Global expansion a natural next step for NSR

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Ian Rankin 1
Continuing his father’s legacy, Rusty Rigney leads NSR’s unprecedented international growth.

National Scouting Report is an American success story.   Founded in 1980 by Bob Rigney in Birmingham, Ala., NSR was America’s first college recruiting organization.  During the past three decades, NSR has enjoyed continuous growth domestically and abroad.  Current expansion, however, has the company moving forward at an unparalleled pace.

Today, the company is firmly in the capable hands of Bob Rigney’s son, Rusty.  To prepare him to someday take over the company reins, the older Rigney put his son through rigorous, on-the-job training.  Brought up in the business, Rusty, 47, has worked in every department, including scouting prospects in his own territory.  And through his formative years, the younger Rigney was charged with creating and heading up NSR’s video and IT departments, both of which were innovations in the recruiting industry at the time.  As a result, Rusty Rigney now oversees a vastly different NSR than his father initiated.

“At this point in time, NSR is growing faster than ever across the U.S. and across the globe,” Rusty Rigney said.  “As we have hit this surge, we have also seen tremendous interest from some extremely well-qualified people around the world who are prepared to open up NSR offices.  It’s a very exciting time for us.”

About 15 years ago, South Africa was first to see an NSR scout on foreign soil.

“Our first international venture, interestingly enough, started right here in America,” Rigney said. “NSR was partnering with the Future Masters, a series of junior golf tournaments here in the southern part of the U.S.  A South African man, here to chaperone several young golfers, saw what NSR was doing and asked if we would be interested in setting up an office in his homeland.  We jumped at the chance.”

Marco Maisano has led NSR Australia to numerous business awards.
Marco Maisano has helped NSR Australia win numerous business awards.

Five years later, through various connections with NSR’s people in South Africa, Marco Maisano, a former professional soccer player and member of the Australian national team, approached NSR about establishing National Scouting Report in Australia.  Within a matter of months, Maisano had been trained and taken NSR to Australia and New Zealand.  Under his leadership, NSR has seen outstanding success.  NSR Australia has won a number of impressive business awards and placed hundreds of Aussie athletes with American colleges.

“NSR Australia began helping youngsters 10 years ago, but it didn’t take long for us to recognize that there was a need for National Scouting Report to grow globally,” Rigney said. “But to do that, selecting great people to represent the NSR brand has been, and will continue to be, the key.”

The NSR model is unique.  Most of NSR’s competitors are Internet based with no actual scouts and no one ever seeing or meeting the athletes and their parents in person.

NSR hires scouts and then trains them on the nuances of evaluating talent, writing scouting reports, understanding the recruiting process, building relationships with coaches at all levels, and being familiar with NCAA rules.

“NSR scouts are the standard bearers for college recruiting,” Rigney explained.  “We do the same work in the field that college coaches do at the outset of the recruiting process.  We do not accept prospects unqualified athletically or academically to be a college student-athlete.  And we do not cut corners when it comes to professionally and thoroughly promoting NSR athletes to college coaches.

“Thirty-five years of working with high school athletes and coaches has taught us that the most effective way to get a prospect on a coach’s recruiting list is to connect them in as many ways as possible.  That may be the availability of video, our scouts pointing NSR athletes to coaches at events, sending coaches detailed profiles of the athletes, visiting coaches in their offices to talk candidly about our athletes, or making NSR athletes’ information as accessible as possible to coaches.  In short, NSR has the experience, the ability, the staff and the dedication to do what is best for each individual athlete.  Each one’s ultimate success is why we do what we do.”

NSR scouts work closely with athletes through every stage of the recruiting process.
NSR scouts such as Ohio’s Sheila Thiery (center) work closely with athletes through every stage of the recruiting process.

The top priority of NSR’s international scouts will be to help young athletes realize their dreams of being college athletes in America.  For many this dream has had no concrete bridge to the U.S.  Suddenly, their dreams can come to fruition, helped by NSR’s stellar reputation with college coaches at every level.

“We place prospects at every level of college competition by matching the coaches’ needs with NSR athletes that specifically match those needs,” Rigney said.  “We serve both the athletes and coaches simultaneously and we have proven time and again, year after year, that we are the very best at this type of work.  We are extremely proud of the results.”

College recruiting is very tough process, even for American prospects.  It is especially difficult for foreign high school student-athletes who previously had no discernible link between them and U.S. college coaches.  This has historically put international athletes and coaches at a tremendous disadvantage.  That all changes when NSR scouts arrive on the scene.

Today’s technological advances also has opened doors. NSR is ushering prospects, one at a time, through those doors.

“We have capabilities now that weren’t available to us just a few years ago,” Rigney said. “And we keep up with and implement every new advancement.”

By staying in step tech-wise, NSR puts international athletes on equal footing, at least athletically, with U.S. athletes.  However, the struggle international student-athletes always will have is in clearing their grades with NCAA and NAIA eligibility centers.  The process of complying with initial eligibility requirements is complex, made more so by foreign countries’ diverse academic curricula, which must be verified.  That can take an inordinate amount of time and can be very frustrating for families, especially if they are unprepared.  NSR scouts and experienced home office staff, in addition to an in-house NCAA Compliance Officer, make registering with the eligibility centers a smoother and less stressful experience for NSR prospects.  That’s something families consistently appreciate about NSR and its customer-oriented service standards.

Paul Lowler surveys the athletic facilities as Montevallo University.
NSR-Ireland’s Paul Lowler tours the athletic facilities at University of Montevallo during training.

