Inventor, innovator and business developer Dr. Mark Janas, a United States Sports Academy alumnus, has developed and launched a virtual racing platform designed to revolutionize the world of endurance racing and charitable fundraising, the latest of many products he has created to integrate sport and technology.
Janas, who earned his Doctor of Education degree in Sports Management with a sports medicine emphasis in 2011, was the Academy’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year. His latest invention, RevoRace.com, is a platform that can be used as a fundraising tool for schools, charities, sports teams and fundraising events.
Janas said earning his doctoral degree from the Academy gave him a deeper knowledge of the business side of sports, which has helped as he has brought new products to the market.
“I chose the United States Sports Academy specifically because it was a sports-only doctoral program,” said Janas, who lives in Raleigh, N.C. “I had a solid business background, both academically and professionally, before starting at the Academy, but I was searching for more sports business/science-specific content to support the work I was doing at the time in minor league professional basketball.
“The business of sport is unique, and there are very few places a prospective student can go to find this type of education,” he said. “Once at the Academy I found myself blending all of my worlds – minor league sports, IT product development, and medicine – in my studies and my research. It was a perfect fit for me.”
Released officially at the beginning of 2017, RevoRace.com is a virtual racing platform designed for endurance races of all types including cycling, running, paddling, swimming, and many others. Janas said it allows event organizers to set up races over a predesignated period of time with a pre-designated course using a Global Positioning System (GPS) file. Participants register and complete the events on their own time, documenting their performances by uploading a GPS file or by using the integrated RevoRace mobile app.
Janas said the system cuts out the “middle men” by sending the fees directly to charitable organizations.
“When the event period is over, places are assigned and prizes can be awarded just like any other endurance event,” Janas said. “There is even the opportunity buy an event t-shirt. Registration fees can be routed directly to the charitable organization without any middle men. The project has been great fun so far and gives busy athletes more opportunities to compete than they might otherwise have.
“Endurance racing has been one of my personal interests for a very long time, so in that sense working on RevoRace has been extra gratifying.”
Janas has worked for 17 years as a managing partner and chief technology officer for in3, a company that develops products in the medical and sports industries. On the healthcare side, company has developed specialized systems for electronic health records. For sports, the company developed ScoreTRAX, a score distribution service, and an LED scorer’s table designed for high school, small college, and minor league sports. ScoreTRAX is an SMS subscription service that helps sports fans to track scores and news from their favorite teams. The company also launched a program for coaches, athletic directors and sports professionals to become “regional contact directors” in their own individual businesses.
Janas created ScoreTRAX while he was pursuing his doctoral degree from the Academy. He said the Academy’s distance learning options allowed him to continue his career while furthering his education.
“Because of my busy schedule as a business owner with a family, a self-paced, distance learning program was really my only option,” he said.
“I’ve worked with some great organizations in my career, and I’ve been fortunate enough in business to have some successes with several different companies and products,” Janas said. “But, I’d have to say my greatest accomplishment is getting my company to the point where we have the luxury developing lots of products and ideas in the areas that interest us most versus simply always chasing the low hanging fruit and the money. Not every idea is going to be a hit in this model, and you have to be prepared for some misses, but the wins are more rewarding when you’re blazing new trails.”
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.