Our executive director, Tom Hanley, is writing the occasional blog to give insight to day to day operations of Nine13sports as we continue to grow and push the boundaries of what is possible.

Kids Riding Bikes and the healthcare industry, it’s a pretty logical marriage, right?

We’ve always thought so, but it took a long time for the healthcare world to understand the ultimate value in our offerings. From the time I launched programs in late 2011 to present, we’ve had a long history with working with healthcare provider partners.

When Nine13 came onto the scene in late 2011, we were a little early to the party in wanting to create new avenues for community engagement through health and fitness. The healthcare industry was quickly changing, layoffs were occurring across all the major providers, and sponsorship and marketing budgets were being slashed back to almost nothing. Being the new kids on the block, we didn’t stand a chance.

Franciscan is our largest healthcare partner, and you’ll see their branding at many of our program sites and on our equipment

But, I was persistent. I was relentless. My vision for what we could do for the healthcare industry was to not only provide branding impact within the schools here in Central Indiana, but to serve as an arm of their community benefit requirements as part of the Affordable Care Act. I believed the data and youth interactions we were able to create could create new avenues for healthcare partners to highlight the impact they were having in the community, and more importantly, we could deliver better programs at a lower cost than what the healthcare industry was capable of doing internally.

Slowly, as the healthcare sector adjusted to the new normal of operations, and as our programs became more and more visible–we found ourselves in discussions and relationships throughout the sector. Here’s a timeline of growth of relationships within the sector:

  • May 2013: Nine13 receives a small grant from IU Health to support program operations
  • June 2013: Major Hospital (Shelbyville) partners with Nine13 for Indiana Healthcare Bicycle Challenge
  • July 2013: Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital partners with Nine13 for summer camp
  • March 2014: Major Hospital engages Nine13 for community event and school programming
  • May 2014: Franciscan St. Francis engages Nine13sports for employee programs
  • July 2014: Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital renews partnership with Nine13 for summer camp
  • August 2014: Franciscan St. Francis supports school programs in Perry and Mooresville
  • December 2014: St. Vincent and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital engage Nine13 to support select Archdiocese schools
  • February 2015: Franciscan St. Francis engages Nine13 to provide programs at 10 schools across Central Indiana
  • May 2015: Major Hospital continues relationship with additional community event and school program offerings
  • July 2015: Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital partners with Nine13 to provide helmets to students at select schools

It’s been a wild ride, it goes without saying that the healthcare industry is massive and at times, it can be challenging working with an ever changing industry, dollars are tight and it takes a lot of work to reach an agreement. However, once those relationships are in place, they’re wonderful and they create amazing new opportunities. Without Franciscan we wouldn’t be in schools like Mooresville, Perry, and Martinsville. Without St. Vincent, we wouldn’t have had the chance to enter Pike or get involved with the Archdiocese schools. Major Hospital was the first to engage us specifically for school programs. These relationships have created thousands of youth interactions across the region.

We would not be here today if it was not for those within the healthcare sector who took a chance on my vision and saw value in it. End of story.

Over the next few months, I believe you’ll see our brand even more prominently displayed across multiple partners in the healthcare sector. Without showing my hand, I can say we’re having some very interesting discussions with healthcare providers that are not on that list, and several that are.

Interested in learning more? Email me at thanley@nine13sports dot org.