BEYOND THE FREEBOWLER SUPERTHROWER: PART -I

At freebowler, we often get asked about our plans, ideas, next steps, the future line of products and in general what’s coming up. It’s great that people recognize, identity, and commend our work, and we genuinely appreciate people’s generosity, support, and eagerness to know what’s in the pipeline. Thanks to our social media marketing efforts. We’ve stayed consistent throughout, although not the best, we’ve managed to keep the audience interested and in our pursuit of building a global cricket brand. Now that we have developed the cricket’s first non-electric and portable cricket ball thrower and commercializing it around the world, it’s set a standard/benchmark for developing a similar innovative simple but effective and affordable training aids.

Sometimes we feel the pressure of delivering but then we also soon realize and understand the fact that we need to take it in our stride to make things happen beyond freebowler. We are still too early in the process there’s a long way to go before this “non-electric and portable cricket ball thrower” becomes a thing in cricket. It’s nice that we’ve built a proof of concept for a viable business model, but then there’s a lot that needs to be done to be meaningfully successful. What do we mean by that?

1. It should genuinely help solve the needs of the cricketers around the world
2. Make and sell enough to be financially stable. Its scalability. Yes, how far this product alone has the legs to run freebowler as a sustainable business? Could we sell enough to be functionally operational in the next two years?

We genuinely believe that freebowler Superthrower has the potential to reach thousands of cricketers and truly impact lives around the world. We also realize that’s just not enough for the product, company, and the cricketers. It still doesn’t solve the problem completely while it’s the beginning of solving a portion of the problem.

It would be hard to sustain like a bowling machine manufacturing company. We might end up selling 50,000 of them and reach our goal, but it’s not over yet because the hardware businesses run in perpetuity. We want to be an authentic cricket innovation brand. But we need to first sell enough of these bowling machines to put ourselves in a position and from there grow big as a business and a brand with a future line of products. So to people’s (investors, advisors, customers, and other stakeholders) question on what’s next? Yes, off course we have thought through this. We have ideas, plans, and a road map that we want to follow. Here’s a list of a future line of products /projects we envision to take the freebowler business and brand to the next level over the next five years.

1. FREEBOWLER SUPERTHROWER ACCESSORIES

Let’s start with something simple, realistic, necessary, and straightforward. Yes, a set of accessories for the existing product to along with it which could potentially be a regular buy and recurring revenue model. Just like the razor — razor blade business model -We change the blade while we kept the razor intact. Similarly, we have components that go with the existing bowling machine frame that could serve as an add-on and provide value for people and generate revenue both at the same time.

1. Springs: The power source and energy for the ball thrower has a rating for 30000 cycles, which is about 5000 overs, depending upon how much people use, it’s consumable and needs a replacement for a time to time. Since the spring cable system is a linear extension system, it extends over some time. So the entire spring cable assembly needs to be changed over time.

2.Kit Bag: Some people often ask for a sturdy and durable kit for the ball thrower itself. Especially in more prominent countries like Australia, UK, South Africa, people see it carrying to different places by fitting the ball thrower along with their other training gears — pads, gloves, helmet, bat inside it. So it’s 2 for 1, it doubles up as a cricket kit and a bowling machine carrying bag and both at the same time.

3.Protective Casing: For the most part, once the ball thrower is set up, it’s not folded down until and unless required. Some clubs have storage space to secure the bowling machine, and some don’t. People keep it both indoors and outdoors, fully erected, and folded down depending upon their abilities to store it. So to protect the machine from moisture, rains, dust and eventual rusting, it’s advisable to enclose the machine frame using a body cover.

4.Safety Net: This is an important one because it’s something we have been meaning to provide for the safety of our users. We’ve received much feedback on this, and it’s about time we make it available and a mandatory add-on to be used along with the product. This safety net again has a dual purpose, it doubles up as a protective net for the machine and a ball catching net behind the batsman to find balls when they don’t have a keeper and to avoid balls flying behind the stumps and picking them up far behind the stumps later.

5.Ball Bag: Although this is a tiny one and comes along with the machine, it’s got a lot of potentials to be used outside of the bowling machine for everyday practice and storing a set of cricket balls. We’ve seen some horrid ones out there where people store cricket balls in onion sacks, cement bags, water buckets, shoe covers, and more. Instead, people could use a handy ball bag. The ones available in the market are quite expensive, so we could potentially explore this space and provide cricketers with inexpensive and comfortable ones.

