Output Sports is a fabulous Irish success story. In 2018, the company was founded by Dr. Martin O’Reilly, Dr. Darragh Whelan and Julian Eberle, because of their deep running passion for sport and their desire to drive sports technology innovation. Output Sports technology provides “a 360 degree view of your athletes and is a valid and reliable support tool for critical decision making”, through data driven programming.

While Output Sports was founded in 2018, its origins stretches back six years earlier, when its co-founder O’Reilly was at NUI Galway as an undergraduate student in sports and exercise engineering. Speaking to the Federation of Irish Sport, Dr. Martin O’Reilly, reflected on founding Output Sports when he and Whelan were PhD students at University College Dublin.

“Having made some strong progress in our PhD research developing motion analysis for off field exercise, we felt there could be a commercial opportunity. To explore this, we interviewed over 100 sports practitioners in sport which truly showed us there was a gap to build an athletic testing and monitoring solution which is versatile, accurate and easy to use. 

“Because of this clear gap described by end users, we took the spin out journey from academia to start-up and haven’t looked back since!”

Output Sports has established itself as a leading brand in sports business and innovation. They are now seeking to partner with the Boston Red Sox basketball team as part of a major investment in the state of Masscahetus which includes, the opening of a new office in Boston, hiring five new team members and the appointment of former Leinster rugby player Adam Byre as Commercial Manager for North America.

“It is incredible to reflect on how the business has been going since we were just a team of 3 with an MVP back in 2020. We now have over 700 sports organisations using Output globally with over half of these in the US market, where I’m now based.

“There are a lot of achievements thanks to our team’s great work but notable ones include now having the tech used in the NBA, NFL, WNBA, WNSL, MLB, PGA, NHL and Premier League. We’re also proud to be on track to capture over 20 million measurements with the system this year.”

One person who was a crucial support to Output Sports in those early days, was Professor Brian Caulfield, a full Professor of Physiotherapy and a PI in the Insight Center for Data Analytics at University College Dublin, a PhD advisor to O’Reilly and Whelan. Back when the team was small, it was not only important, but essential that the three co-founders brought a unique skillset and expertise. 

“In our early days I was focussed on algorithms and tech, Julian on software development and Darragh on UX and providing the practitioner perspective as a physio. Nowadays, I head up our strategy and international expansion, Darragh runs operations and Jules continues to lead our great, expanding tech team.”

What’s next for Output Sport? The answer would appear to be a simple one, more relentless drive to expand the business.

“Our mission statement is to make elite level sports science simple and scalable so the horizon really focuses on expanding our community to help athletes across all levels of sport achieve their training goals. We will also be adding more community, education and personalised AI features.”

On their remarkable journey, the recognition of the excellence of Output Sports at the 2023 Irish Sports Industry Awards as Best New Sports Business of the Year, was an indicator of how far they have come.

“This was a real landmark for the Output team which we truly value. After 2.5 hard years building our V2 product, we won this award 6 months after launching it and it was a true marker of how far we had come both commercially and with the product. We were honoured especially considering the quality of the other applicants and the great sports tech ecosystem Ireland has.”

On a personal level, last year’s awards were special for O’Reilly. Dr. Fiona Chambers, a Senior Lecturer in Education at University College Cork was the inaugural winner of the KPMG Women in Business in Sport Award. O’Reilly’s relationship with Chambers stretches back to the early 2000’s.

“Way back, 2003-2006 Dr. Chambers was in fact a teacher of mine in Carrigaline Community School and even more memorably she was my athletics coach! She was an incredible coach and I remember being gutted when she left the school to make her next career steps. It was a lovely full circle moment last year to see her again at the awards and to both be able to share a win on the night.”

The 2024 Irish Sports Industry Awards will be its 7th iteration, they will be celebrated on Tuesday 28th May at The College Green Hotel in Dublin. We are excited to announce that Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD, will deliver the keynote address.