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Sport Organizations Save Time and Stay Organized With LeagueApps

Feature Highlight, Value of LeagueApps

It’s a challenge to efficiently operate a recreational sports league today. Most organizers who become involved do so out of passion or love of sports. However, managing and maintaining the league while keeping participants satisfied can often be a struggle due to a small budget, a limited staff and even more limited time.

Most sport organizations have used the same operating procedure for years. This process can include folders, excel documents, hand crafted schedules, phone chains and more.

This traditional way of doing things might have worked in the past, but we live in a new age of participatory sports. Members today have come to expect a better overall experience for their registration dollars and there are now much easier and more efficient tools available to organizers in order to deliver this experience. LeagueApps provides these digital tools that simplify and make the job of a sport league organizer much easier and more efficient than ever before while enhancing the member experience.

Here are a few ways that LeagueApps saves sport and social organizations time, keeps them organized and keeps their members happy.

Seamless Online Registration and Payments:

The registration process can be a nightmare for organizations using the old fashioned way. Mail-in registrations, in-person registrations, excel documents, cash, and checks all take too much time and effort.

Digital is simply the way to go for registration today. Using LeagueApps, players can register and pay for a league in a matter of minutes by using tools like Facebook Connect. All invoices and transactions are taken care of in one secure and user friendly place. As the admin of your LeagueApps site you can also issue credits, refunds, voids, and prices changes for any of your players or programs during registration – and at any time you can view accurate, up-to-the-minute accounting, cross-referenced with your leagues (if you have multiple leagues).

Once players are registered for a specific program, the player and their invoice automatically and seamlessly attach themselves in the program database for that particular program – which makes it incredibly easy to maintain, communicate with, and balance your programs. LeagueApps registration tools take the hassle out of collecting your player’s information and money, and it makes it much easier for the players to register.

Easily manage all of your teams and players:

Creating balanced teams and grouping players can be a difficult and time consuming task – especially for coed leagues.  Finding teams for individuals, free agents and friend requests can be hard to keep track of and it can be difficult to make everyone happy.

You can filter, search and print lists of your registered participants all in one place with LeagueApps. Our tools also allow you to easily move players between leagues and teams, to and from the free agent pool or wait list. You can also manually add new participants who may have registered away from your site. Managing your teams and players is painless and easy with LeagueApps.

Create Schedules in minutes…Update Scores and Standings in Seconds!

Putting together a fair and balanced schedule could be the most difficult and time consuming task that a league organizer has to deal with. Matchups, game times, locations…to say the least, the eraser or delete button on the keyboard can get a workout when a schedule is manually created. Physically keeping track of and updating standings is also time consuming and will most likely result in errors somewhere down the road.

Our schedule generator produces full league schedules in seconds with just a simple click of the mouse and settings are customizable based on inputs for days, time, locations and a few other options. You can also quickly enter scores and even assign other admins, captains and co-captains privileges to enter results themselves. Your league website’s scoreboards and standings are also updated automatically, in real-time. The scheduling and standings tools on LeagueApps save an incredible amount of time for league organizers.

Communicate with All Of Your Members From One Place:

The phone tree is dead and it was never that efficient to begin with. Contacting your players with important information should not take multiple phone calls or emails. Messaging should be quick and straightforward – and it should reach members instantaneously.

With LeagueApps, organizers can manage all contacts in one dynamic list and message players all at once or schedule messages for the future using our messaging tool. Messages can be sent to specific sports, leagues, teams, roles, or even individual members and the messages can be sent to the player’s personal LeagueApps dashboard and their email. With LeagueApps your organization will have access to mobile team messaging, mobile organizer announcements and players can log into the mobile site through Facebook. Soon members will even be able to receive push notifications on their phones when messages are sent to their dashboard. LeagueApps is revolutionizing the way organizers and participants communicate in sport and social leagues with more effective and accessible messaging.

Generate All Kinds of Useful Reports:

Generating reports is an excellent way to aggregate information about your members, registrations and invoices – but it’s very difficult to do when your league’s information is static.

With LeagueApps’ reporting tool you can search and filter across all your activities, find exactly what you’re looking for, and take action on past due invoices. Admins can view up to the minute accounting of the entire league as well as past registration data, invoices, emails received, and log in stats of each member. Extracting member reports can aggregate and organize important information for potential business development of the league. For example if you Customize Member Profiles and ask your participants what their favorite beer is and 200 people respond with a particular beer, you can go to a local bar and present this information for a potential sponsorship deal. The LeagueApps reporting tool allows for ultimate organization with your league’s information.

Ready To Save Time and Stay Organized?

