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Grow Your Sports Program With 5 Easy-to-Use Tools: Free Webinar

Best Practices, Company News, Value of LeagueApps
Grow Your Sports Program With 5 Easy-to-Use Tools

Join us Tuesday May 23 at 3:00 pm EST

If you’re not 100% thrilled about all the time that you’ve been plugging away without seeing results for your program, you are not alone. The biggest struggles plaguing sports organizers always revolve around having to spend more and more time on the growth of their programs. They have questions like:

  • How can I collect all of my fees and dues?
  • What is the best way to communicate with my participants?
  • How can I improve the experience of my parents and customers?
  • Why am I not growing?

Not to worry- you’re finally going to get some answers. Join LeagueApps Director of Partnerships Roy Kohli on Tuesday, May 23rd at 3 pm EST/ Noon PST.Roy will be sharing the tips and five tools that will address these questions and more. You’ll learn his strategy behind enhancing registration, managing payments, utilizing your data, leveraging your website and social media, and generating more revenue through eCommerce.Ready to start growing your program through his automated growth plan?
Click here to reserve your spot for Grow Your Program With 5 Easy-to-Use Tools webinar.

Top 7 Reasons To Work At LeagueApps

Company News, LeagueApps Team, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps Volunteers at Ballin for Charity

LeagueApps is looking to expand its roster with top notch talent like yourself. We’ve crushed our previous goals and have set even higher expectations, so we’re hiring multiple positions across several departments to fit the needs of our championship team.

As an employee at LeagueApps, you’re on a mission to make sports happen. We’re a team of tech-savvy professional athletes, college stars that got drafted to the start-up big leagues, and passionate SportsDogs that want to Play Forever.

Together, we’re transforming the future of sports to help thousands of organizations, programs, and companies grow. Including LeagueApps. If you’re results-driven and ridiculously passionate, this might be the team for you.

Here are 7 of the top reasons you should work at LeagueApps.

Click here if you already know you’re a fit to join our team and see what positions are available to you.

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LeagueApps Partners With ConnectLax to Simplify the Recruiting Process for Clubs

Company News, Lax, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Connect Lax

Credit: Connect Lax

Editor’s Note: LeagueApps Lax and ConnectLAX just teamed up to make the lives of club organizers even easier. The flexible API of LeagueApps easily works with other technologies in order to deliver the absolute best experiences to LeagueApps’ partners and their customers. You can read the details from the ConnectLAX team below. Original article is here.

The partnership will allow clubs to show their ConnectLAX teams on their LeagueApps website and for their players and parents to streamline the ConnectLAX sign up using their LeagueApps accounts. Specifically, lacrosse clubs can now embed their players’ ConnectLAX profiles on their own website while having them listed in ConnectLAX’s centralized Recruit Finder. LeagueApps team registrations will integrate with ConnectLAX to save coaches, players and parents time.

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Three Must-Have Technology Platforms For Your Youth Soccer Club

Best Practices, FC, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Credit: DV7 Academy

Credit: DV7 Academy

When most club directors think of sports technology, they are quick to think of wearables that boost performance or smart equipment that improves form and technique.

However, technology platforms are just as important for logistics and organization, especially for club directors. A platform is simply a group of technologies that are used as a base upon which other applications, processes, or tools are developed.

They might not be the most attractive technologies to talk about, but not having some type of platform in place for your soccer club can really put you in a disadvantage to your competitors.

Below are three must-have technology platform recommendations from the LeagueApps FC team.
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The 4 Magic Ways 100% Of The Girls In This Premier Youth Girl’s Basketball Program Are Receiving College Offers

Best Practices, Hoops, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Northwest Magic

Image via Northwest Magic

Of the approximately 430,000 female basketball players in high school, roughly only 6.4% will continue to play in college. The odds of a female athlete playing NCAA Division I basketball is 84:1.

For the girls playing with the 17 teams of the Northwest Magic, 100% of them receive offers to play at the next level.

Located in the state of Washington, the Northwest Magic was founded in 2009 by former University of Oregon standout Vanessa Selden-McClendon. Vanessa is third on the all-time scoring list at Oregon.

So just what exactly is Vanessa doing differently that allows her and the Magic to deliver sustained success for female basketball players in Washington?

“We have one goal, and really we strive to hit that ultimate goal in everything we do,” she said. “Our goal is to get all of our girls to the next level.”

Here are 4 ways the Magic Premier Youth Basketball Program is hitting its ultimate goal.

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How to Inspire Your Coaches and Parents to Drive Renewed Participation

Best Practices, Company News, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

4 Key Benefits Of A PCA Training Workshop

According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore.”

The Positive Coaching Alliance works with schools and youth leagues to create better experiences and more engagement for kids in sport. (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators, and student-athletes. LeagueApps believes so strongly in the PCA mission that we’re supporting them in our second annual Ballin’ for Charity tournament.

