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Partner Spotlight: Sitting Down With Rev Up Athletics

Hoops, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Current and future NBA stars weren’t the only ones hanging out in New York this week. For the first time in their lives, St. Mark and Eriqueca Sanders of Rev Up Athletics made the journey from Aurora, Colorado. Lucky for us, the couple wanted to drop by and say hello. We were able to sit down with them and discuss their organization, accounting, and how LeagueApps was able to help. We also dished a little NBA draft.

Our own Nick Sutedjo with Eriqueca and St. Mark

LeagueApps: Tell me something about Rev Up Athletics. What is it that you do?

Eriqueca: A non profit youth basketball organization. Really, we bring competitive ball to kids.

LA: One of the cool things we saw on the Rev Up website was a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is “our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” How did you come up with that quote? What was the driving force behind that?

E: Really, that’s the foundation of what we’re trying to do. Us as board members of that organization, that was our vision- to push the kids to be better than maybe they even realize to be.

LA: It’s really cool to be able to intertwine a 19th century literary genius with what you all are doing.

E: Yup!

LA: So, now we have to talk a little LeagueApps. Before [Partnership Consultant] Nick [Sutedjo] introduced you to LeagueApps, what was your solution before organizing RevUp?

E: Everything was electronic, but…

St. Mark: We were using spreadsheets.

E: Yes. Excel spreadsheets and forms. It worked. However, the accounting side was a little bit of a nightmare. Yeah, a little bit of a nightmare. We had a number of parents that wanted payment arrangements. We had to do all that manually. Tracking everything, you know, it was do-able. It was just a little bit more….labor. Intensive labor.

SM: It was an extra 60-80 hours of work per season. With the new program, the new software, we average close to only 10-15 hours with running twenty teams. We’ve become more efficient. It makes it a lot easier to track. It keeps everything simpler.

E: I know our treasurer loves the financial aspect of LeagueApps.

LA: Would you say that accounting is the biggest benefit?

E: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yea. Being able to offer a payment arrangement and then the system does it automatically, that’s been a big benefit to us. And then also being able to easily track the teams. We have twenty teams and so the setting up is somewhat labor intensive, but once you get to that point, everything is pretty easy to pull that information and to copy it to the next season. Now that we’re kind of setup going into fall, we’ll be in a pretty good position.

LA: And so has that allowed you some more free time to kind of expand a little bit by maybe integrating more teams?

E: Well we’re in a really good position to do that. We definitely could do that.

LA: So give me your thoughts on the NBA Draft last night?

E: [laughs] Denver made out!

SM: Yeah. First round. Three picks.

E: We needed it. I’m happy and we’re all really excited about our seventh pick.

LA: Final question. Gotta pick one. Steph or Lebron?

E: Steph, for me.
SM: LeBron.

We’d love the chance to be able to talk to you! Drop us a line next time you’re near New York City. If you won’t be near NYC, you can always start by filling out this form, and we’ll contact you. As always, be sure to continue checking out everything LeagueApps has to offer.

Admin Console Redesign Will Make Your Life Easier

Feature Highlight, Product News, Value of LeagueApps

The LeagueApps team is excited to announce a major upgrade coming to organizers at the end of the summer. We will be redesigning our admin console, giving it a complete make over and making it mobile responsive!
LeagueApps Mobile Admin Console Preview
If you’re running a participatory sports organization, you’re always looking to save time. There are dozens of things that you could or should be doing to help grow or optimize your organization, but there are always the day-to-day tasks that can weigh you down. Wouldn’t it be nice to take care of daily tasks quicker, and even on the go?

LeagueApps understands the hurdles of organizers and because of that, we’re redesigned our admin console. Why? Because sports organizers are busy! Our goal with this redesign is to allow organizers to efficiently manage their organizations from web, mobile, tablet whenever and wherever they are. A core value of LeagueApps is that we are your operating system streamlining operations. We want to put the information that you need at your fingertips.

Some of the most utilized admin functions and actions on LeagueApps will become optimized on desktop and mobile so that you can get what you need to get done quicker and more efficiently wherever you are – less clicks is more!

