How Players Health is building smart banking and financial services for the youth sports community
"Working with Synctera was hands down one of the fastest and best builds and launches in my career." - Tyrre Burks, CEO of Players Health
Changing the game with Tyrre Burks and Players Health
Sports isn’t just a game - it’s a lifestyle. And when it comes to supporting and protecting U.S. athletes, Players Health isn’t playing around.
Founded in 2016, Players Health is an end-to-end insurance and financial services platform protecting, caring, treating, and insuring athletes in youth and amateur sports leagues – starting in kindergarten all the way through to college and semi-pro organizations.
Whether it's a youth sports team from a local community league, or athletes training for the next Olympic games, athletes and parents working with Players Health can find a number of different insurance or brokerage services to help them get cost-effective care for sports-related injuries - plus a host of other services.
“We’re trying to make sports accessible for everyone,” said CEO and founder Tyrre Burks. “Sports got me off the streets of Chicago. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”
Burks, a former professional football player in the Canadian Football League, created Players Health following his own experiences managing injuries both on and off the field.
“I had wanted to play football in the NFL and I was on track to do so. But I had to stop after I wracked up injuries along the way. One thing that was clear: There wasn’t an easy way for me to track the care and treatment I got from my sports career. I then started coaching my son’s football team, and I saw the same thing about to happen all over again for him. I knew there had to be an easier way.”
Players Health’s first product was a digital electronic medical protocol – a platform designed for athletes to log and track medical treatment and diagnoses for injury management.
Over the last six years, the company has expanded into the insurance and underwriting space with a number of purpose-built solutions for athletes, including:
Insurance underwriting, protecting athletes if they’re injured
Brokerages and benefits services for athletes, teams, and their families
An investigative arm that fights abuse, manages reporting, and more - creating policies and best practices to help teams in any sport keep their players safe
Today, Players Health supports hundreds of thousands of athletes in U.S. sports leagues. And after raising a $30 million + Series B in February, with participation from professional athletes and fitness experts, they’re tackling a new goal: smart banking and financial services for the growing youth sports community.
Expanding the playing field with a FinTech solution
Tyrre and the Players Health team are focused on solving two growing financial problems that are affecting the youth sports community:
Providing smart financing solutions as the cost of participating in sports rises
“I’ve heard countless stories of admins running away with the team lockbox that’s all cash,” said Burks. “Every cent that’s not going to our kids playing sports or to their teams is a disservice to our community. We want to fix that by giving the people managing sports teams - boards of directors, administrators, volunteers, everyone - true visibility into all the cash in their programs.”
“We need to digitize that infrastructure to prevent fraud, and at the same time, help teams get access to smart financing options so they can do things like buy gear, get insurance, secure rentals, and more - especially as the cost of registration and equipment goes up.”
Players Health decided to help their community via a banking solution that addresses three core financial needs of sports organizations:
Banking services for safe money management and storage
Bookkeeping and accounting to manage money flowing in and out of team accounts and to help with filing taxes
Lending to cover large sports-related equipment or rental costs
The team developed an innovative banking product with accounts and subaccounts, purpose-built for their customers. The new product allows sports organizations to get granular dollar details down to the individual team level, connect FinTech apps like Venmo for convenient payment options, and “bifurcate revenue” to manage cash flow from sports-related activities like concession stand sales or registrations fees for competitions.
But in order to build and launch their idea, the company needed a team of experts to hop off the sidelines and help.
“When I first got into insurance, I didn’t know much. But I had strong partners that helped me understand it,” said Burks. “The same thing applied for banking: I needed a strong partner to help me understand FinTech and banking. That’s where Synctera stepped in.”
Synctera’s solution for Players Health:
Synctera worked closely with Players Health to provide end-to-end Banking as a Service so they could launch their banking solution.
Synctera “assisted” with:
A connection to a sponsor bank partner that understands the Players Health brand, vision, and mission to help athletes
Back-end banking technology infrastructure, powering the new and evolving Players Health financial experience
Debit card issuance for organizations that are connected to their growing suite of products and applications
Know Your Business (KYB) / Know Your Customer (KYC) checks of people and organizations for banking compliance
Banking and compliance operational support through Synctera’s Ground Control program
Streamlined accounting for Players Health's banking and lending services via monthly reconciliation using Synctera’s Ledger
Lending (coming soon to a field near you)
Early results: creating the “Most Valuable Product” for athletes and their families
Record time to market
Innovative banking solution
FinTech that scales
With Synctera, Players Health has been able to quickly build and launch their digital financial solutions in record time:
“Working with Synctera was hands down one of the fastest and best builds and launches in my career,” said Burks. “Within less than half a year, we built an application that was able to onboard and start helping nearly 50 clubs. And as we plan our broader rollout plan, we’re really excited to keep the momentum going to help more organizations get access to a banking solution that makes sense for them.”
And as the cost of sports equipment, fees, and other team-related costs mount, Players Health is already preparing its next set of financial products to support its community.
“As prices for sports increase, we’ve seen the access to sports decrease, '' said Burks. “We’re excited to keep building with Synctera and create a smart financing solution where athletes can Play Now and Pay Later.”
Synctera and featured clients are financial technology companies and not a bank. Banking services are provided by Synctera's partner banks who are Member FDIC. Mastercard® Debit Cards are issued by Synctera's partner banks pursuant to a license from Mastercard® and may be used everywhere Mastercard® debit cards are accepted.
Synctera Canada is a registered Money Service Business with FINTRAC. Synctera Canada is not a financial institution. Banking services are provided by Synctera Canada’s partner banks who are CDIC members. Mastercard® Prepaid Cards are issued by Synctera’s partner banks pursuant to a license from Mastercard® and may be used everywhere Mastercard® is accepted.