Be a part of making sports happen by signing up for the second annual Ballin’ for Charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

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International Women’s Day: LeagueApps Celebrates Women Shaping The Youth Sports World

LeagueApps Team, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps Celebrating International Women's Day

On International Women’s Day, we wanted to take some time out to recognize not only the female employees that work here at LeagueApps but also our amazing female partners and the women leading youth sports organizations.

 

We want to recognize these seven amazing women and say how much we value them and all women for what they do.

 

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Salt Lick, Sport, and Social: LeagueApps Steams Back From 7th Annual SSIA Conference

Company News, LeagueApps In Action, Product News, Rec, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

SSIA 2017
The LeagueApps team was proud to be a part of the Social Sport and Industry Association (SSIA) Conference once again. This year’s event was held from February 22nd-24th in Austin, Texas. This was the seventh conference in SSIA’s history.

The event featured 25 of LeagueApps’ adult and social league partners. Aside from enjoying the 70-degree weather and chomping down on some delicious barbecue, the three-day conference gave us a great chance to collaborate with our partners on future initiatives. This included products, features, and some collective ideas regarding the industry.

The main course was a group session revolving around five of our features that have been released over the last year that can provide the most value to our adult and social league partners.

  • Mobile Admin: Run your entire organization, including all of your programs, on your mobile device.
  • RSVP: Allow easier communication between teammates to help your leagues avoid the dreaded no-shows.
  • Stored Credit Cards: Deliver an easy check-out experience for your customers while collecting 100% of fees on-time.
  • Team Rollover: Empower your leagues’ captains to copy and paste, or “rollover,” previous rosters, simplifying the lives of your participants and staff.
  • Team Talk: The easiest form of communication between staff, players, or anyone, organized by topic.

You can view the LeagueApps presentation below.

LeagueApps Presentation at SSIA Conference 2017

Of course, the main benefit of attending the SSIA Conference each year is the quality feedback and best practices received from our partners. This year was no different.

One thing that we learned was that many of our partners use multiple web tools, software platforms, websites, and social media channels to promote and manage their organization(s). Through our open API, partners and developers have been figuring out how to “talk” to other 3rd-party tools and integrate with them. This need continues to grow as we work with more forward-thinking organizations who need cutting-edge technology to run their operations. We’re inspired by some of the integrations our partners have already been able to develop through our API, and we’re excited to see this trend continue. Learn more about our API plans, or visit our API developer site to access our API documentation.

It’s also clear that bigger data and deeper marketing insights are becoming a huge part of growing. Partners have a thirst for better data. are getting smarter about marketing automation and eager to better track their conversion funnel. They are excited for LeagueApps to build smarter reporting and/or connect them to business intelligence tools.

Finally, it’s cool to see some of our partners actively interested in expanding into the youth market. Several partners have already established youth initiatives, while others plan to in the near future. This is another place where we can drive value and see growth from our partners in the coming years. What’s encouraging is that our partners recognize there is a big opportunity to create positive sports experiences to the non-elite athletes.

Last but not least, we had the luxury of feasting to some world-renowned barbecue. On Wednesday night, we hosted dinner at Salt Lick Barbecue , with the help of our friends and partners from Austin Sport and Social. We’re looking forward to SSIA 2018!


 

 

What Mike Klinzing of Head Start Can Teach You About Your Basketball Program

Best Practices, Hoops, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Head Start Basketball

Grow Your Program By Focusing On Your Community

Head Start Basketball is a youth basketball organization that has been teaching the fundamentals of the game through camps, individual skill training, and online training videos in the greater Cleveland area since 1993. It was founded by Mike Klinzing.

They have approximately 1,000 plus players, boys and girls, that participate in their camps and training each year. These programs feature fundamental learning stations where players are taught the skills of the game, contests to test the skills learned, and the chance to play small sided games to maximize touches and player development.

LeagueApps is the official technology partner of Head Start Basketball.

Head Start was recently named the Jr. NBA Program of the Month for November for the work being done both on and off the court. In addition to being highlighted on the Jr. NBA website, Head Start was rewarded with a $1,000 gift card from Under Armour.

We had a chance to speak with Mike recently about the Jr. NBA as well as some other initiatives that Head Start has spearheaded. He had some great insight and tips into how other basketball directors can grow their basketball programs.

On Founding Head Start Basketball

A year after graduating from Kent State, Mike had the idea of running camps specifically for elementary school kids near his hometown of Strongsville, Ohio. There were seven elementary schools at the time.

“It started as a neighborhood thing. I’d run a camp at each elementary school for a total of three hours a day. Then it grew to high school as well after a year or two,” he said.

