Like this blog?

Subscribe to get more articles

Stay Connected

Get a Demo

 
*
 

Get Started

Want to see how LeagueApps can help your organization?

get Started

See a live guided tour, or try it out yourself for FREE.

Like Us

The 3 Wearable Technologies To Give Your Youth Soccer Club The Winning Edge

FC, Sports Community, Tech Specs
Credit: Catapult Sports

Credit: Catapult Sports

Coming into 2017 hotter than stoppage time penalty kicks, wearable technologies are all the rage right now. At the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Conference in January, crowds flocked to different wearable vendors throughout the weekend.

Wearable technologies are, as you can imagine, those types of technologies or gadgets that are worn by players and often include tracking information related to health and fitness.

There are a seemingly endless amount of wearables available on the market, including smart watches and smart clothing, just to name a couple. We’ll assume for the sake of this blog that your club team will not be dishing out smart watches at your next tryout. Instead, we’ll focus on the gadgets that will improve players’ performances and help prevent injury.

Below are three recommendations from the LeagueApps FC team to help give your soccer club the winning edge.

(more…)

LeagueApps’ Perspective on the Platform Interruption Caused By the Amazon S3 Outage

Company News, Press, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

CTO Steve Parker Hard at Work During the Amazon S3 Outage

CTO Steve Parker Hard at Work During the Amazon S3 Outage

An Open Letter From LeagueApps Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer Steve Parker

LeagueApps experienced a platform service disruption this past Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. This occurred when one of the basic cloud-based infrastructure services we rely on, Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service), went down unexpectedly. You can read the official summary of the S3 disruption here. In short, a typo during a maintenance task caused the issue.

We first realized there was an issue with LeagueApps sites loading at around 12:45 pm EST. We immediately investigated and determined that the root cause was that S3 was down. Our platform relies on S3 to host and serve static assets, media files such as videos and images, and other content. These assets are important pieces to properly rendering our app pages.

Other sites like Netflix, Spotify, and Buzzfeed were also affected. It didn’t quite break the Internet, but a 4-hour outage at Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of websites across the United States.

We know that our partners expect 110% from all of us at LeagueApps and we are committed to that expectation. We quickly implemented a short-term change to the platform which enabled us to bypass S3 and use a comparable cloud service at Google instead. The outcome was that we were affected for only an hour and a half, while S3 itself was down for over 4 hours.

We have been using S3 as part of the LeagueApps tech stack since the start and this is the first significant issue. In fact, S3 has been so reliable for so long, that it appears some panic ensued and caused ripple effects on Twitter.

We take platform up-time and stability very seriously. So I wanted to share a bit of insight into how we think about and support this. And hopefully, answer some questions you may have.

The LeagueApps Platform is supported by a coordinated set of independent Internet services, like S3. For instance, Google Cloud hosts our database servers and is the main driver of our development and IT operations. Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net handle payments, SendGrid is used for email and Twilio for text message processing

Utilizing these various services allows our platform to provide the best of breed capabilities to our partners that each service offers. But this also brings with it some complexity and risk we must manage.

We continuously aim to increase the degree of redundancy within our platform. Redundancy, in simple terms, means having a duplicate instance of a thing in case the primary one goes down. Over time, we’ve executed various technology projects that have increased the redundancy within our platform. For example, our app layer, as well as our database layer (the very core parts of our platform running at Google) are each a “cluster” of nodes (servers), such that a failure of any one single node does not affect the overall cluster’s up-time.

Additionally, we maintain redundant backups of key pieces of our infrastructure to be used in cases of emergency, and perform continuous automated data backups to redundant targets. These projects have paid off, and are a large part of why we’ve been able to maintain 99.9% up-time on a consistent basis.

Building in greater redundancy is a complex and resource-intensive process. And ultimately, even the biggest most sophisticated platforms can suffer interruptions like Amazon did this week. We are continuously evaluating new ways to increase our platform stability, and applying what we learn from events like this.

To that end, we will continue to plan out and prioritize the most appropriate projects to maintain our stability and ultimately ensure that our platform continues to support and empower your organization.

I’d like to thank you and all of our partners for your patience during the S3 outage on Tuesday. Even still, the feedback you all have provided to LeagueApps has been instrumental in helping us create the absolute best product to help you run your sports organization and business.

