ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol says he likely spends his free time a bit differently than his colleagues.
“Some people play golf or tennis, that’s their hobby. My hobby is business,” Marmol said.
That's because besides his role with the Cardinals, Marmol is an entrepreneur and co-founder of sports-focused educational technology startup Versus (VS). It’s a venture he’s launched with his wife, Amber, and two other co-founders with Cardinals ties.
VS, which has been in the works for nearly a decade, announced Tuesday that it plans next month to launch its technology, a mobile app designed to provide instruction and mentorship to athletes. The subscription-based app will include video-based instruction that is geared toward athletes as well as coaches and parents. It has been built with “conversational artificial intelligence technology” that allows users to pose questions to the instructors and receive answers from them immediately, officials said.
In building out its product, VS has worked with New York-based design agency Fantasy to create its app and website and Los Angeles-based technology company StoryFile to include its conversational AI technology.
VS' initial roster of instructors boasts eight athletes, including Major League Baseball stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Albert Pujols and former Olympic softball players Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza. VS' initial programming will focus on baseball and softball instruction, and it plans to begin offering content for soccer and additional sports later this year. It said its courses will cover both on-field skills and the mental aspect of sports.
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