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LeagueApps First Partner Workshop Recap

Company News, LeagueApps In Action, Press, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps held its first-ever LeagueApps Workshop in our Northern Virginia/DC office on April 22, 2014. A big goal of our partner management team this year is to create more opportunities for partners to connect with our product team and influence the evolution of the LeagueApps platform.  So now, in addition to Partner Days (coming soon to a city near you!) we’ll also plan to offer more live workshops.The purpose of these workshops is to create an intimate group setting for our partners to help us dig into the product and better understand how each of them uses LeagueApps.

Our first workshop was awesome! We ordered pizza, had a few beverages, and dove into various product topics focused around how our partners manage their program registrations. Three of our DC-based partners made the trip over from our nation’s capital to hang out with us.  Dan of NAKID Social Sports, Uy of RASL, and Zach & Alex of District Sports were the true stars for participating in our 1st workshop and for making it a fun and productive experience. Our caps off to all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate.  Jeff, Gautam, Steve and Asaf all participated from the LeagueApps team.

 

The small group setting was conducive for lots of great feedback and to share thoughts and ideas about how LeagueApps can help with their league management and operations. Registration and team-building were the focused topics of conversation, but we took away many key lessons from the workshop including:

1) Better Streamline The Team-Building Process! 

Our partners stressed the importance of allowing their players to register and create/join teams efficiently. We found this conversation especially interesting, since registration is LeagueApps core product focus and we are constantly improving it for our partners. The workshop helped us identify several points that can make the team-creation process easier for players/members as well as easier for admins to manage. Mainly, we realize we can make a big impact by making it easier for captains (or coaches) and free agents (or individual players) to connect with one another.

A few neat ideas that were brought up include:

  • Create a better player pool where captains/coaches can easily select their players
  • Give each player the option to customize their profile. This will allow each player to share relevant information about them that make it easier captains to see what type of player they are (e.g. position, skill level, height). Players could then have fun with their profiles and include nicknames, quotes, etc.
  • Give free agents the ability to message each other and form a team together. This would take the onus off admins, since they are currently the only ones who can amass free agents and form a free agent team.

 

2) Clearly Outline and Communicate Program Management Rules and Settings

We hashed through several complex scenarios involving admins managing their programs after registration. It was important for the LeagueApps team to identify our partners’ pain points and confusion regarding certain situations, such as moving players/teams from one program to another, as well as deleting a player from a team. We realize that it is our job to better document these product rules and provide more clarity for partners to understand how the registration system is designed.

 

3) More Efficient User-Experience for Account Admins

Many of our partners spend countless hours on LeagueApps, and often have great ideas about how their experience in the admin console can be more efficient (this was a hot topic among our partners at the SSIA conference as well). In our workshop, we discussed how admins need to access information quickly and with as few clicks as possible. LeagueApps can optimize our admin dashboards, as well as adding more options to search across various admin console pages. Ultimately,  improving the user-experience for admins will help them spend less time repeating clicks and actions within the platform, and more time on marketing and growing their league.

Some specific ideas that came up:

  • Calendar Feature: allows admins to see when games/events are happening each day.
  • Dashboard Improvements: add a search box to the site dashboard that will allow admins to search by people, teams, programs.
  • More player data on League’s Listing Page (“Manage > Leagues”). Ideally, it should show the number of players on each team.

At the end of the Workshop, we unveiled a few projects that are still in development (E-Commerce and SMS communication). Our partners gave us valuable feedback, particularly around different ways they would utilize real-time communications (SMS, Email, Phone, etc) to manage their game attendance, registrations, and payment dues.

Please let us know if you are interested to learn more about the Workshop. We’d like to plan another Workshop in NYC and via webinar in the next few months. Between Workshops and Partner Days we now have a few different forums to collaborate with our partners. We hope to see you at one of these events in the near future!

 

3 LeagueApps Tips to Remember When Setting Up Your Programs

Best Practices, Value of LeagueApps

We recognize that LeagueApps is a complex platform and there is a learning curve when it comes to understanding the nuances of the product. Some of our main goals at LeagueApps are to help you save time, streamline your operations, and create a better user experience for your players. So, we thought we’d share the top 3 tips and tricks to keep in mind when setting up your programs. These common pitfalls cause our partners to spend extra time and energy unnecessarily, and they often create confusion for their players. This list will help you avoid running into these same issues so that you can run your programs more efficiently.  BTW – If you are not experiencing any of these issues below or are already aware of these tips, don’t sweat it! You’re ahead of the game!

 

1) Manually Creating Teams

Many partners manually create teams in the admin console, instead of having each captain (or coach) create their team when they register. Admins often follow this approach when they don’t know who the captains/coaches are during registration, or when they prefer to create each team on their own.