I look forward to many more years of continued partnership with you.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Play Forever!

Steve Parker Signature

 

LeagueApps Partners Work With Movocado to Create Custom Mobile Apps

Company News, Press, Product News, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

Because LeagueApps’ API technology is an open platform, other technologies and applications can easily integrate into LeagueApps. Think of LeagueApps as the turkey in your digital Thanksgiving meal.

Many of our partners have expressed the need for a mobile app for their programs that can help members and participants enjoy all the great tools that LeagueApps offers- communication, scheduling, registration to name a few. So, we’re happy to announce a new opportunity for your organization to build a native mobile app through a company called Movocado.

Movocado’s capabilities include building custom mobile applications for sports organizations. Their mission is to partner with any sports organizer, club, gym, spa, barber, or healthcare provider that desires to provide a fully custom and fully integrated mobile application to their customers.

Steven Staley, founder of Movocado, is a former sports organizer himself so he also understands the importance of using software and technology to simplify the way your sports organization and program is run. Steve excited about the integration with LeagueApps.

“The LeagueApps and Movocado integration will provide organizers with a custom, native mobile application with seamless end to end integration between the Movocado native mobile application and the LeagueApps backend software,” he said.

“You don’t need to input any information or data into the mobile app. All information is fully connected and integrated with the LeagueApps software. There’s no need to spend any time, effort, or money to support or maintain the mobile application as it is always live, always up to date, and always supports the latest versions of web browsers and mobile operating systems, ” he said.

Steven and the LeagueApps team also understand the importance of branding so you can further drive registration and grow your sports program.

“Our app is optimized for both youth and adult sports organizations that have 5,000 players annually. As a sports organizer myself, I understand how important it is to brand your organization. It’s one of the reasons I was really drawn to work with Leagueapps,” Steven said.

Steven and the Movocado team have already begun developing apps for a few of LeagueApps’ partners, including Austin Sports and Social Club. SportsMonkey, another LeagueApps partner from Texas, is also working with Movocado.

Chad Perry runs the marketing department for Austin Sports and Social.

“Our users will most often be using the app just before their games. They want to open the app, see their game time, field location, the best route and ETA (via their preferred mapping app), who their playing, their opponents record, who on their team is coming and message their team if they’re going to be late or have a question,” Chad said.

 

“With this in mind we had Movocado create the custom homepage. Oh, and the weather status is an integration we had them create using the RainoutLine API developed by LeagueApps.”

Chad has also enjoyed the business relationship with Steven and the Movocado team.

“Working with Movocado has been great.  Steven is very fair, open and honest with communication about pricing, capabilities and recommendations,” he said.

You can read more about Movocado’s app store description with our partners from Boston Social Sports here.

LeagueApps is always looking to build relationships with other technologies to continue to make the lives of sports organizers everywhere simpler. When another sports organizer is able to build an app that easily integrates with the robust LeagueApps software, well that’s just like having your pumpkin pie and eating it too.

If you’re interested to learn more about Movocado or would like to receive a demo or free estimate, you can contact LeagueApps by clicking the large button below or you can reach out to Steven Staley at Movocado.

Mobile Registration is Here!

Feature Highlight, Press, Product News, Release Notes, Tech Specs

We’re happy to announce that we’ve rolled out a great new release — Mobile Registration.

Not only does this release provide a great registration experience on mobile phones for your members, it also transforms a number of other features in your member-facing sites to be completely mobile friendly.

Features Overview

Here is an overview of what’s included in this release:

Mobile Registration

Your members can now easily browse programs, register, submit payments, and manage their accounts from their phones.

  • Complete mobile registration and payment collection feature.
  • Includes the same features and program details as your full desktop website.
  • Secure SSL-encrypted payment checkout.

Mobile Site Theme & Homepage

When your members visit your LeagueApps-powered site on their phone, the layout automatically changes to use a specially-designed mobile theme that you can control. This mobile theme ensures that things look great and fit nicely on smaller screens of mobile phones.

You can customize your mobile theme colors and logo, as well as mobile specific homepage content, using new tools included in the manager console (described in our help article here).

Our Thoughts on Mobile

We shared some of our thinking and plans around mobile in this recent blog post LeagueApps Is Mobile-First. Here’s Why. Check this out to learn more about why this mobile release is great for your members, and for your organization.