Here are some highlights of our redesign project:

Dashboard Update featuring Quick Program Access

  • Find the data you need about all of your programs in one spot
  • See a summary of what’s happening in your organization today with quick links
  • The new dashboard is so much fun you’ll be checking it multiple times a day to get up to the minute information on your organization!

Global Quick Search

  • Search for any player, team, invoice or program on desktop and mobile
  • Our autocomplete search allows for quick search results and less clicks

Mobile Optimized Admin Actions

  • Quickly find and view programs, members, players, teams, schedules and invoices
  • Communicate With Members easily with one-click email, text and call
  • View games and update scores on the go
  • View registration information and rosters of players and teams in your programs
  • Take online and offline payments through your phone and tablet!

This is the first of many admin optimizations that LeagueApps is building because we want to make running your organization as easy as possible – even fun!

We’re off to the races on this project and it will be released to all partners at the end of the summer. If you are interested in taking a closer look please contact our Partner Success team at support@leagueapps.com for a preview.

LeagueApps and Prospect Wire Lead Youth Baseball Summit at Dodger Stadium

Company News, Dugout, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

The Milwaukee Brewers weren’t the only visitors to Dodger Stadium last weekend. Alongside our partner Prospect Wire, LeagueApps was thrilled to set up shop at the Southern California baseball mecca. With several organizers and youth baseball coaches in town for the LA Invitational, a tournament that features some of the top teams and talent across the country, it was the perfect time to sit down and discuss the state of youth baseball.

The round table discussion was fired off by LeagueApps President Jeremy Goldberg. There were quite a few shocking moments throughout the event, but none caused more stir than when he revealed youth sports’ dollar signs. The travel business of youth sports is a $9 billion market. As a whole, he estimated, the market is over $60 billion.

Aside from business talk, most of the discussion revolved around some of the challenges that plague parents, coaches, and organizers. One cause for concern voiced almost unanimously by the attendees involves the overall development, or lack thereof, of young baseball players into young men.

Coaches and organizers are starting to notice an increase in young athletes being pushed too hard at an early age. By being pushed too hard and too early in their lives, youth baseball players are not getting the chance to develop into the players, or people, they should be. Mike Viera of SGV Arsenal is worried that too much focus is on baseball at an early age.

“Baseball is a vehicle to get you where you want,” Mr. Viera said. “It’s not an end.”

This has also led to young arms being overworked at a young age. Even recruiters are beginning to notice an alarming rate of young pitchers with arm troubles. Most attendees were shocked to learn that some nine- and ten-year-olds are on the field more than the Dodgers!

Other than SGV Arsenal, the summit was attended by organizations Pacific Coast Baseball, NC Valley Baseball, Rising Prospects, So Cal Bombers, Team California Trojans, Show California, Evoshield, and USA Baseball.

Also in attendance was Dodgers team president Stan Kasten. The Major League Baseball team is reaching out to local sports organizers to combat some of the problems that face youth baseball.

“LeagueApps is one reason why things are easier today for organizers,” Kasten said. By using LeagueApps, organizers are finding the business of organizing easier. This allows organizers to focus more time and resources on some of the above problems plaguing youth baseball and youth sports.

Despite the obstacles, the Prospect Wire/LeagueApps Summit proved to be a great experience for all attendees. We’re looking forward to hosting more of these events and round table discussions. Feel free to contact us below if you’re interested in attending or if you want more information on how you can be a part of LeagueApps.

The Sportsdog Values Come From Our Fathers

Hoops, Lax, Sports Community

One father told his son that he didn’t expect to see him live to the ripe old age of eighteen.

One dad prepped his son to be ready to market himself.

Another was more impressed with the dynamics of the helicopter than the actual ride.

And one son’s last name was changed when Uncle Sam demanded so to his father.

These are the stories of four of the fathers of some of LeagueApps’s friends and investors- Sam Jones, Allan Rabil, Eddie Battle (Battier), and Ambrose Robinson. Though minor stories, they each represent just how Dhani, Paul, Shane, and David rose to become superstars.

