By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/1/15
The big news is that NXTsports LLC relocated its offices to Philadelphia’s hottest business district, the Navy Yard, three months ago.
The real news is the continued growth of the largest lacrosse organizations in the region, and perhaps the nation.
NXTsports, founded just five years ago, is a youth and high school-aged sports company – for lacrosse and many other sports – focused on creating innovative sports education programs and executing industry-leading sports events. It was formerly headquartered in Bala Cynwyd and moved to a 7,000-square-foot office space at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia on January 1. The Navy Yard is a dynamic, growing business campus, home to more than 11,000 employees and 145 companies, and has earned a reputation as the spot for the emerging companies to do business.
The move was a milestone in NXT’s growth, which was born from the Philly Showcase debut in 2009 as the first national lacrosse recruiting event in the region. The company at that time had only its founder, Andy Hayes. Now, it has 20 full-time employees, runs 30 lacrosse events around the country, offers club lacrosse programs and also offers programs in many other sports while also running events for schools and other organizations.
“The growth of NXT has mirrored the growth of The Navy Yard, so of course we quickly identified The Navy Yard as an ideal fit for NXT,” said Hayes, NXT’s President and CEO. “The Navy Yard’s location at the heart of Philadelphia’s sports infrastructure is appealing to us, but more importantly, it has emerged as the region’s top location for growing businesses.”
“There’s a great culture at The Navy Yard with so many great businesses to learn from. We couldn’t be more excited to move.”
Rapid growth best describes NXT. Even since its announced move to the Navy Yard last fall, NXT has made four major announcements of expansion in its lacrosse events. NXT has taken over event operations for two powerful forces in lacrosse, LB3 Atlanta with Liam Banks, and MVP events with Jim Stagnitta. NXT also launched the Mid Atlantic Lacrosse Spring League, a spring league for elite club programs. After three weeks, the league has already stamped itself as a major factor for the development of young talent.
And most recently, NXT entered a deal with the Inter-Ac to launch the Inter-Ac Challenge. The Inter-Ac Challenge, a new postseason lacrosse tournament, will hold its quarterfinals at the Conshohocken Proving Grounds and then its semifinals and finals at PPL Park. The Comcast family of networks will televise the semifinals and title game live and replay them multiple times.
The announcement that NXT was moving this event to a large venue like PPL Park is not the first time the company has made a splash. NXT formerly held the Philly Charity Showdown – the kickoff for the Philly Showcase weekend – at PPL Park and then moved it to the larger Citizens Bank Park.
Brett Manney, the Director of Showcase Lacrosse for NXT, is tasked with providing well-run, innovative and exciting events that are beneficial to competitors, coaches and the fans. To achieve that, Manney said, the company looks for progressive and motivated employees.
“We have a young and energetic company that’s on the upward path,” said Manney, a true Philly product who starred at Holy Ghost Prep and played on Delaware’s Final Four team of 2007. “But like our new office, we are an unfinished product. People may know us for the Philly Showcase and our lacrosse events, but we have so much more.”
Indeed NXT runs elite recruiting events such as the Philly Showcase and the Can-Am Showcase (Michigan), three showcase recruiting camps (Philly and Georgia), high school and youth tournaments in Philly and throughout the south and midwest and club programs (Philly and Chicago) as well as the popular Philadelphia Indoor Lacrosse Championships. NXT also runs the widely acclaimed Cradle Lacrosse programs for youths, Trashcan Lacrosse leagues and camps and Philly Girls’ Showcase. A Philly girls’ club program will be launched soon and NXT’s website
(http://nxtsports.com/) is well-recognized for its ease of use and content features.
NXT has also quickly developed into one of the Philadelphia area and country’s elite lacrosse clubs. It has grown from one team to 13 in Philadelphia, plus three more in Chicago. It has gone from a start-up club to a well-respected club with more than 60 collegiate commits, including the likes of Virginia, Maryland, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Penn, Ohio State and many others. The club’s growth has helped and mirrored NXTsports’ growth. NXT LC’s “More Than a Club” motto is a direct reflection of the club’s desire to enhance the lacrosse experience for the entire area, whether they play for NXT or not.
For all of NXT’s lacrosse success, the company is also developing programming in sports such as basketball, soccer, water polo and swimming, for people aged 8 to 18 in the Philly region. NXT’s goal is to morph from a lacrosse leader into a true leader in youth sports and it appears they’ve found a perfect new home to serve as a launching pad.
“Our goal is to run organized and efficient events that players and fans alike will enjoy,” said Manney. “The coaches that come know they’ll be treated very well and the fans coming in will enjoy a true experience. People like coming back to our events.”
Philadelphia city officials also expressed excitement to add a dynamic company like NXT.
“We are thrilled that NXTsports understands why The Navy Yard provides the perfect location in which to continue growing its business,” said Will Agate, Senior Vice President, Navy Yard Management & Development. “This is the kind of company that understands that The Navy Yard attracts a talented workforce, as well as excellent access to Philadelphia and the entire region.”
“(This) highlights the rapid growth of one of the nation’s leading youth sports companies, NXTsports. It shows that local startups are following their passion and developing exciting and innovative companies in the city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia. “We are beyond excited to have NXT locate and grow in Philadelphia.”