What Else You Need to Know About This Release

We have crafted a full FAQ and How-To page that explains our mobile rollout plan and everything you need to know to fully utilize the feature: Mobile Site FAQs & How-to

A few important things to note:

  • 1) You don’t need to do anything to activate your mobile site. Unless you want to customize your theme, add a mobile logo, or add in custom homepage content, you don’t need to do anything. Your members will automatically get the updated content.
  • 2) Any color choices you have made in the color panel of the Theme Editor have been carried over to the mobile theme. But, we did not make any changes/updates to your mobile theme. if you want to make any changes, just visit the Theme Editor and on the Colors tab, feel free to change anything you want to. Note: this also will update the desktop templates. (read more tips on how to handle if you are using custom CSS).
  • 3) You can upload a mobile logo. Just visit the Theme Editor and on the Images tab, and you can upload a mobile logo, as well as a mobile app icon.

Have questions, feedback, or need help?

The Top 3 Ways Our Updated Reporting Feature Can Benefit Your Sports Organization

Product News, Release Notes, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

CTO Steve Parker and Director of Product Gautam Chowdhry

One of the most efficient features offered by LeagueApps is our built-in registration reporting tool. With it, organizations are able to generate reports that are crucial to forecast sales, track revenue, and collect other data to help make better and more informed decisions.

With the help of and feedback from some of our partners, the LeagueApps development team pushed through an update of the reporting tool that went live on August 24th.

We came up with a list of three of the top ways your sports organization can benefit from the new and improved updated feature.

We Listen to Our Partners

One of the most important ways to benefit from this recent development upgrade isn’t even anything specifically technical at all. It’s about partnerships. We like to make it a point that we don’t have clients or customers, but partnerships. This is what it means to be a LeagueApps partner.

This improved feature would not have even been possible without the recommendation from several of our partners. As a result, our development team, led by Chief Technology Officer Steve Parker and Director of Product Management Gautam Chowdhry, was able to shift product plans to better suit our partners’ needs and push it live.

It’s easy to recommend a feature for our development team to build.

And, it’s important to remember that new features released by our development team are automatically given to our partners at no extra charge. Because that’s how partners operate.

Faster Access to Deeper Data

Rather than tweak the existing reporting tool, the LeagueApps development team created the technology from scratch to better serve our partners. According to Gautam, “it was rebuilt from the ground up, using new technology. We also drastically improved the performance of it.”

As a result of the new technology, administrators are now able to access even more data at a faster pace. Before the upgrade, some of our larger partners were able to only run reports for no more than a month’s worth of data. Now, all of our partners are able to instantly track data from years back, leading to more efficient and better informed decisions. Trend identifying has never been easier.

Software Engineer Ryan Bulaclac Coding Our Next Feature

Data on Coaches Now Available

The development team is excited to announce that as a part of this product build, reports can now be generated on coaches as well as players and members. This should add another aspect toward running a more efficient sports organization.

We’d like to thank several of our partners for their feedback on the updated registration feature, including:

T3 Lacrosse
NYC Social
Social Boston Sports
Aloha Tournaments
Atlanta Sports and Social
Philadelphia Sports Network

Without their help, this updated feature would not have been made possible so soon!

In order to control the roll-out of this enhancement, we have not made the updated registration report publicly available yet. Please contact support@leagueapps.com to get access now.

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.

LeagueApps Rolls Out API To Our Partners

Company News, Feature Highlight, Product News, Tech Specs

For much of this year LeagueApps has been developing and experimenting as we build out a set of API’s. Today, we’re excited to publicly announce version 1.0 of the LeagueApps API.

LeagueApps’ API (Application Programming Interface) furthers our goal to be a platform that is flexible and configurable to the needs of your organization.  Check out the video below to learn more about what an API is and how they work.

We believe that all of our partners should have full control and ownership of their data including payments, registrations and member data. The LeagueApps platform already allows partners to use their own payment solutions, export their data through .CSV files and have control of their website design and UI through access to CSS and JavaScript content widgets to embed into their own websites. This API is another step forward as we open up the LeagueApps platform.

