PayIt + S3: A Mission-Driven, People-First Acquisition

Kansas City, Missouri, July 10, 2023 – Earlier this year, we announced that PayIt was in the process of acquiring S3: Sovereign Sportsman Solutions. Well, folks, the deal is final.

Bringing two companies together is naturally a complex process that takes time to complete. But our teams have been rolling up their sleeves with enthusiasm and energy. To be clear: This is an acquisition that’s based on creating and adding value.

After sitting down with John Thomson, Co-Founder & CEO of PayIt, and Chris Willard (who has moved over from S3), PayIt’s Chief Customer Officer of Outdoors, it’s obvious that this is a very unique acquisition — one that’s driven by a sense of purpose and a commitment to clients and employees alike.

Here’s more from John and Chris about what people have to look forward to:

How does S3 complement PayIt (and vice versa)?

Like PayIt, S3 was a very mission-driven company. With both companies known for customer focus and supporting agencies in achieving their goals efficiently the combination is a no-brainer.

Plus, each brings a unique technical specialty. “S3’s platform is a best-in-the-market offering — world-class really. And on top of that, they have a strong mission, talented team, and they care deeply about their clients,” said John.

Chris reiterated John’s point, “S3’s platform is the most secure, customizable offering in the industry.” He also added, “S3 had been transitioning toward a more product-forward approach, and that’s something that PayIt excels at. Similar to S3, PayIt is deeply committed to customer-focused innovation which will only bolster the outdoor solutions.”

And both PayIt and S3 are heavily invested in end-user adoption: engagement, marketing, and growing participation.

What does this mean for end users?

It’s no secret that interacting with the government can be clunky and complicated, but the mission of both companies has always been to make that experience easier and more friendly for people.

“Interacting with government agencies can be a significant barrier to participating in outdoor pursuits, and that’s only made more difficult with complex regulations and antiquated legacy technology. Our goal is to make that experience seamless, so it’s easier for people to spend a great day outdoors,” said Chris.

John added, “We want to deliver more modern capabilities to agencies so they can support conservation more effectively. By combining the strengths of PayIt and S3, we’ll be able to remove friction — delivering rich experiences and connecting more around core services.”

John also mentioned he’s excited about continuing S3’s mission to support the R3 movement (a national initiative that aims to connect more people with the outdoors: recruitment, retention, and reactivation). Diverse engagement and participation resonate with PayIt’s commitment to equity.

The fun stuff: What excites you about this acquisition?

“The more we can offer to agencies and constituents, the more of an impact we’ll have overall. I was drawn to S3’s mission and am excited about bringing on people who care so deeply about a purpose,” said John.

Similarly, Chris is looking forward to continuing to deliver on the mission. He said, “PayIt gives us access to a larger, more mature team (particularly the operations team). And they have an existing infrastructure that can help S3 identify which levers to pull to make the most positive impact.”

Together, we expect to accelerate innovation and bring the best of both companies to the forefront — benefiting both the agencies and end users the combined company serves.

How does this impact current and prospective employees?

Both John and Chris are looking forward to continued growth and said that their emphasis is on PayIt DNA — meaning, current teammates and prospective employees are not only talented but also highly motivated to serve people.

Moving forward, the focus continues to be creating a team of trustworthy, mission-driven, intelligent people who are interested in building connections in their communities.

A passion for conservation and subject matter expertise is a great thing too. Chris added, “A connection to the outdoors (especially direct experience with hunting and fishing) helps us better serve our customers.”

What can we look forward to in the future?

John and Chris have already started integrating teams and pinpointing ways to leverage the staff’s shared technical and industry expertise to create value. The company is looking forward to expanding on what it offers to clients and is excited about what it’ll be able to do for residents — all by connecting critical government interactions within a modern experience.

Chris summed it up eloquently: “John has led with a commitment to be there and help provide whatever we need to make the biggest impact for clients and the community. The innovation spigot is always on.”

Looking for more content?

Get articles and insights from our monthly newsletter.