We get it…you just want to sign up, pay and play. Yet many different leagues used a variety of different options in order to collect payments, process payments, handle registrations and ultimately schedule and communicate to league players. It is a daunting task for any large league. Many leagues such as ours will opt to use platforms such as League Apps to help us manage the day to day operations and administration of managing a large amount functions such as payment collections and player registrations, financials, refunds, notifications, etc. Every platform has pros and cons and it is usually up to the league to figure out the features and functions that will make managing and facilitating a successful league possible and at the same time it also must foster and promote easy league registrations, growth and retention. Did I lose you already?
Yes, running an adult soccer league is a business.
As a business we must find the easiest most practical ways to provide services, collect and communicate. Communication can also be divided into sections such as marketing, notifications, messaging and overall online display. Again a lot of behind the scenes processes that are vital to the day to day function of a league but are just invisible to the players. It is that way for a reason. As a player, you want to sign up, pay, know your schedule, be reminded of your schedule, be notified in a timely matter if your schedule changes or if a game is canceled and most importantly be reminded of when leagues are open, the costs, any discounts, and deadlines so that you can register on time.
For those of us in the background managing all of these functions, again, we must rely on various platforms in order to streamline our business and at the same time provide the simple “services” and outcome a soccer league player expects.
Behind The Scenes of Decision Making
Last Spring, Movedon Sports had opted to continue to use League Apps to assist with managing the league with rosters, scheduling and communication but made a big decision to change the way we collect and process payments by turning to a very well known third party payment processor, PayPal. PayPal is considered the gold standard in payment collection and fraud protection and many businesses use them to collect online and offline payments because they offer a layer of security beyond just adding a shopping cart to a website. MSL also made a very important “marketing” and branding decision to build our own stand alone website using two different domains, www.movedonsports.com and www.adultsoccerleagues.net in order to “optimize” and compete more effectively against other sports leagues in the areas that we are planning on expanding into. By adding our league offerings (products) directly onto our own website ( an online store ) we are able to capitalize on our large amount of traffic and this will help facilitate a faster rise in online visibility. It’s part of our long term plan to improve our footprint into areas to grow our leagues. We simply integrated Paypal and their portfolio of financial products like Venmo, Pay Later and Pay in 4 to offer more variety of options for our players. We hope that by doing so, we have made the registration process easier and faster for our league players and registrants.
In other, words, it’s part our business plan.
That leads us to “marketing. It’s the lifeblood of any business. Social media, referrals, offering a consistent product or league only helps us bring in new players. Again, we are a business and although we would love to be able to keep every player that signs up, this is just not reality. We have to be constantly seeking new players, new captains in order to keep the leagues running and alive. Let’s not forget officials. MSL must hire trained referees to officiate every game. These officials must get paid and they are there to keep the games running on time, smoothly and safely. Also part of our “streamlining” focus.
A New Focus: "Captain Centered"
Another part of the “streamlining” is to focus on captains, and the functions of the captain who is doing the job of organizing. A captain can put together, communicate and pay for an entire team of 12-20 players more efficiently and take the job of collecting, communicating and organizing off our table, which is why we offer a major discount to captains to pay upfront because they take the responsibility of the admin off of us. We support our captains and are grateful for the job they do for the leagues in keeping their teams notified and registered season after season. This lets league focus on growth and bringing in new teams and new players so that existing teams and players can look forward to some new competition. In many cases, captains will also help bring in new players as well.
Information Collected to Build Better Teams
For new and existing players, we are now collecting information about our players to better serve the teams and the team building efforts. New questions on the registration form like position, and skill level will help us place the most suitable players on the right team based on captain’s requests and needs.
In conclusion about “streamlining”, thought that sharing the behind the scenes and goings on at MSL would be helpful in shedding some light on the what, why and the really(s)? We get tons of questions about many decisions that are made. And we always want to provide the most transparent of answer when providing the response. We also notice the glazed looks as we begin to go into detail about the background of a decision. But we want to always assure our league players that we do put a lot of thought into our decisions as to how it will affect the leagues, the players and outcomes. And we welcome feedback. We listen to the feedback but can never guarantee that we will act on the feedback but will consider all options. Very often we get feedback from captain or a few players and many of the suggestions we get to “operate ” or to function better usually involves how it will benefit their team without consideration for the other teams in the league. And we cannot guarantee that a “decision” will make everyone happy. But we are trying.
As a league, we will still continue to offer individual sign ups and accept new players at all times. And we will always offer to assist and support captains new and existing when they ask for new players or particular players to fill out roster needs.
For some of our players who have been with us for years, we appreciate the long standing business and continued loyalty and we also thank you for sticking with us through the “growing pains”, literally.