Former New York Giants and NFL linebacker Dhani Jones credits the shaping of his life and career to his father. Sam didn’t expect his then 13-year-old son to make it to the age of eighteen. At the time, Dhani was hanging with a “bad crowd.” Sam needed Dhani to focus his attention to other friends.

Dhani being Dhani. Credit Essence.

“My father was a retired Navy commander, and on every birthday of mine, he’d wake me up at midnight,” Jones remembers. “We’d drive around in the car and reflect on my life.” Sam’s determination in keeping his son away from the bad crowds is what drove Dhani into playing sports, his new “friends.” It was with that determination that Dhani became a feared linebacker in the NFL.

Having also served in the Navy, Ambrose Robinson raised his son David in much the same capacity. David Robinson would go on to the NBA Hall of Fame, but not without crediting his father, a mechanic.

The Admiral with the LeagueApps team

Before David became “The Admiral,” he was a city-touring prospect being wined and dined by NBA teams. During one such visit to San Antonio, the red carpet was rolled out for Ambrose and David in the form of a helicopter ride over the city. Ambrose wasn’t phased by the ride. But he was in awe of how the helicopter functioned from a mechanical standpoint.

Ambrose’s attention to detail to each and every screw and gear on that helicopter was how he approached almost everything. That attention to detail flowed on to the court for David. His work ethic in practice and his polished fundamental game was unparalleled for over a decade in the NBA.

Paul Rabil’s father Allan always knew his son was destined for stardom. Perhaps not in lacrosse, but certainly in any athletic competition. It just so happened it was lacrosse and it just so happened that his son helped transform the sport into the fastest growing in the country.

“He was blessed with talent to play on the field,” Allan recounts. Given his large frame and cat-like quickness, Allan joked that sometimes he should have encouraged his son to play basketball. Still, his father pushed Paul to play hard and give it all in everything he did. After his commitment to Johns Hopkins in lacrosse, Allan knew that Paul was due for big things on and off the field.

Paul Rabil with LeagueApps’ finest

“You have to be OK with showing a more personable side,” Allan said, comparing his son’s marketability to the likes of Peyton Manning and Vernon Davis. With over 182,000 Instagram followers and 65,000 YouTube subscribers, it’s that marketability that has allowed Paul to be the face of US Lacrosse.

Arguably the face of Duke basketball in the early 2000s, Shane Battier is not Shane Battier without the help of Uncle Sam. Literally.

His father was born Eddie Battle. However, due to a slight error in his birth certificate, Eddie Battle became Private Battier when he reported for duty in the US Army. And just like that, the Battier family was born.

Anyone who watched Battier play ball is reminded that although Battle is not his official last name, it certainly is a fitting one. Never afraid to hide from a charge or let others dive for loose balls, Battier was a headache to opposing teams for almost 15 seasons and was twice voted to the NBA All-Defensive second team. Like his father Eddie when Uncle Sam changed his last name, Battier was never one to back down from any challenge. He would “just roll with it.”

Shane Battier with the LeagueApps Hoops team

Each of these professional athletes adopted some if not all of the characteristics that their fathers instilled in them at a young age. They’re even some of the same values that LeagueApps is dedicated to. It’s these values that drive the LeagueApps team, and their investors, to work tirelessly in simplifying the life of the sports organizer. It just so happens that some of these sports organizers happen to be dads, and Father’s Day is their day.

Father’s Day is a time of celebration. It allows us to remember all the great things that they do or have done. Even if we sometimes forget to thank them. Dads like Sam, Ambrose, Allan, and Eddie may be in the spotlight, but there are dads like them in every community. Happy Father’s Day, dads. We love you. All of you.

The One Feature You Need To Simplify The Payment Process

Feature Highlight, Product News, Value of LeagueApps

Credit jantoo.com

Let’s face it. Collecting dues and fees is not exactly easy. Whether fees are collected at the start of registration or a payment plan is setup, it can sometimes cause some extra stress on the life of the organizer. That’s why LeagueApps was excited to launch Saved Payments.

