Whether you or your kids are participating in some form of organized sports, be it from soccer to sailing, it’s likely that you’ve run into some communication issues. Changes in schedule from the head organization affects coaches, which then affect sports halls and parents, who have other hobbies and scheduling issues in their lives. Back when I played little league soccer, I remember our team dealt with changes and issues in the schedule using a “phone tree” – where the coach would call a few parents, who would then call their designated two or three parents, who would then call who was on their list. It was a solution to the communication issue, but messy.
Nowadays email reigns supreme but it’s still one big step away from the core problem – the calendar issue of scheduling. Enter Hobbydeed, a platform designed to put a shared calendar at the core of this communication issue for teams and other hobby organizations.
With this activity-based shared calendar as the main communication tool they bring together sport places, competition organizers, teams, sponsors, sport shops, families, and coaches under one roof, allowing the whole system to benefit.
What shows that Hobbydeed is solving a real problem is the bare-bones Finnish-branded solution already run by the web service Osallistujat.com. Antti Stenvall, the founder of osallistujat.com, says that now as we have two dimensional communication in place between coach and the players, we need to get the other stakeholders involved around the same calendar. With Hobbydeed they’re building a sexier platform while simultaneously expanding the features and “users” connected to the calendar – like these sports halls, advertisers, parents and other players in the hobby world that can better organize themselves around direct communication with hobby schedules and participants.
The proof of concept is in the numbers: today Osallistujat has 30,000 weekly users participating through 1,000 clubs in Finland and Estonia. The platform is also growing steadily, with 600 new users counted just last week.
This growth is due to the fact that they’re solving the problem for coaches and organizers who are facing the brunt of these communication challenges. Getting one team leader onboard the platform can cause explosive growth by getting enthusiasts and relatives who want to see team schedules onboard. Addressing the team managements tools for coaches and training diaries for players we can get and keep clubs and their members happy. This kind of statistics opens an access to “big data” to develop youth sports and best practices with co-operations of youth associations.
With this ecosystem in place, the company can then plug into third parties offering services to these clubs and organizations. This includes helping trainers market their services to participants (that fit their schedule!), marketing to sponsors who want to connect with enthusiasts, or even helping traveling teams manage the money side of booking travel and hotel expenses.
For the next steps Hobbydeed is looking for growth which means raising some money and pumping money into marketing. Stepping away from the hard to pronounce Osallistujat and into Hobbydeed they’re now poised for growth into new markets to take what they’ve learned in Finland and bring it to the masses.
Sounds interesting? Hobbydeed be ready to answer questions at the Arctic15 at their demo stand!