Marshall Benjamin grew up traveling all over the world as a military kid, giving him exposure to different cultures from an early age. He has always been involved in sports and church and, in high school, Marshall realized that sports can form a bridge through which he can form impactful relationships.
Now, in his professional capacity as the Middle East representative for a sports technology company, Marshall is building those bridges.
Coveted Sports Technology
Marshall’s company has developed an agility training platform used by athletes in their training and by both athletes and non athletes recovering from injury or illness. The platform consists of a pressure-sensitive floor pad that connects to an iPad and an app that interfaces with the device to present drills to the user and collect and display feedback showing their reaction time, speed, and balance. Think of it like a data-driven “Just Dance” game for professional athletes, trainers, and physical therapists.
The platform has been scientifically proven to increase agility, reaction time, and quickness. The user focuses on the iPad rather than looking at their feet, and receives real-time feedback of their performance, motivating them to improve their personal best score. In addition, because the software allows athletic trainers and therapists to customize rehab protocols based on patient population and injury type, the technology is particularly appealing to sports medicine facilities. Many top athletes including major league baseball, basketball, and football players as well as world-ranked tennis players are currently using this technology.
Marshall has been part of an increasing number of meetings with athletic teams, fitness facilities, hospitals, and rehab facilities in his region of the world. He has made several sales and secured free trials of the technology to clinics and hospitals in two major cities.
Potential markets in 2022 include a massive jiu jitsu gym and several military bases, both of which have seen the technology and believe its value for improved physical performance and injury recovery. In addition, he was an exhibitor at a conference for school suppliers to show school decision makers, principals, and teachers new and exciting educational innovations and curriculum. The exhibition helped get the company’s foot in the door with more schools as part of their physical education program.
Relationships in Jesus’ Name
This company’s successful technology platform has created a platform for bringing salt and light of the gospel to a place where the name of Jesus is little known.
Marshall has regular opportunities to live and work and exemplify his beliefs in Jesus among a population where followers of Christ are a minority.
His business allows him to interact with professionals who might not otherwise have an opportunity to know a Christian. He interacts with nationals as well as expats from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, and other Arab nations as he meets with his clients in a wide variety of settings: schools, rehabilitation and training facilities, military bases, and major hospitals.
The official state religion in Marshall’s region is Islam, and the government subsidizes 95% of all mosques and employs all Imams. However, freedom of religion is allowed and therefore his city has large communities of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and followers of the Baha’i faith and Buddhism. Non-Muslim groups can own their own houses of worship where they can practice their religion freely. Marshall is part of a local body of Christians for spiritual support while he gains professional access to many individuals in his region.
Marshall and his team are living proof of the value of incarnational ministry as he lives as a follower of Christ. The seeds of the gospel are planted gradually, in the context of business relationships, and are carefully watered through each interaction he has with his clients. Many unseen, but real, connections are bridging sports and faith in a creative, sustainable way.