The API signifies our desire for LeagueApps to plug into the greater workflow, beyond the LeagueApps software, for your sports organization. We recognize that many of our partners use multiple web tools, software platforms, websites and social media channels to promote and manage their organization. We’re all for that. Many organizations that effectively utilize software today have a “stack” of different, specialized tools. Make no mistake, we’ll continue to build out key features within the LeagueApps platform that save you time and help you manage your organization. But we’d also like to work with you to figure out how LeagueApps can “talk” to other tools and eventually integrate with them to create the most valuable possible solution for your organization. In sports terms, we’re starting to open up our gym for anybody that wants to play ball. We’re confident this will improve both our game and yours.

API Specifications – Version 1.0 (Beta)

The first version of the LeagueApps API can be used to share live data that is output from LeagueApps in all different ways. Customize the data any way that you wish!

The API includes endpoints which provide access to your public-facing content. This is the content that is available on your website without your members having to login to their account. This data includes site details, site announcements, program information and schedules. We’ll soon release end points for results and standings as well.

To get a bit technical, the API is structured as REST endpoints which return results in a JSON format.  Every request must include a valid API Key in order to be granted access.  Calls to endpoints are made as HTTP GET requests.

Access the API

Any current partner can request access to the API. This will enable you to get feeds of your organization’s data. LeagueApps partners can do this by requesting an API key that will give you access to your own data.  Visit our developer site to access our API documentation and request your API key.

API – Future Versions

Our plan is to continue to develop and expand a set of API’s so that ultimately all of your data is available through this format. We’ll continue to add more feeds and end points to the current API.

Our next phase of development for the API will include access to all of your back-end (admin console) data. We’ll also want to grant access to user-authenticated data including logged-in member data. At the point, we’ll most likely explore more advanced development including key mapping and making API’s read-write so that admins and members can interact with the LeagueApps platform through the API feeds.

The LeagueApps product team is also exploring how we can integrate the API with other popular platforms like Mailchimp, Quickbooks and Zapier.

We’re eager to hear your feedback regarding the types of data needed to extend the LeagueApps platform through the API’s.

Example Use Cases with the LeagueApps API

We’re excited to collaborate with our partners to see how they intend to utilize the API. Here are a few examples of how Version 1.0 can be used:

  • Customized display of schedules added to your website.
  • Scoreboard ticker showing latest game results/scores.
  • Customized display of open registrations added to your website.
  • Customized “blog roll” of site announcements added to your website.
  • Integration of schedules and scores into your own mobile app.

So, What’s Next?

We’re already working with a handful of partners and third-party developers to utilize the API. It would be great to add you to the list and grant you access. We’re also building a few widgets that will utilize the API and plan to soon make these available for use to all of our partners.

Remember, the API is still in beta so give us some slack as we stomp out any bugs or issues and add additional end points as they are requested.

Most likely, it will take time to cultivate new features, widgets and apps that are developed with the API and shared through the LeagueApps network. We’re just as eager as you to see what types of innovative solutions some of our partners create (and hopefully share) using the API.

Mobile Friendly now means Marketing Friendly for LeagueApps Partners

Best Practices, Company News, Feature Highlight, Tech Specs

As an athlete, coach, and parent – I am always on the go and rely on my smart phone to keep me connected with  my work, my team and my family. We live in a modern and mobile world – and in 2015 over one third of all web pages will be viewed from a mobile device.

Recently, Google made a major change to it’s search algorithm known as page rank.   Sites that are mobile optimized will receive a higher page rank and show up more prominently in search results.  At LeagueApps we pride ourselves in being on the cutting edge of technology.   We’ve offered a mobile optimized website for a while now.  We rolled out mobile registration first, followed shortly by mobile team pages.

When you host your sports organization with LeagueApps, not only do you get our all star registration and program management features, but you are able to build your own website that works on mobile phone and reap the rewards of Google’s latest update.    Even if you have your own website and use LeagueApps primarily for registration, the registration flow is 100% mobile friendly.

Here’s an example of a LeagueApps website, in both the desktop and mobile views.

Desktop

Mobile

 

Search Results
Search results in Google now display if the site will look good on your phone.   Notice all the results for our sites are tagged as Mobile-Friendly!



Need an Assist

Our mobile tools are available in your admin console and are completely self serve.  If you would like a hand setting things up or have any questions feel free to reach out to our support team at support@leagueapps.com or schedule a coaching session with us.  We’d be happy to give you a hand.