Mike claims there was not much ambition in starting a youth basketball business other than giving back. In fact, he started his camps at a time when there was a lot of competition in the market. That was one of the main challenges he faced in the early years.

“I got a head start in learning the game correctly, so I felt it was my duty to give back to the community where I grew up. From a business standpoint, I was sort of okay being stuck in the status quo,” he said.

Mike sees a big shift in the marketplace today. As youth basketball gets more and more competitive in travel ball and AAU leagues, there’s a definite opening for camp and program directors like Mike to give every kid a quality opportunity to play the game.

Not only is that growing his sports business, but it’s staying true to his mission of making great experiences for kids on the basketball court.

On Delivering Great Experiences to Members

As Mike’s camps grew and more and more kids registered with Head Start, he noticed larger amount of parents were interested in what the kids could be doing when not at organized practices. That’s when the idea of a video training plan came up.

“For some time, I had a blog to give parents valuable content so that more traffic would be sent to our website,” he said. “The idea of creating a series of videos to help parents, and even coaches, sort of spurned from the blog.”

What followed was the Daily Dozen, a series of 60 drills for kids to use over a 90-day span. The reward was that parents and players trusted Mike even when they weren’t currently registered one of his camps. When registration started back up again, the camps filled up in no time.

Faith, a parent located in Strongsville, recommends Mike’s combined style of online and in-person training so beneficial and unique, she now has multi kids in his programs.

“My children really enjoy the Head Start Basketball Camps and look forward to attending each summer.  Their basketball skills and sportsmanship have greatly improved with the help of Mike and his staff,” she said.

The Jr. NBA recently released a curriculum that is absolutely free to any coach or organizer to help them with practice plans, drills, and other basketball organized activity. A unique way to use the curriculum would be to watch the videos and grab some inspiration on how to make your own training videos to improve the user experience for your program.

“There’s no excuse not to use the Jr. NBA Curriculum,” Mike said.

 

On Being Named the Jr. NBA Program of the Month

Shortly after the Jr. NBA launched their Program of the Month initiative, Mike filled out a form that was emailed to him through the Jr. NBA newsletter. He figured it was worth a shot to win so he didn’t mind taking the hour to answer all the questions.

The Jr. NBA followed up with a questionnaire that took him about 20 minutes to fill out. By December, Mike was notified that Head Start was named the winner for the month of November.

“For less than 90 minutes of work, I got a ton of great, free press and a $1,000 gift card. I highly recommend the process to any organization.”

His relationship with the Jr. NBA has also opened up other opportunities with another leading youth basketball, the Positive Coaching Alliance. Mike and Head Start Basketball will play an integral part in helping shape PCA Cleveland, as official Jr. NBA Programs of the Month get to experience free PCA workshops to help train youth coaches.

As a USA Basketball Youth Development Certified Coach, Mike sees the benefit and similarities of all three organizations. “It’s great to be associated with all three of these organizations. They all teach correctly and they all teach sportsmanship,” he said.”

Head Start Basketball plans to use the Under Armour gift card to provide athletic apparel and equipment to kids in need through one of their giving initiatives and to purchase new basketballs to replace some of the older balls currently in use.

On Being True To A Mission That’s About More Than Basketball

Cleveland’s youth basketball players aren’t the only ones that benefit from Head Start Basketball. The surrounding community benefits in numerous ways as well with his “Train for Life” program that provides opportunities for athletes to get involved with service projects.

Every Christmas, they participate in a holiday giving event in which every year they sponsor families at a local Pro Sports Performance. This past Christmas was the fourth year of the event. Twenty-one families were sponsored with over $25,000 worth of gifts. Over 250 athletes and individuals participated.

“It was so great. Basketball and softball players, wrestlers, elementary, middle, high school students were all in attendance.”

Head Start also has a partnership with Ohio Guidestone, which is an organization that serves children and families on different community-based services, including mental health services, foster care, and residential care. With Head Start’s help, the charity event was able to host a baby shower for nine expectant mothers.

“It’s what I’m most proud of. When people get done doing something with us, they walk away feeling they get their money’s worth.”

On Working With LeagueApps

Mike partnered with LeagueApps to get deeper reporting and immediate access to help with data collection.

“I was doing payments through PayPal but the site couldn’t collect data. I had to hand type data into an Excel sheet. This has been the biggest and best thing. Now I get the information immediately.”

The transition to a new sports management platform has been seamless for Mike, his current customers, and his users.

“That’s been the case completely. I’ve not had one issue with people registering, money not showing up, refunds. It’s all been seamless,” he said.

Before, Mike was okay in the status quo. But now, his youth basketball business is seeking expansion.

“At this point, we’re really looking to expand and grow. We’re in a great spot now.”

Video Basics For Your Program: The 5 Day Email Course

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

 

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