Driveline Baseball Buys Pitching Sensor Company
Driveline Baseball started as a training facility. It’s grown into a baseball performance center that works with athletes both on-site and remotely, while also providing certification programs for coaches. The company has also become a software developer, with a number of programs aimed at helping teams at various levels manage and better train athletes.
And now, it’s starting to acquire baseball technology companies as well.
Driveline has completed a deal to acquire the patents and sport-sensor business of Motus Global, the company that produces pitching sleeves that measures the biomechanical data and stress a pitcher is imparting on his arm. (Motus also uses its sensors to measure the wear and effort on the arms of football quarterbacks and volleyball players). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Now that it’s part of Driveline, Motus’ main tech will stay the same—its in-sleeve sensor is a tool for measuring stress on a pitcher’s elbow and workload. In the short-term, nothing about the product is changing, although Driveline expects to increase the in-stock supply. There could be some tweaks and advancements on the product in the future.
Most notably, Driveline CEO Mike Rathwell said that he hopes to eventually have programming where pitchers could have their workloads and arm stress monitored and measured without requiring the sleeve to be used for each and every pitching session. It’s possible that by 2021 there will be multi-sensor solutions that may add additional measurements and functionality.
“The technology of Motus is really good, but the problem is they just didn’t have enough time to surround it with the right software usability and iterate enough," Driveline founder Kyle Boddy said. "The issue is runway, you have to have enough cash and enough users to keep iterating."
Boddy and Rathwell said they are retaining the bulk of Motus’ engineers and are planning to increase spending research and development of Motus’ products. The portion of the Motus company that focuses on medical rehabilitation and other avenues is not included in the acquisition.
“The big-picture version is that being able to have affordable, accurate sensors that can monitor pitching stress has to be a net positive for the game of baseball,” Rathwell said.
Rathwell added that Driveline’s goal is to work to get the price point down (from the current $150) to the point where Motus sensors become a more viable option at the youth level, where the ability to monitor workloads could have its biggest impact.
The acquisition also brings Motus’ sensor data in-house for Driveline, giving Driveline further data that it can easily integrate into its Traq baseball development software. But most importantly, the transfer of data ensures that the pitching sensors will continue to be a viable product for years to come.
“If we didn’t do it, there was a risk of the tech dying out,” Rathwell said.