Tag Archives: software

Trust us. This stuff matters

If you have spent any time online lately, you’ve probably noticed that there have been some issues of some companies and their privacy agreements. Google has come out with a new policy that combines ALL their properties under one agreement. That means if you have a YouTube account, a G+ page, a Gmail account, a Google Calendar, etc. all of this now is swept under one identity. And if you have multiple accounts, all of those accounts are tied together under you as one user.

More recently, some apps were caught uploading your entire phone book from your iPhone or Android smart phone — without telling you — when you installed their app. They apologize and claim to have removed all users’ data from their servers, but who really knows.

And of course, everyone’s favorite — Facebook — has a long history of deserving our mistrust with their ever-changing privacy policy and moving the settings around so we can’t find and change them easily.

Our Advice: It has taken a long time for people to trust the Internet. As the ability for services to sell services and goods erodes in the wake of alternative free services, there will always be a temptation to monetize customer data to advertisers and sponsors. In fact, you may have already been approached by sponsors asking for your list of teams, players and coaches.

The trust your teams gives you to keep their data away from marketers is not easily gained and can be lost in moments. Once you release data out, it can never be gotten back. Ever. You will be putting those coaches on mailing lists for years to come as the list get sold over and over and over.

At TourneyCentral, we won’t ever rent, sell, lend, lease or otherwise give out email addresses. In fact, every tournament we host agrees to that privacy policy as part of their use agreement.

Trust us. It’s not just something we say to get your business. It’s how we do business.

Marketing your first-year soccer tournament

Whenever we sign a soccer tournament that is just launching, we get asked a lot about how to get a lot of traffic to the web site that converts into team applications. While each soccer tournament event is slightly different, here is some of the collective advice we usually give out.

Offline marketing
First year tournaments are really difficult. There is usually a lot of offline hustle with the club coaches, within the league and at the state association level. Your club name will probably be the best thing to help you. Can you send out an email from the club list list? Also, make sure everyone in your club knows the website for your tournament. Every coach, every volunteer, every parent. Nothing says “dead lead” like someone from the club who does not know the web address.

Complete website
Make sure your TourneyCentral website is as complete as possible. That means your about page, rules, hotel policies, front page news, frequently asked questions are all full. It is a lot of work, but considering you only have about three seconds before a team will decide to click off your page or explore more, it is worth the investment.
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Soccer tournament legacy – a #letsblogoff post

What will be your legacy as a soccer tournament? Why are you doing all this? Will players and their fans still talk about your event long after they have left town?

For many soccer tournaments, the immediate goal is to make money for the club or the league. That has to be done for the tournament to continue year after year. But beyond making money, think about how your event is leaving a legacy for each soccer player who participates, each coach who brings their team to play another and each parent who spends the weekend with their kid in the company of other kids and parents. Think about how your tournament shapes your community and contributes to its legacy.

Will your tournament be the subject of a story around the Thanksgiving table that starts out as, “Remember when we went to …” and ends with uncontrollable fits of laughter, followed by knowing glances and wistful sighs?

Our advice: Think about the intangibles about twice as much as you think about the operational parts of your tournament. These things include fair play, good referees, short lines at the concession stand, quality hotels, fun things to do between games, good communication with coaches, friendly field marshals and cheerful volunteers. Update scores as fast as you can. Make sure your maps are clear and correct. Never assume everyone knows what “you are here” means. And perform random acts of kindness, no matter how tired you are or how late it is.

Tell compelling, positive stories about your tournament and the players, coaches and families to anyone who will listen. Share them on your website or blog.

Stay humble and never forget the teams who are playing at your tournament are your guests who chose to come to your event among a large and growing market.

These are the things that create a soccer tournament legacy worth passing on.

This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about “answering the question, “What is legacy?”” To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.

Soccer Tournaments Mean Business on LinkedIn

Soccer Tournaments Mean Business

Most youth soccer tournaments are run by volunteers who generously dedicate huge chunks of their time, talent and sometimes even their own money because they love the game and love to see kids get a chance to compete on a high level. But a youth soccer tournament represents big business to the clubs that sponsor them and to the business community in host cities.

There is a new resource for directors of these events and all others who want to share their knowledge or perhaps pick up a thing or two. If you have not already done so, join the Soccer Tournaments Mean Business Group on LinkedIn and start to share thoughts and network with other like-minded, dedicated soccer folks.

Social media is picking up momentum as a means of communication for business professionals in all walks of life. LinkedIn is the recognized leader for people who would rather separate their business interests from their other social networking activity on Facebook and Twitter.

Sharing ideas and making contacts with tournament directors from around the world can put your event on the forefront of using the latest and best tools, software and procedures that will make your event more attractive to youth soccer teams and to the sponsors who want their name and business attached to a winner.

The group was started by TourneyCentral, a provider of integrated online solution for youth soccer tournaments, but is open to everyone in the youth soccer tournament world who wants to dial up the professionalism of their event.

Where is my money going? Why controlling the money for your soccer tournament is key to success

Often, we have requests from soccer tournament directors to set up their Web site so that the team fees go to this mailing address, the credit cards go to another, the t-shirt orders go off to yet another address and the pre-orders for the college showcase books go to another. While delegating different functions to different people is key to running an effective soccer tournament, delegating control of the money is not.

You don’t have to go very far to find a story about the trusted soccer club volunteer who was caught siphoning off the top. A soccer tournament pulls in a lot of cash. A lot of cash also goes out to pay referees, field fees, vendors, etc. For many organizations, acts of embezzlement can be the death of their club or tournament. And the less likely you think it will happen to you, the more at risk you place yourself.

When teams need you to research a lost check or provide a refund, they like to know that their funds are in the hands of you, the tournament director. They NEED to know there is a system of control in place.

Our Advice: Use one mailing address for ALL funds, from the team fees to the shirt pre-order to everything that the soccer tournament takes in. If you can send the money to a lock box at your local bank, that is even better. A PO Box is good, but checks should never be sent to someone’s home, especially when that person has a day job and their mail could potentially sit in an unattended mail box for hours.

Be transparent. Always have at least two people knowing about each transaction at all times.

An honest person would never object to tight controls in place. In fact, a prudent person would never want to handle or transport checks or cash alone or even at all.

Take control of the money. Always.

March 18, 2010 Update: Soccer America’s YouthSoccerInsider just published an article that is a must-read for all soccer tournament directors.