Startup Story: Tracking All Things Basketball

Sports analytics has become a big business among sports outlets like ESPN. There are also numerous online services out there tracking every statistic imaginable across all major sports.

At just 22 years old, entrepreneur Ricky Mouser had no hesitation to jump into the sports analytics field. The recent college graduate launched Last Man Up, LLC in May 2015. He does all of his analysis right out of his house in Dallas, Texas.

“Right now, I am exclusively doing sports analytics for college basketball,” Mouser explains. “The focus is on scouting player tendencies and looking at a team’s upcoming opponents. I work with monstrous spreadsheets of data to track, analyze, and then make statements about these numbers.” Mouser talks about how he came up with the name for his small business.

“When I was in high school, the football coach asked me to track the stats for some of the games. Whenever there was a big pileup of players on the field, I’d always record the tackle for the last man up from the pile.”

While he has tracked some high school sports statistics, Mouser admits that Division I college athletics is where the real money is at for him to be successful. He recently signed a deal with Penn State University to track stats for the school’s men’s basketball team.

Enjoyment to Self-Employment

Small business owners often cite all kinds of reasons for why they enjoy what they do each day. For Mouser, it’s all about flexibility and getting to watch sports for a living.

“I watch games on TV and stream them online,” he explains. “Then I collect all the stats and write up a report based on my observations of each player. I use at least 12 different categories to analyze a single shot. I really like that I can pick my own hours. I can stay up late at night, watch basketball, and get paid for it. You really can’t beat that.”

Competition in the Sports Analytics Field

Sports analytics is a vast industry, and Mouser has found it difficult to get his name out there. But he keeps plugging along and knows he can be an asset to any athletic department that wants to improve a team’s approach, which will ideally result in more wins.

“My biggest challenge is competing against ex-players who now do scouting work,” he admits. “Doing analytics is my own personal edge that sets me apart.”

Small Business Marketing Strategies

To get the word out about Last Man Up, LLC, the entrepreneur has a website that explains his services. He has also spent a lot of time sending e-mails to coaches and video coordinators at various schools nationwide. Plus, he hopes to attend some of the NCAA Tournament games in the spring to make connections with those who could benefit from analytics reporting.

Challenges to Startup Success

Like most first-time small business owners, Mouser admits he knew next to nothing about business ownership before taking the leap of faith into his current venture. That’s why he sought out legal and accounting services to ensure he stays compliant.

He also says it’s tough to get responses from potential clients, but once he does, he’s good to go.

“Getting my foot in the door is hard. But once they give me 10 minutes to pitch my analytics services, I can close the deal pretty easily.”

His biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business on their own is to maintain another source of income. He currently tutors calculus and statistics, in addition to managing Last Man Up.

Experience as a Client of 1-800Accountant

Ricky Mouser is a client of 1-800Accountant and says he has been happy with the business accounting guidance he has received from the national firm.

“I had no clue about what’s involved in business taxes,” Mouser says. “It’s actually very boring for me. I am glad I can let someone else handle all of this.”

Photo credit: The photograph of Ricky Mouser was provided by Last Man Up, LLC and is used with permission.

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