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Introducing Mobile Sites for Local Sports Leagues!

Feature Highlight, Product News, Value of LeagueApps

The LeagueApps team is super excited to announce the introduction of Mobile Sites!

Mobile is quickly becoming the most popular way that people use the internet. Local sports leagues NEED to be ready for this inevitable trend in order to stay in synch with their members.

LeagueApps launched Mobile Sites in order to empower local sports leagues to recognize the benefits of mobile TODAY. Leagues can now leverage mobile to drive member engagement, facilitate real-time mobile communication, and ultimately foster a happy member community! This is just the beginning. LeagueApps is committed to delivering more and more mobile solutions as part of the LeagueApps mobile roadmap.

Why Local Sports Clubs NEED Mobile

It’s no secret that mobile is the future.

Already,30% of league partners’ internet traffic is coming from mobile devices.  This trend will continue — and it’ll move quickly.  Average smartphone usage TRIPLED in 2011 (source).  In fact, mobile internet usage is predicted to surpass desktop internet usage by 2014 (source).

What’s really interesting for local sports clubs is WHAT people DO on mobile.  Did you know that 91% of mobile internet usage is for social activities, compared to just 79% on desktops?  (source).

We’re going to make sure our league partners are ready to capitalize on this explosion in mobile internet usage.

Benefits for League Partners and Their Members

The new Mobile Sites product makes life easier for your members, which is in turn great for you.  Check out some key benefits:

Increased member engagement
Gives your members a significantly enhanced mobile experience that keeps them more connected and engaged with your league.

Real-time mobile communication
Allows you to stay connected with your members by tapping into a direct line of communication — right to the mobile device. Reach them “in their pocket”.

Keep your members happy!
Mobile information delivery prevents common issues such as missed cancellation notices, game forfeits, etc.

Features Overview

Every LeagueApps account includes its very own mobile web application that is optimized for viewing on smart phones and other mobile devices.  Just like the standard website, the mobile site is customizable to match your league’s branding and look & feel.  When your league members visit your site on their mobile device, they’ll now be redirected to your optimized mobile site.

Here are a few of the things your members can do on your Mobile Site:

  • Check schedules and game details such as date/time, location and teams.
  • View game results, program standings and other program details.
  • Browse profiles of teams, rosters and individual players.
  • Experience the mobile site in their league’s customized look & feel.
  • iPhone users get quick access via an app icon on their home screen.
  • View real-time organizer announcements (coming Sep 2012).
  • Communicate with teammates (coming Sep 2012).
  • And many more to come!

It’s easy to go in and customize your league’s Mobile Site.  Login to your Manager Console and under “Mobile” in the right column, click the “Edit Settings” link.  If you’d like to dive deeper into the available features, settings, and other pointers, check out our online Knowledge Base document “Using Mobile Sites.”

LeagueApps Mobile Roadmap & Vision

Mobile is a major part of the LeagueApps product strategy.  We view Mobile as being one of the core “channels” that sports organizations use to engage and communicate with their members to go along with Web, Social Media and Email.

This initial release of Mobile Sites is only the beginning, and we’re excited about all the great mobile features and products we’ll be bringing to our league partners.

Members will be able to receive notifications, register for programs on their mobile phones, snap photos at games and easily share with their friends and fans, engage with other participants in friendly banter (or trash talking) from their phones, and the list goes on and on. Organizers will be able to monitor and manage leagues via mobile, collect mobile payments “at the field”, updates scores, and more.

If there is a mobile feature you find particularly interesting for your organization, let us know!

Stripe: The Easiest Payment Solution For LeagueApps Partners

Company News, Feature Highlight, Value of LeagueApps

Setting up a payment solution was often the one tricky item that could get in the way of quickly processing registration payments through the LeagueApps system. It was just way more complicated and expensive than it needed to be. That changes today!

LeagueApps is excited to announce a new partnership with the Stripe payments platform. Stripe has a number of incredible benefits for sports leagues, events or tournament registration.

Get Setup in Minutes

It takes just a few minutes to get setup and begin processing online registration transactions. The Stripe online application form asks for basic information and partners are approved instantly. Accounts can be created by using either a personal social security number or a business EIN number. The entire process can be completed online right within the LeagueApps setup flow. Read the LeagueApps help article to learn the exact steps to setup your LeagueApps account with Stripe.

