and experience in the world of finance, mergers & acquisitions and private capital. During his three years at Lehman (103rd floor of the World Trade Center), Peter was pulled by the family genes to start something new, and in 1993, founded CMG (publisher of Link Magazine, the number-one college magazine in the country with more than 3 million readers).

It was here he met Tracy Howe, who taught him the importance of valued client relationships and business integrity- guiding credos that have shaped Peter and Tracy’s success as a team for years to follow. Together, Peter serving as President & Publisher and Tracy as VP Sales & Marketing, the two of them built CMG into a powerhouse marketing brand for clients targeting the elusive youth and college market.

In 1997, Peter and Tracy worked together to facilitate the sale of CMG to College Television Network (custom news program in partnership with CNN for the college market, as well as a proprietary music video network on the entertainment side). In 1999, Kraft and Howe played integral roles on the transition team when CTN was acquired by Viacom, effectively converting College Television Network to MTVu (MTV on college campuses).

In 2000, Peter founded GoalQuest with Tracy Howe. The company provided custom recruitment, enrollment and retention programs for colleges & universities around the country. During his seven year tenure at GoalQuest as Co-founder & President, Peter delivered more than 1,000 programs for more than 500 clients, ranging from U of Alabama, Missouri and SUNY Albany to Loyola Marymount and American University. In 2007, Peter facilitated the sale of GoalQuest to private equity firm Halyard Educational Partners (GoalQuest was renamed Education Dynamics after the acquisition). By 2009, revenue for Education Dynamics exceeded $120 million and the client base expanded further to include not-for-profit and international schools.

In 2009, Peter once again founded a new business, SequentialT, with Tracy Howe. The business provides custom technical and marketing solutions for college and professional sports, sporting events and entertainment venues. Peter currently serves on the board of SequentialT, where clients include University of Wisconsin, Temple University, and numerous clients in the world of professional sports. The company serves its clients by capturing and monetizing fan data across ticket sales, development, sponsorship, merchandise and concessions.

Peter worked for Lehman Brothers, then founded three marketing and technology companies (two with Tracy Howe), before starting his next, ESP, with Tracy and Damon.

Personally, Peter is the father of 4 (two boys, two girls), and lives in Frenchtown, NJ. Peter’s passions are tennis, golf and riding.


Inter-partner contention:

Peter intends to beat Damon in the 40, despite Damon's views otherwise.

Tracy and Peter compete against each other in the equestrian sport of show-jumping.

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