Cardinals’ manager Oliver Marmol launches ed tech company aimed at mentoring aspiring athletes

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Oliver Marmol says his rise from player to the youngest manager in MLB has been aided by the mentorship he has received and the questions he has asked over the years.

Now the St. Louis Cardinals manager is hoping to give other aspiring athletes the same opportunity he was given.

Marmol ventures into the corporate world as the co-founder of a sports-focused educational technology startup Against (VS), which he started with his wife Amber and two other co-founders who have ties to the Cardinals.


St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol co-founded sports-focused educational technology start-up Versus with his wife Amber.

On Tuesday, VS announced the upcoming launch of its platform and app designed to provide athletes with interactive instruction and mentoring. The subscription-based app features video instruction from famous athletes and coaches.

Users of the app – young athletes, their coaches or parents – can also ask the instructors questions live during a session and receive an immediate answer thanks to next-generation conversational AI technology.

“I wish that was something that was already there when I was a player. When I think back to how I can do what I’m doing today, access matters,” Marmol told Fox News Digital. “We hope this app will allow them to get mentorship from some of the people who have already achieved what they want to achieve.”

More than 20 athletes and coaches make up the roster of instructors, including former and current MLB players such as Albert Pujols, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ozzie Smith. Other coaches include Olympic softball players Jennie Finch, Jessica Mendoza and Florida Gators head coach Tim Walton.

More than 20 athletes and coaches make up the list of instructors

More than 20 athletes and coaches make up the list of instructors

Interacting with the talent allows users to learn more about the physical and mental side of the sport, according to Marmol. VS will initially offer baseball and fast-pitch softball courses and will later expand to soccer and soccer, he added.

According to Marmol, users, whether they’re 10 years old or over 18, can ask the instructors hundreds of questions, and they’ll have answers to them. He said the app is also tailored for parents and coaches, who can ask one of the coaches, like Pujols, questions about what his own family has done to motivate him or what his coach has done to help him, as a player to grow.

“As a staff member, I’ve had access to some of the greatest minds in baseball, which has allowed me to take certain values ​​and principles from them and apply them to how to run and maintain the clubhouse, how to communicate with players…staff and management ‘ Marmol said. “So I’ve been able to take so much from different people who have already achieved what I’m trying to achieve, and that has allowed me to accelerate that development process.”


Marmol said the idea for the startup came after he and his wife went on a foreign mission to Guatemala, where they stayed at an orphanage for seven days and helped out at a feeding center.

Marmol was named manager of the St. Louis Cardinals last October

Marmol was named manager of the St. Louis Cardinals last October

“It was the first time we had faced this level of poverty and it really had an impact on how we would live our lives going forward,” Marmol told Fox News.

Upon returning to the US, Amber suggested creating a platform with ties to the sport so athletes could teach their craft and talk about how they made it through mentally and emotionally, he said.

VS plans to donate 10% of its sales to charities focused on development and access for underserved youth. It is also working with various athletes and companies to sponsor 50,000 subscriptions to the service for children who would not otherwise have access to this information, Marmol said. The company plans to double those 50,000 subscriptions to eventually give away 100,000.

“Until now, aspiring athletes who wanted to learn more have done so in a linear path with two-dimensional content. But through Versus, they will be able to go deeper with our experts to break through the mentality of becoming a top athlete and unlock their own full potential on and off the field,” said Eric Frye, CEO of VS. ” Never before has there been an offering with our mix of professional mentoring, live interaction and philanthropy.”

The app and website were developed by New York-based company Fantasy, and VS partnered with Los Angeles-based company StoryFile for conversational AI technology.

Marmol, who has been part of the Cardinals’ organization since his draft in 2007, was named the team’s manager last October. He replaced Mike Shildt, who was fired after the 2021 season ended. Shildt co-owns VS with Trey Nielsen, a former minor league pitcher with the Cardinals.

Marmol called the timing between his hiring and founding a “coincidence”. He expressed his excitement about the upcoming baseball season and said it felt “really good” to see everyone back in the clubhouse.


“It’s been an interesting off-season but to be back with everyone now has been great,” Marmol added.

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