Casey Trujeque remembers exactly where he was when the idea for Sport Source—a new, IOS-only app that aims to connect athletes, coaches, and more to gyms and sports facilities—came to his mind. He was in his home in Portland. He was on his bed. And he was crying.
Trujeque, a former Division I athlete for Montana State University and trainer (even having trained Trailblazer Allen Crabbe), was at a crossroads. His now-defunct gym wasn’t doing too well. It seemed in constant need of maintenance, and Trujeque admits he just didn’t know the ins and outs of running a brick-and-mortar gym like he thought he did. “I was naïve,” he says.
“I thought, since I was well-known trainer, that clients would come, business would be OK, I would own this gym, and the numbers would add up. And I quickly realized that running a brick-and-mortar is a lot different from training because you have to wear so many different hats,” Trujeque says.
So the gym didn’t work out as he planned. And on some fateful day in January of 2019, he found himself crying on his bed, asking his sister for advice on what to do about it. She told him to put his gym on Peerspace, a peer-to-peer marketplace for events and meetings. Alas, a sporting facility didn’t quite fit the ethos of Peerspace.
“I was just so mad in that moment. [I was like,] ‘This isn’t what I want. I need something that targets my audience, that gives access to parents, coaches, trainers, athletes. Where am I going to get that?’ And in that moment, I was like, ‘That’s it. I’m just going to create it.’”
Two years later, Sport Source, which Trujeque cofounded with COO Molly Kline, is finally dropping. Its mission: to bring access and convenience to renting public or private gyms and sporting facilities. By allowing facility owners and operators to host their space (courts, fields, pools, backyards, garages, etc.) through the Sport Source app, users can rent out spaces in their area, filtering through types of activity and size.
Even as a professional trainer, Trujeque says finding a gym on the road can be an exhausting experience, one often relegated to word-of-mouth rather than a reliable search engine result.
“It was essentially such an antiquated way to do things. I felt like, with sports and renting gym space, we were living in a totally different era,” Trujeque says. “Just with the way the world is today, you can do everything with the click of a button. You can rent a house, you can rent a car, you can have food delivered. You can do everything else except rent and find a sports place.”
After a phase of beta testing with 25 spaces in the Portland area, Sport Source plans to expand the rollout internationally. Trujeque says the pandemic made more people prioritize their mental health and working out. The bigger, more recognizable gyms were no longer where people congregated, and instead, “It was the backyard basketball courts that athletes were training in. It was the backyard swimming pools. It was the garages. The pandemic gave way, I think, to Sport Source because now people are much more open to different ways of training or different ways of playing.”
A lot happened in those two years after Trujeque lost his gym. Not only did the pandemic slow down Sport Source’s initial timeline, but Trujeque moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles and ended up getting a job at Equinox, where he had his first job back in his teens. This time around, he applied to be a floor manager. His time there, being treated as “less than,” sowed the seeds for what would become the philosophy behind Sport Source: service.
“I just remember going to the interview and the hiring manager was like, ‘Why are you doing this?’…. And I was just in place where I didn’t want to be known for anything or any accomplishments that I had done. I just wanted to be of service to people,” Trujeque says. “I just thought that the next time that I do something it would be from the ground up. We would have a bottom-up approach.”