All of the digital tools built into the LeagueApps platform were designed and created to save league organizers time and stay organized. You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient LeagueApps makes your sport or social organization immediately. To learn more or see a live demo of the tools described in this post, contact us now:

LeagueApps Loves Professional Designers

Feature Highlight, Value of LeagueApps

Professional designers makes LeagueApps look good! LeagueApps can be a digital blank canvas, and professional designers are the artists that create the website masterpieces. They are the ones that best understand how to design a LeagueApps site to best utilize all of the different features by maximizing the value of our design tools.

It is vitally important for sport organizations to create a design and theme that embodies the organization’s brand. Having the right logo and website design is critical for sport organizations. The website or logo is often the first impression for new members. People feel more comfortable when they’re on a website that has an impressive design. This becomes especially important when it comes to online registration and payments. A clean and sharp design also makes it much easier for site visitors to use tools like registration, schedules & standings and widgets.

How LeagueApps Partners With Professional Designers:

It is easy for designers to use LeagueApps. Creating a unique look and feel that captures your brand is easily attainable using our design tools. Designers will have access to the LeagueApps Design Playbook – which is an online tutorial that gives them all the recipes for success with our tools. As part of the full launch package, we will even facilitate and fully support that designer as they build out their full or integrated LeagueApps site design! We make it easy for designers to use LeagueApps for design. Here’s a quick list of the tools that we have to make the designer’s job easier:

Professionally Designed LeagueApps Sites:

Delaware Sports League

Delaware Sports League Homepage

Delaware Sports League is a very attractive example of an integrated LeagueApps site design. We worked with DSL to implement our registration widgets onto their existing homepage (see above). You can learn more about widget integration and customization here. In addition to the widgets on their homepage, we also helped DSL create a seamless registration site that’s externally linked to and hosted directly on LeagueApps (see below). This DSL LeagueApps site has a custom logo and a customer header. You can learn more about implementing your own logo and header here.

Delaware Sports League LeagueApps Site

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Charlottesville Sports & Social Club

C'ville Homepage

Charlottesville Sports & Social Club is a clean and eye-catching example of a full solution LeagueApps site design. C’ville is a great example of a true LeagueApps full solution site, meaning their entire site is hosted on LeagueApps, but with the help of a custom design. Their logo, header and all images are custom and were designed and uploaded into their LeagueApps site. (Learn about a custom logo, header and images here).

  ——————————————————————————————————

NAKID Social Sports

NAKID Social Sports is an organization that has leagues in Austin, DC, and Denver – and subsequently they have three different full solution LeagueApps sites that combine into one. They are a great example of how an organization with different locations can use LeagueApps. All of NAKID’s sites have a custom logo, a custom header, a custom footer and custom CSS. Using the Custom CSS panel in the LeagueApps Theme Editor allows you to add any additional CSS styles you want. Learn more about custom CSS here.

How To Find A Good Professional Designer:

Give us a call at 1-800-257-3681! We can help advise and support you and your team as you look to find the right design partner to work with LeagueApps! It can often be tricky finding the right design resources that fits into your budget. We have plenty of recommendations, referrals, and ideas for how you can implement the design you have always wanted within the awesome tools and values of LeagueApps!

5 Ways To Use LeagueApps To Attract More Members And Grow Your Organization

Best Practices, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps has talked and listened to hundreds of sport league organizers. One of the most common wants and needs that we’ve consistently heard from all types of sports organizations is the desire to attract more participants for their programs.

How can we get more players / members?

How can we spread the word about our league / organization?

It’s crucial for sport leagues and clubs to have people find out about their programs, but unfortunately this is a common struggle. Even though there is often a high demand to participate in community sports activities, organizations’ marketing budgets are often limited and their focus is usually on actually producing the events.

This is where LeagueApps shows it’s value because the platform helps organizations with promotion and marketing by equipping them with modern digital tools that allow for continuous growth and success. In fact, organizations that use LeagueApps see 23% growth in registration volume in their first year!

Here’s 5 ways that LeagueApps helps your organization grow organically, or in other words, grow through ‘digital word of mouth’:

1. Optimize Your LeagueApps Site For Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization

LeagueApps equips your site with the ability to have good search engine optimization (SEO) that will allow your site to rank high on search engine results. LeagueApps lets your website have a custom domain name, custom content page URL’s, custom page titles and custom META descriptions and keywords – all of which help potential participants discover your website when they perform searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL, etc. This blog post explains how you can use LeagueApps to ensure your website is easily searchable.

2. Facebook Sharing

Facebook Connect

LeagueApps has incorporated Facebook features into the platform so that your organization is visible to the ever-growing Facebook community. Players can register for your leagues through their Facebook profiles with one simple click to login.