A few key problems arise if you manually create teams in the admin console:

  • A team player can only join a team that has a captain on it. If the team has no captain on it, team players are NOT able to join the team. If they try, they will get a ‘Registration Failed!’ message (see below), and will most likely be confused and frustrated by the process.
  • If the team is manually created WITHOUT a captain on it, the pricing structure you’ve set essentially goes out the window. Players do NOT get invoiced when they register at all and will be able to sign up without paying. This scenario only happens when a captain-less team is created (since team payments are strongly tied to captains’ invoices in our system).

 

 

 

How to avoid this in the future:

a. Push each captain (or coach) to create his own team during registration. This is the recommended approach because it ensures that, a) team players are able to join existing teams, and b) each team retains the price structure that you’ve set.

b. If you want to create a team but don’t know who the captain/coach is yet, add a place-holder captain for the time-being. This can be a real site member or even a fake member – just make sure to add a name that won’t confuse team players. Once you know who the captain is, you can replace the place-holder captain with the real captain.

 

If you plan to create a team in the admin console, follow these steps to ensure that your team retains the price structure:

  • Go to the Membership page (“Manage > Members”) and search the captain you want to add.
    IF the captain is not in the system yet, click “Add a Site Member”
  • Click on the Captain’s Name. On his Member Details page, select the ‘Add to Program’ dropdown. Then choose which program you want to add the new team to. Click ‘Add’.
  • On the Registration Details page, select ‘Captain’ for Registration Type. Then choose to create a new team. Enter the team name and all of the required fields.
  • Choose to generate an invoice and send notification email, if you’d like. Click ‘Save Player’.

This process is also outlined if you select to add a team on the ‘Teams’ tab in your program (see below).

 

2) Default Settings

Default settings are the site-wide settings you typically configure during the initial launch process of your site. You can setup default registration options and default registration form fields to save you time when creating your programs on LeagueApps.

Here are some common misconceptions about default settings:

  • Changes you make to your default settings will NOT apply to your existing programs. In other words – if you update your pricing on your default  registration settings and have 15 upcoming programs listed on your site, you STILL need manually change the pricing for each of your 15 programs to ensure that their pricing is fully up-to-date.
  • Copy a program – copying a program will duplicate the exact settings of the original program you are copying. BUT copying a program won’t take into account any default settings that have been updated AFTER the program you are copying was created. If you do choose to copy a program, make sure that the program settings you are copying are up-to-date as well. More on how to copy a program.

How to avoid this in the future:

a. Review and audit your registration settings before each season. Double-check that all of your registration settings (including pricing) and form field questions reflect your current registration process.

b. Be sure to update your default settings BEFORE you create your programs for the upcoming season. This will save you loads of time! You can simply create one program, then copy that program over if you have multiple programs.

 

3) Copying Text

When copying/pasting text from Microsoft Word or from a website into LeagueApps, the formatting may be slightly off. For example, a common use-case is if you paste your waiver copy into LeagueApps. If you have done this in the past, you may have seen extra gibberish characters replacing quotation marks in your Waiver Content (see below).

 

How to avoid this in the future:

The best way to avoid this is by copying the text into a simple text editor BEFORE pasting into LeagueApps. That will strip the formatting and make it easier to control font and size. If you have a Mac, we recommend utilizing TextEdit, which is included in OS X. If you have a PC, NotePad will do the job. NOTE: Microsoft Word and other word processors will not work for this purpose because they contain additional formatting and hidden characters that will cause conflicts with online tools.

 

 

Hopefully these tips will help save you and your players time and angst in the future! If you have any questions or would like us to review your settings with you, just hit up our Partner Management team at support@leagueapps.com. Also, if you have any other tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way, please share them with us!

 

 

LeagueApps Partner Days: 2014 Upcoming Schedule

Company News, LeagueApps In Action, Press, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps is excited to announce Partner Days in different cities this year. Our goal is to provide more LeagueApps partners the opportunity to attend a Partner Day this year. We’re also holding a few themed events in NYC and DC, where we’ll have guest speakers and focused discussions around new product initiatives (LeagueCommerce & Mobile!).

<<< Sign Up for an Upcoming Partner Day Here >>>  

 

Check out the Partner Day schedule ahead:

  • New York: May 1st (E-Commerce!)
  • Chicago: May 9th (Partner with US Adult Soccer)
  • Boston: June 5th
  • Washington DC: August 1st (Mobile!)
  • New York: Late-August

 

The LeagueApps team is eager to share what we’ve been working on and learn more about how our partners are using LeagueApps and other technologies to organize and enhance their sports programs and activities. Here is the recap of our last LeagueApps Partner Day in D.C. last fall.

Each Partner Day usually has 8-12 partners. These events do fill up so please complete the survey to get the official invite in the coming weeks. FYI – the events are all FREE. There will be food and drinks provided, so all you need to do is show up!

Fill out the survey and let us know which event you’d like to attend. Look forward to hopefully seeing you in NYC, D.C. or one of the other cities!

 

 

Hit us up if you have any questions about our upcoming Partner Day schedule. We hope to see you at one of the events!

 

Play Forever,
The LeagueApps team

 

 

 

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