In terms of transaction processing, Saved Payments is a game changer for organizers and participants alike. The two new features, Auto-Billing and One Click Payment, simplify the entire process for everyone. Here’s how they work.

Auto-Billing Payment Plans

Payment plans have become more and more common. LeagueApps understands this and gives administrators the power to set up payment billing options for participants. Unfortunately, sometimes a payment or two may be missed. Chasing down those final payments can be rather difficult and nerve-racking.

Enter auto-billing. Your registrants are still allowed to enroll in the payment plan. However, the new feature now safely and automatically stores their credit card information to setup recurring billing options. Organizers no longer have to set up reminders for payment and registrants no longer have to remind themselves which type of payment was used. No fuss, no muss.

One-Click Payment for Participants

Online shopping has gained steam in the consumer world. The ease of safely storing credit card information is just one of the reasons why e-commerce is so successful.

With one-click payment, registrants and participants can safely store their credit/debit card information to make current and future purchases. This is perfect for game time, at practice, or when players, parents or coaches are on their mobile devices.

The developers at LeagueApps are always working hard to make improvements and tweak the tools. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t looking for feedback! If you have an idea or a question, be sure to contact them at support@leagueapps.com. You can also check out the forum.

 

How A Sports Organizer Shaped The Greatest of All Time

Dugout, FC, Feature Highlight, Hoops, Lax, Value of LeagueApps

Credit: Tom Easterling, The Courier-Journal, USA TODAY Sports

The recent passing of Muhammad Ali has sparked much discussion and reflection on one of America’s greatest sons. In and out of the ring, Ali was a game changer. He was such an impactful influence that thousands, including world leaders, are expected in attendance for his memorial service on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Everyone knows the middle and end of The Greatest of All Time saga. But how many of us actually know the beginning? Ali pundits are quick to name drop Angelo Dundee, Ali’s longtime trainer. How many of them actually know the name Joe E. Martin?

In 1954, a young Cassius Clay, irate over the theft of his red and white Schwinn bicycle, stormed over to a Louisville police officer. Reporting the crime to the officer, Clay vowed to “whup” the thief when he was found. Instead of ignoring the twelve-year-old’s seemingly empty threat, the police officer offered to train the future world champion. That police officer’s name was Joe E. Martin.

Shortly after joining the Louisville Police Department in 1937, Martin became a boxing coach at Columbia Gym located in Louisville. It was there that Martin became a boxing organizer. It was there that Martin recruited and developed some of Louisville’s athletes. It was there that Martin integrated boxing, long before other racially divided gyms. And it was there that Martin trained the future Muhammad Ali.

Even as a full-time police officer, Martin found time to organize and develop youth sports in his community. The end result was one of the shaping figures of modern history.

Sports organizers like Joe E. Martin are community unsung heroes. Every day, LeagueApps strives to make the life of the unsung hero simpler and easier. Whether it be boxing or any sport, the next great one is being developed by the unsung hero right now. Today we say goodbye to Muhammad Ali. But LeagueApps also remembers Joe Martin and salutes all the Joe Martins out there today.

 

NYC Youth Partner Day A Slam Dunk

Company News, Hoops, Press, Release Notes, Sports Community

Instead of watching Steph Curry and LeBron James during their pre-Game Three warmups, the LeagueApps team was hustling on their own home court on Wednesday night hosting some of their partners. The anticipation of talking youth basketball combined with the buzz of the NBA Finals made it incredibly hard for us to contain our excitement. Luckily, our guests were able to match our enthusiasm.

 

Throughout the year, we host multiple partner events to build relationships, network, discuss industry relevant news, and promote some cool new tools we develop. It just so happened that Wednesday night’s event was attended by all youth basketball organizers. This juicy caveat made it incredibly easy for everyone to develop an immediate relationship and engage each other about the state of youth basketball.

 

The bulk of our event was spearheaded by our roundtable discussion around some of the challenges that basketball organizers face on a regular basis. Led by Dom Oliveto of the Jr. NBA, the conversation centered around expanding reach through social media, finding the right coaches, and the ever expanding availability of resources gap between inner-city and other leagues.

