Specializing in broadcasting youth sports and activities online, the Lexington, Ky.-based company iHigh has been around for more than a decade. But thanks to some new partnerships and innovative features—including a school fundraiser—iHigh is poised for even further growth.
The company operates on the notion that internet surfers want to see the young people in their lives play sports, make trombones growl, show cattle, fly over the pommel horse, or sing opera. And it’s not limited to Kentucky or the United States: iHigh.com broadcasts videos of basketball in Puerto Rico, judo in Singapore, and band concerts, ball games, graduations, and plays from just about anywhere.
“Avenues they bring to the table were not available at our level before,” said Julian Tackett, chief executive officer of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. “It has unbelievable growth potential. … Virtually anybody can use it.”
Said A.J. Stadelmeyer, who helps oversee iHigh content at Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Ky.—including games, videos, and photos from not only the school’s athletic teams, but also its theater, band, and choir: “The parents want to see the kids. That gets the hits.”
Here’s how it works: Schools and other organizations sign on with iHigh.com. They get a list of equipment that works best with iHigh technology and a venue to upload videos and other school information. After initial setup, the school or group can broadcast just about any event or video it wants to. Viewers can watch live streaming video of events, or archived videos later.
How is iHigh different from YouTube, that Grand Central Station of internet video? Unlike Google-owned YouTube, iHigh provides resources to help schools figure out how to structure broadcasts, set up an online presence, and recruit advertisers. (iHigh also does not offer comment posting.)
Like Yahoo and Facebook, iHigh offers free services because of its regional and national advertising base, which it says is all high school age-appropriate. iHigh webinars, for example, are sponsored by Chevrolet.