6. Ball Throwing Cup: Yes, this is another important, and exciting add-ons of all. The razor-razor blade comes into the picture here again. Just like the springs, the ball throwing cup also has a lifetime. However, the exciting thing lies in the variants of this. We could engineer specially designed cups for swing, spin and for different bowling simulations.

We believe in bringing value to cricketers first and then monetizing the value. It’s wise, a good business practice ethically to sell people what they want to be sold on. Brand = ‘Customer First’.

2.SUPERTHROWER MINI

Yes, how often have we been asked about this at various demonstration sessions at clubs, academies, schools, and apartments? People go like

“Why don’t you make a scaled-down version of the same for 8–10-year-olds? The one you have is good for adults 14 and above, this is quite tall for an 8-year-old. It’s hard for us to get to these practice facilities in this traffic every day, we’d rather have something small that can throw practice cricket balls at slow speeds from a lesser distance like half-pitch. Again we can’t feed our sons /daughters for hundreds of balls, we’d fancy having a training aid which is simple, non-electric, lightweight and throws cricket balls at lower speeds in one step operation”.

So we go like — ‘thanks for just taking freebowler to the next level, and of course, we’ll make it soon’. Just knowing the fact that cricket is only going to get bigger and better, understanding the youth cricket market we already see huge potential with this product idea. Every cricketer growing up could grow up with a ‘Superthrower Mini’ in their backyard, garage, front yard or backyard. Kids love batting, and they need somebody or something to throw balls at them all the time. Even in an academy, a 10–12-year-old needs to practice thousands of balls at 80–90kmph day in and day out to get into the professional junior cricket team. So there’s a need for a ball throwing equipment or a throw down equipment for every junior cricketer. Period. End of the story. We are building one already, and it’s going to be out there in the market soon at a price point every individual junior cricketer can own one.

Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Pitching Machine For Youth Baseball

3.FREEBOWLER TRAINING APP

We’ve previously expressed our desire to take the batting training experience to the next level through technology integration with the existing product. As previously mentioned, we feel we are still not entirely providing the solution to the problem with batting training; we want to incentivize the cricketers and also track their progress over a while and reciprocate the results to them in a way that reflects in their game through runs. Every cricketer on this earth wants to see the video of their batting technique, style, form, and more. So it could be as simple as an application on their cellphone that could record their batting video as a highlights package. Meaning capturing only the batting bits and nothing else outside of batting time. The captured highlights package video could be shared with their fellow cricketers, coaches, parents, and others for review and get feedback to improve their game.

Apart from the application, we want to incentivize them by rewarding them for their progress. Just like a fitness app which provides you a customized workout plan depending on time, place, fitness level and your other body characteristics, we’ll provide training plans and packages for people using the freebowler Superthrower Non-electric and Portable Cricket Ball Thrower through a mobile app. We could give them customized training session plan for their day/week /month /year depending on factors and parameters like time, place, experience level, batting style and a particular set of techniques they want to work on with match simulations. There’s so much more that we can do with cricket training not just with the bowling machine but overall.

Except for institutional training setups, the cricket training space is unorganized and most times cricketers go through the motions and do not realize the importance and significance of the practice session. It could be because of a lot of things like the coach’s inefficiency, inexperience, and more. There is much scope for better organizing a 2-hour practice session through an application which could otherwise be ineffective. For example, depending on the place of practice(indoor/outdoor), size of the field(small/medium/big), number of people(4/10/20), time available(30/60/120 min), age group, experience level, goal, and other parameters. Then the training app could provide customized cricket practice workout plan based on these inputs right from multiple warm-up exercises/games, stretching, batting, bowling, fielding drills, cool down, fitness, meditation and could also take it to the next level to nutrition.

So there are many scopes to make cricket training organized and productive at the individual level using technology and a mobile application. Many entities are already working on this program, and we’re not the first, there are better-equipped companies with resources-expertise, money, and access to players and coaches to develop a comprehensive cricket training app. However, we’d like to contribute to this ecosystem in our capacity and make the overall offering better. An app-based recurring subscription model to connect coaches with players with technology integration to track the progress, customized training modules, and recommended training aids (other brands products could be featured on our platform and monetize them) is the business model.

PART-II TO FOLLOW WITH MORE IDEAS…