“We are a purpose-driven organization,” Rigney said.  “Yes, this is a business for us, but our overriding focus, our purpose, has always been, and will continue to be, that our success as NSR scouts and as a company is directly tied to the success of the athletes we work with.  Every NSR scout is drilled on these two crucial points:  Uphold NSR’s standards and always do what’s best for the student-athlete.”

Now, NSR is expanding internationally.

“What we have accomplished in Australia has given us the confidence that we can and should expand,” Rigney said.  “Marco and his team have excelled there and we are determined to build on that success.  Right now, in fact, we already have extremely well-connected scouts on the ground working in Ireland and Scotland.  Jerry Vance, who played soccer professionally in Ireland and America, is heading up our team in both countries.  He has already brought aboard Paul Lawlor, who is highly respected there as an accomplished evaluator of soccer talent.  Plus, he’s a media analyst for several local outlets.  That puts Paul at the epicenter of soccer there.

“In Scotland, Jerry selected Ian Rankin to spearhead NSR’s scout team.  Ian was a top player in his own right and is now revered as an excellent soccer coach.  We expect that together they will make a significant impact on youth soccer in those nations. We are already interviewing and selecting scouts to work for us in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  In fact, we are sending a team of our best U.S. scouts to London to train new scouts in December.  Following that, we expect to set up an office there to continue that process while pushing our momentum toward countries such as Spain, France and Germany, where there are so many really talented high school athletes that we can help get on American college rosters, added NSR’s president.”

Additionally, NSR has a high-profile scout focusing on world youth tennis.  Ernesto Ruiz Bry is a former member of Argentina’s Davis Cup team.  He has been at the forefront of professional and youth tennis for nearly 30 years, having coached some of the world’s greatest players, including Mary Jo Fernandez and Guillermo Vilas.

“Although Ernesto now lives in the U.S., he has close connections all over the world in tennis,” Rigney said. “His impeccable reputation as a coach will help NSR open markets in Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.”

Ernesto Ruiz Bry
NSR international tennis scout Ernesto Ruiz Bry (right) poses with Alan Parham, NSR’s NCAA Compliance Officer.

NSR’s ultimate success rests upon having qualified scouts on the ground who actually scout high-school age prospects, thoroughly evaluate their skills, review their academic qualifications, and then personally meet with the athletes and their parents. College coaches, as they have for more than three decades, depend on NSR to do that on-site work prior to recommending athletes to them. Without that element in place, Rigney said NSR would be just another online company with no meaningful connection to prospects who could not speak to college coaches regarding their firsthand knowledge of the athletes.

“One thing we are extremely proud of is that NSR has never veered from that basic, proven approach,” Rigney said.  “That’s why our placement rate with colleges is nearly 100 percent.  We do the initial work for them.  We are there, on the ground, scouting and getting to know prospects.  This saves coaches a lot of time, expedites the process, and saves them recruiting expenses.  And we will continue that process in other countries, too.”

The same formula will work overseas, Rigney said.

“All you have to do is look at college rosters to realize that they put a high value on foreign talent,” he said.  “We know how excited college coaches are when we present them the right international prospects.  Over time, we have proven that U.S. college coaches flock to NSR prospects from abroad, regardless of which countries they come from.

“NSR is constructing the building blocks for massive International expansion. That said, we will not compromise our standards for the sake of growth.  Again, our success will rely on the quality of people we find who are willing to work diligently at identifying and evaluating deserving prospects that qualify to be college athletes in America.  We are proud to be an integral part of these young athletes coming to America and living their dream of becoming college student-athletes here.”




National Scouting Report is dedicated to finding scholarship opportunities for athletes who possess the talent, desire, and motivation to compete at the collegiate level. We’ve helped connect thousands of athletes with their perfect college.

If you are ready to take your recruiting to the next level, click the Get Scouted button below to be evaluated by an NSR College Scout.

Get Scouted  Scouting Careers

4 thoughts on “Global expansion a natural next step for NSR

  1. What a wonderful article !!! We are both honored and excited to be part of the NSR Family. Great Things Are Happening ! Cheryl & Alan Zenobi

  2. Greetings NSR

    I have gone through every page of your website and I am glad with what I saw and read. Your philosophy and mode of operation gives me much joy because this is what I have been hoping for years to get connected to. In my end of the world, we have been plagued with a lot of fake sport consulting companies that have ferried off with peoples funds and not even producing any result.

    I have applied for my country Nigeria, and i would love to bring this opportunity to the prospects in this side of the world. I still anticipate your positive response. Thank you

  3. Hi. I’m from Argentina and I been involved in the game of fastpitch Softball for many years and I played and coached not only at local level but also played 15 years in our Argentina’s Softball National Team and after I retired I start doing scouting for the National Team from 2009 until the Panam Games in Toronto 2015. After that I step aside to go back to the University and get my MBA (I’m also a Civil Engineer), and while preparing my tesis of “How to choose the best pitchers for diferent situations” I found some great articules in your website.
    As a player I played in three World Championships (Auckland,NZ in 1993, Midland, Michigan in 1996 and Christchurch, NZ in 2004) and a couple of Southamerican and Panamerican Tournaments (1995 Panams in ARG. 1999 Panams in Winnipeg and 2003 Panams in Santo Domingo, DR). As a scout I help the Men’s National Team in two World Championships (2013 in Auckland, NZ and 2015 in Saskatoon, Canada) and the panam games in Toronto 2015 were we won the bronze medal.
    If you think that is posible that student-athletes from Argentina have the chance to apply for US colleges and I can help you to contact them I’ll be more than happy to do it.
    Yours truly

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