You can also incorporate various Facebook ‘Like’ buttons across your LeagueApps site, which is a great way to promote your Facebook page to your members and site visitors. Your members will be promoting your organization through their Facebook news feed every time they ‘Like’ your page.  This makes our tools a simple yet effective way to cross-promote between your Facebook page and your LeagueApps site. Our registration publishing feature also allows players to share their registration on Facebook, which recruits the friends of anyone who signs up for a league. Learn more about LeagueApps teaming up with Facebook here.

3. Simple Registration For Your Members

A simple registration process is a huge factor in membership growth and sustainability. This is why LeagueApps makes it easy to register and pay for programs online. LeagueApps has a social registration process which includes a program profile that allows potential players or members to see all of the critical details of the program before they sign up – including who has already signed up, how much it costs, registration dates, deadlines and more.

As the organizer you can set up registration by teams, free agents, groups, or any combination of the three. You can set your prices, including different prices for individuals and teams, create early bird discounts, control payment deadlines and create a payment schedule that works best for you.

Making it easy for your members to sign up and making it easy for organizers to customize the registration process is a combination that results in more conversions from people visiting your site. Learn more about LeagueApps’ online registration tools here.

4. Email Marketing

Database Messaging

With LeagueApps’ messaging tool, you can automatically collect your member emails to use for email marketing (even non league members!), and manage them in a single, dynamic list. No muss, no fuss. Just an easy way to send messages to segments of your database. Learn about more of the features of the LeagueApps’ messaging tool here.

5. Mobile Website

Mobile Optimized Sites

This is the cherry on top of the LeagueApps features. It’s no secret that mobile is the future of how your members will digitally connect with your organization. Already, 30% of our 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).

Prospective players and members can now access the features of your LeagueApps website on smartphones and iPad tablets. 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. This feature truly allows your members to be involved with your organization before, during and after the game – and we’re continuously adding more mobile features. To learn about the specific features of mobile, read about our mobile release here and our first mobile update here.

Ready to Grow?

LeagueApps is here to make your lives easier and to help your organization grow. Our product will continue to improve with new marketing features, so if you’re interested in learning more about growing your sport organization get in touch with us now:

Your Sport Organization Should Be Ultimate…Frisbee

LeagueApps In Action, Rec, Sports Community

Casually tossing back and forth on a beach or in a park has traditionally been the extent of using a flying disc (Frisbee may sound more familiar). You might have a show-off friend who can toss it between their legs or behind their back with ease, but historically speaking Frisbee-ing has never been thought of as an organized team sport.

USA Ultimate

 

But actually Ultimate Frisbee, which due to trademark purposes is now referred to simply as Ultimate, is a very popular organized team sport. According to USA Ultimate, the official United States national governing body of Ultimate, the sport was developed in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia H.S. in Maplewood, NJ – but Ultimate has come a long way since then. The sport has grown from intramural pickup games on high school and college campuses to a world-wide flying disc outbreak.  In fact, there were 3.9 million people playing competitive Frisbee in 2006 – and that number grew to 4.9 million by the end of 2008 (source). As we’re wrapping up 2012 that number is likely nearing 10 million annual participants – and that’s just in the United States.

Over the past decade Ultimate has soared over its traditional label and is now played locally, nationally and internationally. If you run an adult sport league, a youth sport league, a recreational league or a sport and social club, than it’s time for you to pick up on the upward trend and go Ultimate.

Benefits of Ultimate Leagues

1. Just about anyone can play:

Let’s be very clear here – this is not meant to belittle the sport in any way. There are very high levels of competition in Ultimate populated by talented athletes. But having said that, ultimate is a sport that can be customized or tailored to be played by any age, gender or competition / experience level. It’s a very social sport and there’s no intentional contact involved.

2. Teams can have a lot of players:

This is another customizable factor of ultimate that makes it an appealing sport to offer. The official rules state that the game should be played with seven people per team, but given your available field space you can easily have 10 players per team on the field at once.

3. Many different field spaces can be used:

Ultimate can be played indoors or outdoors without the need for much equipment at all. The only essential piece of equipment that you need to play is a flying disc (Frisbee) – and besides that you just need to have out-of-bounds and end-zone markers. A grass field is the most ideal playing surface, but you can also play in a gym, on a beach or even in an empty parking lot. If you ensure that the rules and competition level coincide with the safety of the playing surface, your options are almost endless.

So now that you understand the appeal of starting an ultimate league, check out how some LeagueApps partners organize and execute their Ultimate leagues using our platform:

 

GRADA

 

Greater Rochester Area Disc Association (GRADA) is a LeagueApps integrated solution partner in New York that’s an organization dedicated primarily to flying disc leagues and tournaments. They’re a banner example of how the LeagueApps platform can accommodate the registration, scheduling and standings needs of an ultimate league or tournament because ultimate is all they do!