 

 

LeagueApps + Hackathon = LeagueAppathon

Best Practices, Company News, LeagueApps Team, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

This summer the LeagueApps team held a Hackathon as part of our annual all team meetings in New York City. A traditional hackathon involves computer programmers staying up all night and writing code. At LeagueApps we have a diverse team including engineers, graphic designers, project managers, business analysts, customer service, sales and business development team members. We put together an event that utilized everyone’s skills and dubbed it LeagueAppathon. We stayed up late and worked together as a team to create a new calendar feature to add to our suite of league and sports management tools.

It was awesome to add a new feature the product, but it was just as important to have fun and learned from each other. We had a film crew on site to document the activities for the night. You can check out the action on how it all went down – and get a sneak peak at how our team works (and plays.)

If you are interested in joining the LeagueApps team we are always looking for hard working team players to join our squad.

Special thanks to our Brooklyn based film crew – Dakoit Pictures – for documenting the event.

LeagueApps Is Mobile-First. Here’s Why.

Feature Highlight, Product News, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

Mobile is not the future of the web, it’s the present. We’ve listened to the feedback from our partners, checked our data, learned from our existing products and have worked very hard to build out our new mobile product. We’re rolling out our new mobile solutions in a phased approach. The first phase, which will go live next week, will allow your members to discover and register for programs seamlessly—on any device, at anytime.

Phase two will include everything else that your members can do on the desktop site, with the main features being roster & team management as well as schedule, results and announcements. We also plan to develop a fully mobile-optimized version of the admin console. All of these projects are top priorties and main components of our product roadmap in the next 6 months.

To get a sneak peek of this, check out our mobile gallery, or visit playleagueapps.com on a mobile device.

That’s right; mobile registration is coming next week! Your members will be able find programs, complete the entire registration process and submit payment — all easily from their mobile phone now (as well as any tablet or computer like before). Here are some of the highlights:

Let members register and pay from any device

In addition to LeagueApps powering your program listings and registration website (and widgets), your members will now enjoy a completely built-in mobile registration and programs discovery feature. These allow your members to easily browse programs, register, submit payment, and manage their account from their phone.

These features were built with modern technologies such as HTML5 so that your website looks fantastic, loads quickly, and is compatible with iPhone, Android and other smartphones.

  • Complete mobile registration and payment collection feature.
  • New mobile optimized website homepage
  • Includes the same features and program details as your full desktop website.
  • Secure SSL-encrypted payment checkout.

Customize your mobile theme for your brand

When your members visit your LeagueApps-powered site on their phone, the layout automatically changes to use a specially-designed mobile theme that you can control. This mobile theme ensures that things look great and fit nicely on smaller screens of mobile phones.

You can customize your mobile theme colors and logo, and homepage content using new tools included in the manager console (described here).

Rollout Plans & What you need to know

We have already released and tested this product to a handful of early release beta partners. We’ve seen great results and a smooth transition during this early release period. For example, more members are completing their registrations during the same session. We’re excited to open this up to all partners.

As this new feature rolls out, everything will work automatically and your members will immediately experience the benefits. Your mobile homepage, program listings and registration pages will be automatically mobile optimized as described.

You will also be able to customize your mobile theme colors as well as your mobile homepage.

Here is a FAQ to answer some of the most important questions regarding the mobile product release included here.

Why mobile? Because it’s how people get things done

While mobile is here now, we also believe that mobile is the future in terms of how people use and interact with digital tools, products and services. People want websites and services THEIR way — that means allowing them to use their phones easily. This is a necessary component in ensuring a better, more enjoyable experience for your members.

At LeagueApps, we have already seen…
– User visits on LeagueApps sites surpass 35% (September 2014 on mobile devices
– we’ve seen 25-30% of successful registrations by members taking place through mobile devices.
– 40% of LeagueApps emails opened on mobile devices

People are making the choice on their own to use their phones. We view it as our job to make sure they can do this easily and with a great experience.

This is why we are taking a “mobile-first” philosophy and why we have decided to continue an ongoing focus to build out more and more features on, and for mobile. This is only the beginning! We’ll continue to roll out new mobile features going forward; and these will be for both your members as well as for you and your admins.

Close

Schedule Your Demo

Receive a 1-on-1 Guided Tour of LeagueApps

*

Get Started Now With A Free LeagueApps Account.

Send us your info and let's set up a time