HOUSTON, September 19, 2018 — Two young entrepreneurs – brother and sister team Jeff and Sarah Long – have announced the launch of their new Houston-based tech start-up, Axis Earth, focused around connecting individual and adventure sports athletes of all levels. This platform brings together athletes who have a mutual passion for the outdoors and helps expand their networks while allowing them to share experiences and motivate younger people to get involved. The Longs also envision Axis Earth as a weapon in fighting the growing problem of tech addiction.
Depending on the study, it’s estimated that teens and young adults spend as much as five to eight hours a day on their devices, including texting, playing games, using social media and surfing the internet. Social media can be especially problematic with bullying and shaming. Studies have noted disturbing trends among teenagers since 2010 with strong correlations between smartphone addiction and mental health issues, including sleep problems, depression and even suicide.
“Technology can connect people in positive, healthy ways and be a tool for learning, but it can also lead to destructive behaviors and consequences when overused and/or abused,” says Sarah Long. “The Axis Earth app promotes active, healthy lifestyles through sports and social interactions. However, it can also be part of the arsenal in battling nature deficit disorder, a phenomenon especially common among children and teens but that also pertains to adults who spend much of their free time indoors and on devices such as smartphones and iPads.”
The Longs believe there is an untapped market of athletes who are focused on individual sports such as skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, running and fishing. The new Axis Earth app targets this subset of athletes and gives them a place to better connect to their peers, fans and even potential sponsors. “We also hope it will inspire the younger generation to put down their phones and head outdoors to discover the fun and excitement of adventure sports,” says Jeff Long.
A cross between a social media tool, a professional networking site and a platform to expand an influencer role, Axis Earth takes the best parts of existing social media platforms such as photos, status updates, professional experience and cross-promotion, and connects them in one place. For example:
- Photos like Instagram
- Status updates like Facebook
- Professional experience like LinkedIn
- Ability to cross-promote to other touchpoints like Hootsuite
- Connectivity similar to Tinder or Find a Friend platforms
Active in non-mainstream sports, both Jeff and Sarah Long have experienced firsthand the difficulty in connecting with other athletes. As an avid climber, Jeff found it challenging to reach out to other climbers when he traveled, saying, “I would find myself in the middle of nowhere, with a rope, harness, and a great route to climb, but I couldn’t find a partner to go out with.”
“By enabling users to select activities they currently do, are interested in doing and rate their skill levels, Axis Earth brings people together with others in their sports, including athletes with more and less experience,” says Jeff Long. It also supports increased exposure among sports and provides the foundation for athletes to connect during travel and improve skills, while offering a place for insider tips and Yelp-style reviews.
“I had been looking for a way to connect with others who shared my interests and hobbies but that usually was limited to my own friend group or Google searches,” says Mathis Mayo, an avid runner who learned about Axis Earth in the early stages through friend Jeff Long. “Other social networks have become just a bunch of pictures of friends’ kids and politics. However, Axis Earth can cut straight to the chase to help me find people to run with near my home or find new places to hike, hunt, and fish all over the country.” Mayo became sold on the app and agreed to come on board as chief financial officer for Axis Earth.
The Axis Earth app is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play stores and links to both can be found on the website. The company will be adding additional features over the next couple of months which focus on building up the individual activities offerings.
About Axis Earth
Axis Earth unites athletes to build new partnerships with each other and sponsors, changing the way athletes expand their network, travel, interact with other athletes, and branch out to other sports. Axis Earth’s innovative and practical solutions create a community and a multimedia business card that empowers athletes to serve as a role model for up and coming participants in their sport.