Owen Walker founded the organization Science for Sport. Former Director of Academy Sports Science and Strength & Conditioning at Cardiff City Football Club and interim Sports Scientist for the Welsh Football Association.
This article discusses Owen's success as a niche website builder, as well as the journey of his site and the systems he utilized to develop it successfully. He also examined online entrepreneurship more broadly, encompassing topics such as monetization, outsourcing, and employment.
Owen has always desired to be a professional football player, but he has never achieved this goal. He studied Sport Conditioning, Rehabilitation, and Massage in order to pursue a career as a sports scientist (SCRAM). After completing his undergraduate studies in 2014, he worked as a sports scientist for a professional football club while pursuing a master's degree in Strength & Conditioning.
In 2014, when his manager asked him if they should purchase costly wearable technology to aid in the team's training, Walker turned to the internet to determine if this type of technology was effective. However, he discovered that there was a dearth of quality sports science information online. His go-to website was bodybuilding.com. He realized he wanted to create an encyclopedia for sports science and medicine as a result. In addition, he discovered that the website's creator was only 21 years old when he sold it for $100 million.
Science for Sport is one of the primary information centers that translates peer-reviewed sports science for a general audience. Professional and collegiate teams have embraced the conduit, and Owen recently sold it to one of the world's largest sports technology corporations.
Starting Science for Sport
Owen began working on his plan to establish Science for Sport in 2015, despite having no business experience. He began building an audience by utilizing social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. He introduced the website without a product in April 2016 for the sole purpose of generating traffic. Eventually, he devised a plan to monetize the website by creating 40 blog posts that would drip-feed the website. In December of 2016, he launched the product and successfully monetized it.
Owen revealed that he had a grander vision of establishing sports performance centers exclusively for athletes, but if he did it at that time, he would not have as many clients due to his lack of recognition. Although it did not pass, it is part of his long-term plan. Once he had the center with the athletes from which he could extricate first-hand data and use it for his scientifically-supported evaluations, he hoped to establish greater authority in the market.
Owen argues that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are essential to the establishment of any company. He claimed that creating a SOP was as easy as using Google Documents to describe procedures in sequential order.
Owen was motivated by Robert Kiyosaki's Financial Flow Quadrant. The takeaway is that if a company is dependent on its proprietor for survival and expansion, it is not a business but rather an employment. Assuming this is the case, it is imperative for companies to implement effective methods.
In addition, he used McDonald's as an illustration of a successful business with a well-established procedure. McDonald's, in building and expanding their infrastructure, has amazed me. Anyone can now stroll into any McDonald's in the globe and find an amazing level of consistency. Their standard operating procedure (SOP) method has made it possible for adolescents or people with cognitive impairments to run the business.
Effectively Running the Company Using Systems
Owen stated that in order to operate a business in a systematic manner, one can either outsource the task or perform it oneself, allotting a specific amount of time to each task. As an entrepreneur, one's ultimate objective for the business is to keep daily operational duties out of the way so that they can devote their time to more important matters.
Owens believes that entrepreneurs must have a comprehensive comprehension of the six pillars of a business: product, marketing, sales, finances, operations, and team. For instance, if a business owner hires a marketing agency, he must be the one to determine the Metrics. However, those who do not comprehend KPIs will be exploited by the agency.
He advised business owners to immerse themselves in every facet of the industry, read books, watch videos, run campaigns, fail, and endure the agony. In this manner, they would know what actions to avoid in the future.
Building a Team
Owen described the recruiting procedure at Science for Sport. Since he desired to establish a reputation in the sports science industry, he made certain to employ the most qualified candidates. He has allotted a portion of the website for applicants to create a profile by filling out an online form widget, writing a 250-word explanation of why they are a good match, and uploading their résumé and cover letter.
It's a win for applicants because they can develop their profile and strengthen their resume and cv; it's a win for Science for Sport because they gain access to talent they can use to produce content; and it's a win for customers because they can ingest high-quality content from industry experts.
Additionally, he mentioned that he would rely on referrals from his network and the industry. Since sports science is a specialized field, it becomes almost less difficult to recruit talent.
Science for Sport as a Viable Product
Owen stated that Science for Sport's primary product is its monthly digital magazine because it is the shortest and most hassle-free method of product delivery. The monthly publication provides a summary of the most recent sports science studies.
With over ten thousand members around the world, Science for Sport now offers two primary paid products: a digital magazine summarizing the most recent research on sports science into relevant and useful content, and a collection of instructional courses on subjects ranging from nutrition to guidance to performance.
As a result of its dedication to the development of the sports science sector, it has established a network where professionals can learn from one another and benefit from access to cutting-edge study and material.
Selling the Site
Science for Sport was established in 2016, and since then it has become the sports science industry's primary hub for news, information, and networking. After running it successfully for four years, Owen sold the company in 2020 to Catapult, an Australian sports technology startup that offers wearable monitoring, athlete management, and film analysis tools, among other things.
Owen said the company was able to grow to $360,000 in revenue after receiving 85,000 unique website visitors per month and several million visitors in total over the course of four years.
The Catapult-Science for Sport partnership started in 2020, and since then, it has been thoroughly impressed by Science for Sport's scope, user involvement, and overall impact. Catapult would be able to offer its expert and nonprofessional customers access to cutting-edge training and learning via industry-leading material and online classes at a rapid pace after making this purchase.
Owen claimed that even if he had not sold Science for Sport for $100 million like bodybuilding.com, he still considered it a triumph because he has the expertise and knowledge to accomplish the same level of success. He also mentioned that his poor capacity for risk was a factor in his decision to sell the website.
Since Owen will continue to work for Catapult for the next two years, he added that he doesn't have any regrets over selling the site. He was interested in the process of selling his company and reaping the rewards that come with doing so.
His stated goal moving forward is to create a successful business that addresses a market need and benefits its customers. He continued by saying that he planned to start his own business in the future, either to retain for the income it provides or to invest in through the purchase of stock. Next on his agenda is scaling a business to nine figures.
While Owen envisions to dedicate his life to a project, he wants to ensure he maintains his personal life and enjoyment with his family.
As of writing, Owen has decided to live off the grid, skating and surfing every day, and just living his life to the fullest.
This article is a summary of the Niche Website Builders Podcast with Owen Walker. See the full Podcast on Youtube below.