 

Xoso Sport & Social League


California based Xoso Sport & Social League offers multiple sports including bowling, dodgeball, flag football, kickball, soccer, softball and volleyball. In May 2012 by popular demand Xoso began to offer Ultimate Frisbee as their newest sport and their members are extremely pleased with the decision! Xoso is an integrated LeagueApps partner and an excellent example of how the registration, scheduling and standing tools of our platform can be implemented into an existing site for an ultimate league.

 

Red Rocks Sports

 


Red Rocks Sports is a faith based organization that allows participants to stay active both physically & spiritually by offering the finest adult recreational sports leagues in Colorado. Ultimate Frisbee is one of 13 sports that Red Rocks offers and they use a draft-based league format for their ultimate leagues – very cool! Red Rocks is a full solution partner and their site is a slick and attractive example of how high-quality a LeagueApps site can look.

PlayMore Sport & Social Club , Jersey Club Sports , NLA Sports and Port Sports Social Club are a few other LeagueApps partners that utilize our platform to organize ultimate leagues.

The bottom line is that Ultimate isn’t going anywhere but gliding up – so if you’re interested in learning more about how to use the LeagueApps platform to develop Ultimate leagues get in touch with us now:

Product Update: Manager Console Improvements and New Reporting Tool!

Product News, Release Notes

It’s that time again – to let you guys know about a bunch of improvements we just added to the product. Our team has been hard at work making these changes, based on your continued and valued feedback. Check out the release notes below. There are a few changes you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of.

Streamlined Console Navigation

We want to make your life easier, so we cleaned up the UI navigation inside the manager console. You’ll now have a lot less “clutter” as you perform your day to day management tasks. Please take a moment to check out the new navigation structure, and make sure you’re familiar with the location of all the features.

  • Most pages are in the same section as they were before — but now there are simple pull down menus from the main navigation bar. Simple.
  • Note that two pages DID move: the “Manage Members” page and the “Manage Invoices” pages used to be under “Reports”; They were both moved under the “Manage” tab. We thought this made more sense.

Reporting Tool

We added a new reporting tool to help you stay on top of your programs. Check it out under “Reports > Registrations”. This first version of the reporting tool allows you to pull data from your registrations, across all your programs. We’ll be adding support for additional data sets as well, such as invoices, transactions, members, etc.

Here’s an overview of the features included in the reporting tool:

  • Filter/sort across entire data set (i.e., pull aggregate data sets from ALL programs).
  • Render reports in tabular listing view, including all customized data fields.
  • Export to CSV, including all customized data fields.
  • Create “saved reports” for subsequent ‘one-click’ report runs.

This reporting tool will serve as a time-saving resource to league partners as they address many common business scenarios, such as:

  • Generating t-shirt orders.
  • Identifying late registrations.
  • Analyzing cross-program registrations; by sport, program status, etc.

Officials Assignment Support

We added some flexibility into the feature that allows you to assign officials to games. Now, when you assign an official, the team is shown as well — allowing you to effectively assign teams to officiate games.

Also, when your members login to your site now, they have a separate “Officiating Schedule” link under their own schedule. This shows them all the games that either they, or one of their teams, is assigned to officiate. So, now your members can easily see which games they must officiate!

Designer Resources

We’ve been working with many of our league partners as you get your sites designed and launched. We LOVE designers. They make LeagueApps look good and work well. We want to help make the LeagueApps design process as smooth as possible. A lot of the common questions and issues that arise are now being documented in a special section of the support knowledge base — we call it “designer resources”. Check it out!

Launch Dashboard

For those league partners in the process of completing your launch process, this new addition should come in handy. We’ve added a special new “launch dashboard” into your manager console. This keeps track of all the steps being completed, special due dates, and progress made so far. The page also explains each of the steps, and contains helpful reference links to help answer any questions that arise. Our goal is to make your launch process go smoothly and quickly, and we believe this new feature will help do just that.

Privacy Policy Page

We added a new default content page to your site that contains a “privacy policy”, and linked to it from your member signup page. This is a web best practice and will help ensure that your site is adhering to widely accepted Internet usage guidelines.

There is a simple privacy policy statement added by default. You can edit this to your own custom privacy policy statement by navigating to “Content > Pages” and selecting the page named “Privacy Policy”. We recommend that you check this out and make sure you’re happy with the privacy policy posted.

Additional Items

There are a number of additional items addressed in this update, including a number of issues/bugs reporting by league partners. Check them out:

  • Extended character limit for content page “titles”. Supports better SEO.
  • Addressed an issue with saving sub-locations to games.
  • Added a “warning” message when attempting to create programs before the default registration settings have been set.
  • Extended size limit for team “headline” field.
  • Content page editor now allows the “article” tag in HTML.
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