Agile Sports Technologies
This is a screen shot from Agile Sports Technologies' website Agile Sports Technologies

The University of Nebraska wasn't the only Lincoln institution working on cementing a relationship with a new conference.

Around the time the Huskers were working on plans to move to the Big Ten, Lincoln software company Agile Sports Technologies was signing up new clients there and in the Pac-10.

The small firm, whose main product is an interactive football playbook called Hudl, more than doubled its stable of Division I football clients over the past month.

In late May, Agile Sports announced deals with Michigan, Arizona State, USC and Oregon. Then last week, the company finalized a deal with Penn State.

That gives Agile Sports deals with seven Bowl Championship Series conference teams -- Nebraska and Minnesota are the others. Agile Sports also recently signed up the Denver Broncos, giving it three NFL customers.

"It's been awesome," said Agile Sports CEO David Graff. "It's been a great year for us."

Graff said Agile Sports now has 13 college and pro teams using its Hudl system - which several media outlets have dubbed the "Facebook of football" - and around 1,300 high schools, including 85 percent of the schools in Nebraska's Class A.

While its high school product, has boomed, it's taken the college and pro version a lot longer to catch on.

Graff said budgets for pro and college football teams have been "tight" for the past couple of years, but they have opened up a little bit more this year, especially at the college level, where "boosters' pockets are opening up a little bit."

He said college coaches are also slower to adopt new technologies.

But having connections has helped the company get its foot in the door.

Graff and two other UNL students, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz developed Hudl in 2006 and got then-NU coach Bill Callahan to use it.

When Callahan was fired after the 2007 season, he took Hudl with him to his new job as an assistant with the New York Jets.

The system caught on there, and when Jets Coach Eric Mangini went to Cleveland to coach the Browns, he took Hudl with him.

Graff said ties to the Jets helped land contracts with Minnesota and USC, and Minnesota's praise for the system helped generate interest among Big Ten schools.

He's hoping the word-of-mouth will continue to bring in clients.

Graff said Agile Sports is negotiating several more deals with college teams.

"We'll see if any of those close before the season starts," he said.

In the meantime, Agile Sports is gearing up to move across the street to new, bigger office space in the Haymarket, on the second floor of the building at Eighth and P that used to house the Salvation Army distribution center.

Graff said the space will meet the company's needs as it looks to keep growing.

Reach Matt Olberding at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

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