Youth sports is one of America’s great pastimes with millions of young athletes, families and friends spending countless hours devoted to the games, tournaments and experiences they love and share. As the world goes through a massive digital transformation, this community is still very fragmented and underserved by technology. Sports Illustrated Play, a unit of Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) that was formed in 2015, has been at the forefront of the movement to bring cutting-edge technology into youth sports. This continues today as SI Play introduces a groundbreaking mobile app replete with an exceptional collection of social tools and services that will advance, celebrate and expand the world of youth sports. The new app is part of SI Play’s industry-leading, state-of-the-art digital, mobile and social platform, offering the only end-to-end suite of integrated services and resources for the entire youth sports ecosystem of governing bodies, administrators, leagues, teams, players, coaches, families and friends.
Currently available for free on iOS and Android to SI Play’s 10 million platform users, the app was created by the technological expertise of the world-class sports, game, and online software makers within the SI Play development team (most of whom are also volunteers, coaches and parents of young players). There was also significant input from a die-hard community of more than 2,000 members of the youth sports community during the beta period. The product they created solves vital needs in the areas of team communication, scheduling, attendance tracking, volunteer duties, last-minute notifications, and even real-time scoring updates and Scorecasts. It also integrates curated content from Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated Kids into the experience. On top of this, the team will continually evolve the app with new features, services and resources.
“From day one our mandate has been to modernize the youth sports market by providing this underserved sector with the digital tools they need to have a more enjoyable and rewarding experience in every way,” said SI Play CEO Jeff Karp. “To accomplish this we are working hand-in-hand with this community to identify the acute areas of need and hear their ideas. The new SI Play app is a perfect example. We worked with thousands who are currently involved in youth sports, and we applied our own experiences as volunteers, coaches and parents of players to create a series of exclusive features and tools that will unite everyone connected to youth sports in a way that collectively celebrates their sports lives. It is the perfect addition to our platform and furthers our goals to make youth sports more fun, efficient and rewarding for everyone.”
Sports Illustrated Play plans to expand the product beyond its 10 million platform users to the general public in the near future to support the nearly 40 million US kids aged 5 to 18 who participate in youth sports, as well as the coaches, volunteers and families who are connected to them.
Key features at launch are as follows:
Coaches Key Features
- Instant team scheduling tools
- Content-rich news feeds that include photos and news articles
- News events right from the mobile app
- Attendance tracking and reminders
- Real-time notifications, including score alerts during live games and location changes
- Automatic updates between team websites and the mobile app
- iScore central integration to follow games when scoring with iScore
Parents/Players Key Features
- Exclusive Family Feed: All of your children’s sports schedules in one location
- Rosters and players cards that make players feel like pros
- Easy attendance, scheduling and communication tools
- Building a community by posting, sharing, and tagging moments captured during the game or throughout the whole season with other team members
- Create in-game stories with messaging and photo uploads during live games, in real time
- iScore live game updates for when you’re on-the-go, Scorecasts, and stats
Today’s release underscores SI Play’s leadership in the movement to elevate youth sports and complements its best-in-class manager platform, which is the chosen technology platform of nine National Governing Bodies and of millions who rely on it every day for league management, registration, payment, scheduling, calendars, team- and league-wide communication, professional website creation, team and roster management, and other needs. Additional features of the management platform include integrated background checks, tournament management, data and analytics and custom team gear and fundraising tools.
Time Inc. formed SI Play with three acquisitions—League Athletics, SportsSignup and iScore. These league management platforms provided a strong foundation and the opportunity to innovate and reimagine the youth sports platform. The company recently accelerated its growth with the acquisition of Tourney Machine which is the leader in online scheduling and tournament management for youth sports. With this software SI Play is able to offer a suite of digital and mobile management and tournament services for clubs, organizations, leagues and governing bodies in the youth sports ecosystem.
For more information about Sports Illustrated Play’s app, click here.