LeagueApps is excited to announce the formation of an Adult Sports Advisory Board. This concept started from the many spirited feedback sessions and conversations with our adult sports league partners. We recognize that LeagueApps has a better chance of being more valuable if we collaborate with our partners and learn more about their organizations. We need to do better job being more attentive to suggestions, ideas and concerns. So we’re bringing in the experts to work more directly with the LeagueApps product and partner management teams.
The initial advisory group includes heavy-hitters from all over the country. We appreciate all of these folks volunteering to be part of this group as we attempt to get it off the ground. So we want to introduce and say thanks to:
- Atlanta Sport and Social Club: Kevin Cregan
- Social Boston Sports: Matt Rubin
- Ultra Coed Sports: Harry Williams, Jonathan Korb
- PlayNOLA: Lavonzell Nicholson
- Tri Sports Social: Danny Lefebvre, Charles Warren
After a bunch of individual conversations we held the inaugural LeagueApps Advisory Board meeting on November 3rd, 2014. The meeting was held virtually via Google Hangouts since the LeagueApps teams and our partners involved are spread out across the country.
Our Advisory Board partners all brought their A-games! Everyone cleared out their Monday mornings and brought great energy and enthusiasm to the meeting. The LeagueApps team tips our hats to all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules. Brian and Asaf participated from the LeagueApps Team in NYC, while Gautam repped the product team in DC.
The small group dynamic was conducive for great product discussion and feedback. The Advisory Board shared their thoughts and ideas about how LeagueApps can help with our partners’ league management and operations.
We started the meeting by unveiling a few projects in development or recently released, including mobile projects and API / Open Platform initiatives. Our partners shared the importance of registration and scheduling for their players’ mobile experience. We also had a great discussion around the external digital tools that our partners utilize for different parts of their business, including Mailchimp (email marketing), Quickbooks (accounting), and Zendesk (customer service). It’s our goal to make LeagueApps a more “open” platform that can integrate with external tools in 2015. So it’s helpful to better understand which tools are most popular and valuable to our partners.
Mobile, Scheduling, and Privacy were the focused topics of conversation. We took away many key lessons from the Advisory Board meeting including:
Our partners stressed the importance of good scheduling-making tools for their operations and the types of generator improvements that would be most valuable to them.
- Taking into account all considerations, field, days, bye weeks, odd number of teams, blackout dates
- More streamlined schedule-editing with less steps involved
Some partners already use external scheduler tools or have processes that work well. LeagueApps is building a schedule import tool to streamline the import process. In addition to schedule-making, schedule management and publishing is is also important to our partners. We discussed how manually adding single games can be made easier and quicker. Also, showing team colors on schedules would be very helpful for players.
The Advisory Board had great ideas and suggestions regarding our latest mobile updates. For SMS, the partners said the opt-in process is cumbersome for players (we’re planning to make opt-ins easier and baked in to the registration flow). A few partners felt that text messages are more intrusive than push notifications and are concerned that they might turn off their members with SMS for marketing/promotion.
In preparation for our upcoming mobile backend update, we were curious to learn which use-cases are most important for our partners to do from their mobile admin console. It seems that score-entering is a big use case — partners would love to enter scores on mobile and have the scores update their standings.
We found some interesting takeaways regarding our partners’ privacy needs and concerns. Overall, admin features and control over their staff’ admin access was a high priority. Better admin tools (especially for lower-level admins) was requested by multiple partners. Our partners also want their admin roles to be customizable – since each organization has its own rules and staff structure. Additionally, we learned that organizations prefer to hide financial information from most admin levels since most admins just need to send emails and enter scores.
As for public site privacy, our partners are concerned with competitors messaging their players and accessing their members’ information. We plan to add a privacy setting that restrict players from being able to message each other, unless they are teammates.
At the end of the meeting, each person listed his/her top item or issue that had not been discussed yet. These items made the cut (Many of these feedback points are already listed on our Forums page but it was good to hear them again).
Other Key Product Feedback Points
- Admin efficiency is crucial
- There should be a calendar to mark dates in Registration Options (instead of counting back from reg. start date)
- Reminders and dashboard views to make sure league registrations are open or about to close.
- Other reminders (e.g. post/announce schedule)
- Need solution for T-shirt reporting and shirt-ordering process
- New Registration Capabilities that would be helpful:
- Ability to register for multiple programs
- Ability to register past teams
- Image Uploader: Hard to search, find or delete images. Would be great if the image uploader were more user-friendly.
- Updates to standings tie breaker rules
- Customize rules per program
- Include additional tiebreakers, such as Strength of schedule
- Program Discover
- Show league page for leagues that are not open for registration, but as a place-holder that shows up in the league listings page.
- Ref/Ump scheduling
- Arbiter Sports: Tool for ref assigning
- Want ability to assign non-players (i.e. staff roles) and make sure they get game notifications
Our first Advisory Board meeting was exciting and successful do to the MVP performance of our board members. We’re excited to hold more virtual AND in-person meetings with the group in the future. We’re also looking forward to diving into these product discussions further and working to ensure some of these ideas and suggestions come to fruition!
Please let us know if you are interested to learn more about the Advisory Board. We’d like to plan more Advisory Boards for other partner segments (e.g. youth, club teams, etc.). Between Advisory Board meetings, Partner Days, and Facebook Groups we now have a few different forums to collaborate with our partners. Please let us know if you’d like to participate or be involved in some capacity.
Advisory Board VIP Message
We also shared a special video message with the group. 3-time Super Bowl Champ Willie McGinest personally paid tribute to each of our board members and wished the first LeagueApps Advisory Board godspeed!
As Willie says…Play Forever.