 

In addition to our Jr. NBA partners, Michael Collins of Basketball City, Beth Tapp of Slam City, Walter Colon of the New York Knicks, Abner Neufeld of the Brooklyn Nets, Todd Francis of NYC Zoom League, and the NBA’s Ryan Boyd and Kevin Kettl attended the event. Jonathan Cramer of Momentum Worldwide also stopped by to add to the conversation.

 

The event didn’t stop after Cleveland’s blowout. Breakaway Hoops, one of the top youth basketball training programs in the New England and mid-Atlantic regions, officially became a LeagueApps partner on Wednesday morning. Represented at Youth Partner Day by Wilky Colin, Breakaway Hoops is excited to work with LeagueApps and eager to help raise awareness for fundamental basketball. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring them on.

 

All in all, it was a wonderful night at LeagueApps headquarters and a great way to launch the second half of 2016. We’re hoping you can be a part of the next partner event!

 

Moving to the Cloud — Bigger, Stronger, Better

Product News, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

At LeagueApps, we’re dedicated to building and providing the best sports management platform in the Industry. As part of this, we’re making some major improvements to the underlying technology that powers the platform. Our engineers have been working on a project to update our underlying system architecture and migrate to world class “cloud-based” infrastructure.

This will allow us to continue offering exceptional platform performance and site availability as we grow. Here are a few highlights of how this will benefit YOU:

  • Scale as we grow together. As we add new partners into the LeagueApps community, and as you grow your organization, our technology platform will be readily able to meet the increasing demand and maintain 99.9% availability and performance.
  • Smoother releases and maintenance updates. We’ll have greater flexibility in how and when we perform maintenance updates and feature releases. What this means for you is a) little to no service interruption during scheduled maintenance and releases, and b) faster turnaround time for fixes/patches.
  • Superior Internet connectivity. LeagueApps will be using the same network technology that powers the same Google services used world-wide (e.g., Google Search). So, you can rest easy that your members, wherever they’re located, are always able to access your site.

In order to complete this transition, we’ll need to perform a one-time system maintenance project which will require us to take the platform offline for a few hours. This scheduled maintenance downtime will occur this coming Saturday June 11 from 8pm – midnight EST. During this downtime, your account will not be accessible and your site will be offline. Visitors to your site will be presented with a message explaining the scheduled maintenance downtime and shown the time the site is planned to be back online. Your data will not be affected, and all emails sent from your members to you will not be affected. Once the maintenance window has completed, your site will be back online and better than ever.

We encourage you to plan accordingly for this one-time downtime. We recommend alerting your users this week as well. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and help however we can. Our regular Support Channels will be available before, during, or after the Scheduled Maintenance downtime. You can email us at support@leagueapps.com or call us at 1-888-208-0210 for help.

Sell More Products With the LeagueApps Store

Feature Highlight, Product News, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps is happy to introduce the newest addition to our eCommerce tools – a storefront page!

You can now host your entire store on your LeagueApps site, and here’s why we’re excited about it:

Grow your organization’s revenue and brand with product sales before, during and after registration

We know that it’s a great time to offer products for sale during registration – 57% of all LeagueApps eCommerce sales happen during registration – but it’s also very valuable to offer an easy way for participants to purchase products before and after registration. Our storefront page allows you to do just that!

Condense your online sales into one place

LeagueApps already makes the admin work of creating products for sale very easy – now it’s just as easy to add those products to a storefront page. Instead of using different systems for registrations and eCommerce sales, do it all in one place with LeagueApps!

Provide a familiar point of purchase

There are both simplicity and trust factors in favor of offering all of your online sales through one system. Don’t make you users create multiple accounts and go to different websites for what they want. Users who have already registered for one of your programs through LeagueApps can simply log in to their existing account to make a purchase. If your site has our saved payments feature activated, users can even used a saved credit card in their LeagueApps account to make a product purchase – talk about easy!

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To see how other organizations are using LeagueApps eCommerce, click here or give us a call at 1-800-257-3681

 

 

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