- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Every Tuesday a group of people, both male and female, and ranging from high school to mid-thirties, gets together to play one of the best sports ever- soccer. Some of us are in good shape, some are not. Others have skills and a lot of us do not. But, we get together to have some fun and to get some exercise.
This group was original formed years ago by the owners of Tierra.Net, a hosting company here in San Diego. They set up a simple website where people could register to be notified of games and respond as to whether or not they would be coming. It was a simple PHP site. Nothing too fancy and it did just enough to let us know who was coming. Normally we struggled to get players to come. It would be 3 on 3 or 4 on 4. We were stoked when we got 5 on 5.
One of the owner's wives decided to switch use from our site over to a service called Sportsvite. The idea was to have a better system to manage our games and to hopefully attract new players through their internal database of players. It worked great! We had new players messaging us and asking us if they could come play. Now, we consistently gets games of 7 on 7, 8 on 8, and even 9 on 9.
Sportsvite is a way to manage and organize sports games. When a person signs up, they create a player profile. This profile allows you to fill out information about yourself. This is the generic information such as your age, where you work or go to school, your hobbies, and more. But more interesting is the ability to assess your athletic ability. On a scale from 1-5, you rank yourself on speed, agility, endurance, strength, and competitiveness. These are then averaged together to give you a 'Power Score' which is publicly viewable in your profile. This allows people who are looking to recruit new players to find the right fit for their team. As an example, here is a link to my profile.
Once your profile is setup, you can then start getting to the core features of Sportsvite. There are really two roles in Sportsvite- as a team member and a team organizer. Let's talk about being a team/game organizer first. Sportsvite allows you to create teams or games. When creating your team, you are able to select the type of team. Such as recreational, pick-up, activity group ect. You can also set your skill level such as pro, casual, semi-competitive. Now, the great thing about creating a team is you can designate whether you need more players or if you accept challenges. If you need more players, people will be able to message you to be added to your team. If you accept challenges, other teams can challenge your team to a game. Once your team has been formed, you can invite people to your team, uploaded pictures, and schedule games.
Scheduling games on Sportsvite is great. It allows you to gauge how many people are coming to your game. Everyone you send a game invitation to can respond with their status. There are three statuses. Put me in coach, I'm on the bench, and I'm lazy- I mean I can't make. It's very similar to Evite for parties. You can even add messages and select which position you want to play. The email and Sportsvite also contains game location and time. Reminders can also be sent out to game members.
Not only does Sportsvite have the ability to create and mange teams and games, but it is also a community. It allows you to connect with other teams or players. This is what I think is the best part of Sportsvite. We struggled for so long to find players. Once we moved over to Sportsvite, we were finally able to get the numbers. Players can search area codes for specific gamed and level of skill. I am possibly thinking about leaving San Diego and relocating to Dallas. I will definitely be using this feature to find a new team to play with if I do.
Sportsvite is a great niche site that meets a lot of needs. I hope it continues to grow and more people can connect outside and away from their computers. There a lot of features I did not dive into and I encourage you to do so. The only down side to Sportsvite so far is their lack of response to customer questions, problems, and suggestions. We have emailed them a handful of times to never receive a response. I hope they work to improve on this.
Jason Jennings is founder of CleverTools.com – a set of web tools for web professionals. The tools include project management, bug tracking, time tracking and timesheets, invoicing and estimates, leads management, and a whiteboard collaboration system. They are currently looking for beta testers.