No longer are the days of having to learn about payment gateways, merchant accounts, rolling reserves, API keys or completing lengthy applications!

No Setup or Monthly Fee

That’s right. With Stripe there are no setup fees, no monthly fees, no card storage fees, no hidden costs: you only get charged when you earn money.

A major sticking point for some of our partners was around monthly service fees. This was especially problematic for smaller organizations that did not have the budget to incur monthly fees or seasonal leagues that only have registration periods once or twice per year.

Flat Transactions Fees

Stripe charges a flat fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction for all payments including American Express cards (which often have higher fees). This flat rate makes it easy to project payment processing costs for your organization.

Payments Direct To Your Bank Account

Enter your bank information into your Stripe account and payments will flow directly into your bank account once the payments are cleared. Every day, Stripe transfer the money that you charged seven days previously. Note that all funds are automatically transfered to your account (7 days from time of transaction). Nothing to do, nothing to worry about!

If these benefits are intriguing then the Stripe solution might be the right one for your organization. Be sure to learn all about the different payment solutions that can be integrated into LeagueApps. Contact us at 1-800-257-3681 to discuss the best option for your organization.

Fully Hosted Website vs. Integration and Widgets

Best Practices, Feature Highlight, Tech Specs

LeagueApps is developed so that our partners can get the most value and benefit from the platform and features based on their needs. The truth is that LeagueApps technology and software is only as good as how well it serves our league partners. You’re the Karl Malone to our John Stockton.

One major item that we often discuss with new and existing partners is the decision to implement the fully hosted website solution or integrate the LeagueApps features and backend system into their exisiting website. Since this is an important aspect of utilizing LeagueApps, we figured it would be worthwhile to openly share the framework of how we like to think about it.

First, it’s important to note that the LeagueApps team is impartial to either setup. There is no difference in pricing, features or setup. Both solutions allow for leagues to customize the look, feel and design of their website. Both work with our mobile and social media products. So our main goal is to help our partners understand all of the aspects of both solutions and then help determine what works best for their organization.

Fully Hosted Website

In the fully hosted solution, a partner will use LeagueApps to develop and design their complete website. This means that the actual website will be completely hosted on LeageuApps. Partners will utilize LeagueApps features including homepage templates, content tools, theme editor and custom domain settings to build out their full website. Partners that use our full website solution include Midwest Sports Complex, KC Sports Leagues and Coed Sports Arizona

The fully hosted solution is optimal for partners that are looking to create a brand new website and start from scratch. In the future, we hope to further assist these partners by also recommending professional design partners to help create all of the unique aspects of design that enable a partner to further promote their brand and culture.

Integration & Widgets

This configuration is best suited for leagues that have already invested in developing their website and are more interested in utilizing LeagueApps features such as online registration and payments, schedule, results and standings modules, messaging tools, database management, etc. These features can either be linked to directly from within your existing website or can be incorporated through javascript widgets (generated by LeagueApps). This help article explains widget integration steps and procedure in more detail. LeagueApps offers widgets for online registration, schedules and standings, member login and email subscription lists. Properly using widgets further ensure a seamless experience by adding dynamic content to your site.

A major goal of the integration solution is to make sure the experience for participants and members is smooth and seamless. If integrated properly, league members will remain within the same, or very similar, look and feel of the league website with all of the added functionality of LeagueApps baked in! Checkout this list of some of our partners that use widgets for an integrated solution.

Integration also works well for leagues that are utilizing a full Content Management System such as Joomla, WordPress or Drupal that have powerful website development tools. Integration is also a good option for a partner on a tight launch deadline that needs a quick solution. We originally helped Big D Sports in Dallas launch their integrated solution in less than 72 hours so that they could open registration on time.

While the LeagueApps teams can share examples and make recommendations this is a decision that should ultimately be made by our partners. There’s no commitment though. A partner can start one way and then change at anytime based on their needs or comfort level. Social Boston Sports originally used a integrated solution (with a special single sign-on widget) but ultimately decided to become a full solution partner when they relaunched their website. Overall, our partners are actually split pretty evenly between the full and integrated solutions.

Regardless of what solution our league partners utilize, it’s our goal to provide the best platform and service possible to help our partners operate their organization and reach their goals. So call us at anytime at 1-800-257-3681 or shoot us a note. I’m confident we can find a way to work together.

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