STATSports - The NI company revolutionizing the sporting world

  • Paul McKernan is the managing director of Newry-based fitness tech firm, STATSports. He shared with Sync NI what he thinks helps build successful businesses and brands.

    Career Pathway/Snapshot

    Paul McKernan has worked at some of Northern Ireland’s fastest growing companies over the last 20 years since graduating from the Jordanstown campus of Ulster University. As Head of IT at Westland Horticulture in Dungannon he implemented two ERP systems at a time when the business grew at a staggering rate.

    At Chain Reaction Cycles - the world’s largest online cycling retailer - Paul operated as Head of Trading, helping a team of buyers and merchandisers meet the challenging daily sales and margin targets with a focus on people and data.

    Now, as Managing Director of STATSports, Paul is helping the business to continue its phenomenal growth trajectory whilst also managing the many challenges this brings.  The exciting business on the B2B side work with teams like Juventus, Liverpool, Ireland Rugby and many more while on the B2C side offer amateur athletes the ability to use the same tech as these elite teams. 

    Attributes to leading a successful company

    Without sitting on the fence, it’s a melting pot of characteristics. There is no one trait that takes precedence over the others. Having good interpersonal skills, being detailed and organized is obvious. You won’t get far managing anything without each those. 

    But collaboration is important. Without it, teams are working in silos. And while that may still be effective, it’s not optimal for maximum productivity and innovation. You need to facilitate a situation where there is always cross-departmental activity and new ideas are given oxygen to grow.  This has never been more important as people work from home through covid and as the business grows, we need to ensure this remains a priority.

    Trust is also vital. There’s no point having talented people working for you if you’re constantly micro-managing their workload. Believe in their abilities and allow them to flourish. 

    Building effective teams

    Ultimately, it’s about having the right people in place, as the business scales you cannot be in every meeting or conversation and hiring the right people in senior positions, then allowing them to build their team has really worked for us.  

    The team need to be clear on what is expected of them but more importantly why and how it contributes to the overall business.  It is also imperative to focus on the team not just hiring individuals, they have to fit and ‘make the boat go faster’. 

    Delivering growth strategies

    At STATSports, we straddle both B2B and B2C markets so it’s not a ‘one size fits’ all process. Each strategy is quite nuanced. 

    In 2020, despite the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, we still managed to grow our core end of the business significantly year-on-year, with 75% recurring revenue. While on our consumer channel continues to have triple digit growth.

    2021 has been another year of exponential growth for us and that’s down to both strategic investment and fantastic work from the entire team at STATSports. 

    Best in class product, retaining long-term clients and locking in new global partnerships are key drivers, while activating 360 marketing campaigns allows us to reach every potential customer across the world.

    This article first appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of the Sync NI magazine. You can download your FREE copy and sign up to receive future digital editions here.

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