Mount Pleasant sports watchmaker scores all-in-one
Keeping score always has been one of the least-favorite parts of a round of golf for avid player Jody P. Murdough.
At a glance
COMPANY: One Seed LLC
HEADQUARTERS: 612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant
OWNER: Jody P. Murdough
PRODUCT: ScoreBand, a multisport score-keeping wristwatch
HOW: Created with lightweight silicone infused with negative-ion-emitting material and an LCD display that can keep time and score of up to four sports.
Thinking others shared his sentiments, the 40-year-old Mount Pleasant resident cobbled together some funds to design and build a scorekeeping watch named ScoreBand, which he unveiled at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show on January in Orlando, Fla.
The invention won “Best Product Concept,” during the event, an award that launched mass production of the patent-pending device that’s been making its way to sports supply shops throughout the country. ScoreBand is the inaugural gadget for One Seed LLC., the sports equipment manufacturing company Murdough founded in June. The company is based in a corporate complex on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.
The ScoreBand concept is tied to the popularity of the yellow Livestrong bracelet.
“So many people are wearing wrist bands these days,” Murdough said. “This idea came with the advancement of technology, shrinking the size of watches and making it possible for something this size, an ideal kind of watch for sporting activities.”
ScoreBand joins the watch industry as it’s clocking growing sales. Consumers are buying watches again after shunning such luxury fare during the recession.
ScoreBand, an idea Murdough has been thinking about for roughly a decade, came to fruition after he put aside his job in toy sales and met with designers to create the device.
The watch, a lightweight silicone wristband infused with negative-ion-emitting material and an LCD display, is billed as the world’s first multisport scorekeeping wristband watch.
ScoreBand keeps time in addition to stats and scores for golf, tennis and two other sports of choice, Murdough said.
The watch is priced at $29.99 and comes in eight colors. Sizes range from small to extra-large.
Murdough said the watch doesn’t necessarily go head-to-head with other watchmakers.
“If anything, we’re competing for wrist space because people are not going to wear two watches at the same time,” he said. “It’s a unique product different from a watch because of its scorekeeping.”
Wristwatches are a burgeoning multimillion-dollar industry, according to market research firm NPD.
The group reported that sales of wristwatches up to $150 in the United States totaled $612 million for a 12-month span ending Sept. 30, up 6 percent from the same span a year ago.
The sporting goods industry as a whole also is growing sales, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.
Consumers spent $56 billion in sporting goods last year, up 4 percent from 2010, according to the trade group.
The association doesn’t track sports watch sales, but says accessories are a growing market.
“I can tell you that there are a few areas where accessories seem to be growing — exercise equipment like heart rate monitors and pedometers being one of them,” said spokesman Bruce Hammond. “Each of these accessories are up double digits in terms of their growth over 2010.”
More to come
Murdough said there are plans for another version of ScoreBand, with such details as stopwatch capabilities, to be unveiled in time for the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in January.
Murdough also is designing other sports-related items that he declined to identify.
The company intended to launch its first ScoreBand immediately following the PGA accolade, but the date was delayed until the summer due to some initial production issues, Murdough said.
One Seed’s production arm is in China, and there’s also a sales team on the West Coast.
The company’s headquarters in Mount Pleasant consists of three workers, including Murdough. The 1,500-square-foot space houses a few desks, conference room, stock room stacked with watches for shipping and large area with a pingpong table.
Murdough says the table is for research purposes as well as some friendly office competition.
The spinning serves and kill shots have caught the attention of a few passers-by, who can spot the activity through a few windows.
The group jokingly says it’s the envy of some nearby office workers.
ScoreBand is sold online at One Seed’s website at www.scoreband.net, in addition to some Charleston area merchants like SeaCoast Sports and Outfitters on Johns Island and Dayid Ayre’s Lowcountry Custom Golf in Mount Pleasant, according to the company’s website.
The company recently named professional tennis player Camden Riviere, a native of Charleston, as its product ambassador.
“Court tennis is a game with such complicated rules that people will actually pay their pro instructor to keep score for them,” Riviere said in a written statement. “Now, with ScoreBand, players can concentrate on how to win points instead of who won the last point.”
Reach Tyrone Richardson at 843-937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.