Demosphere Forms New Partnership with Rise Soccer Club

Rise Soccer Club

Falls Church, VA – March 29, 2017 – Demosphere has recently partnered with Rise Soccer Club, a new super club in Houston, TX that has formed this year as a result of a merger between the Houston Express and Eclipse Soccer Club. Demosphere will be providing an integrated solution for managing administrative technology solutions including online player registration, data management and reporting, communication, league scheduling and more.

“We’re thrilled about our new partnership with Rise Soccer Club. We look for partners that will take advantage of our expertise in the world of youth sports technology and use it to help grow their organization to develop youth sports programs across the country” said Demosphere’s Executive Vice President, Kris Baker. “Rise Soccer Club has the mission to do just that and we couldn’t be more excited to see their program develop over these first few critical years.”

Colin Chesters, Executive Director of Rise Soccer Club, shared, “Houston Express and Eclipse Soccer Club have come together to become Rise SC. As part of this merge, we took a long, hard look at how we could improve our overall programming and offer the best of everything to our families at Rise SC, not just on the field but off the field as well. One of the obvious decisions was changing our registration and club management system to Demosphere. The Demosphere system meets all of our needs from ease of tryout and team registration, email communication and payment tracking to scheduling. This new platform will give our families an easier method of maintaining their family profiles and payment methods. We are excited about this new partnership between Demosphere and Rise SC.”

Although the Rise Soccer Club merger took effect on January 1, 2017, the two clubs will continue to operate under their current names – Houston Express and Eclipse – through Spring 2017, at which time Demosphere’s solutions will begin to roll out to Club members and administrators.

About Demosphere:

Demosphere International, Inc. is an Information Technology company based in Northern Virginia that has catered to the technology needs of youth sports organizations for over 26 years. Demosphere strives to provide authentic industry-leading technology solutions for organized sports, accommodating the needs of all levels of organizations and all levels of users, with an ethical approach to how they impact the greater community. For more information on Demosphere, visit the company’s website at blog.demosphere.com.

About Rise Soccer Club:

Houston Express Soccer Club (HESC), founded in 1978, and Eclipse Soccer Club, founded in 1986, have merged to transform Houston soccer as Rise Soccer Club. Rise SC is dedicated to being a force in competitive soccer and is prepared in all phases to achieve the highest level of success. Rise Soccer Club boasts one of the most highly licensed coaching staffs in the nation, has created and implemented a player development curriculum that is second to none in its effectiveness, and owns some of the finest youth soccer facilities in the country, centrally located in one of the largest youth soccer markets in the world.

Rise SC redefines the youth soccer experience in Houston. We’re a full service soccer club. Whether kids are playing soccer just for fun or to prepare for high-level play in college, we train players to their fullest potential and provide a safe, supportive playing environment. Integrity, respect, honesty and sportsmanship govern all that we do.

Demosphere Attends Julie Foudy Seminar: Coaching Females Successfully

julie foudy
Former USA Women’s Soccer team captain Julie Foudy and Demosphere’s Dannelle Lewandowski

Demosphere’s own Dannelle Lewandowski is no stranger to the coaching world. This year, she elevated her resume by becoming a girls ODP coach in the state of Georgia. So when she heard about Julie Foudy’s coaching seminar titled “Coaching Females Successfully: Perspective of a World Class Player”, Dannelle jumped at the opportunity to attend.

Foudy shared stories about her own personal journey as a world class player (former USA Women’s Soccer Team captain, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time World Cup Champion), as well as her perspective on the evolution of soccer in the United States. Julie also outlined best strategies for coaching female players and the importance of not only teaching the sport, but developing the character and leadership qualities of the individual as well.

Dannelle’s biggest take away from Julie’s discussion was that, “being a soccer coach is so much more than teaching someone about how to kick the soccer ball. A coach is given the opportunity and privilege to positively impact young players’ character development.  These character traits will be used for the rest of their lives and soccer is a path to help provide these life lessons.”

Part of Julie’s mission includes the creation of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, which is a residential sports academy geared toward girls ages 12-18. The academy focuses on sport (soccer or lacrosse), but perhaps more importantly, on leadership. The philosophy is to expose students to Julie’s great passion: the concept of not just being a great leader on the field but a leader in life. This year, the JFSLA is adding a day student option for girls ages 9-12 in three cities around the country.

We’re excited about the work Julie is doing to grow and develop the youth sports community and we encourage you to check out her program and share with your members!

 

Demosphere Presents the 2016 VYSA Volunteer of the Year Award to Richard Smith

VYSA, award, NCSL, Richard Smith
Camille Cheatwood (Demosphere), Richard Smith (NCSL), Jay Baker (Demosphere)

This past Saturday, Demosphere attended the 2016 Virginia Youth Soccer Association Awards Gala to honor the VYSA Award winners, as well as the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame Inductees. It was a well-hosted gala attended by some of the top administrators, coaches, referees and volunteers in the state of Virginia.

This year, Demosphere was proud to sponsor and present the award for the 2016 VYSA Volunteer of the Year to Richard Smith, President of the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL). Richard also serves as a travel commissioner on the VYSA Board, and as a Region I Commissioner.

Demosphere has been partnered with NCSL for over 15 years and we were extremely proud to present the award to their President. Richard has helped propel the league forward with new ideas, strong leadership, and a focus on positive player development.

Congratulations to Richard, the other very deserving award recipients and all the VA-DC Soccer Hall of Fame inductees!

Usability Improvements for Managing Field Permits

Demosphere has recently made some significant usability improvements to streamline the workflow for users managing their field permits!

Adding and editing field permits no longer requires a page load so users can quickly and easily manage permits within one screen. This improvement greatly reduces the amount of time spent on managing this area of the system.

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Additionally, we’ve enhanced the interface of the list of permits by incorporating our Data Grid functionality, allowing users to quickly search, sort, edit, clone and even export all field permits:

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Demosphere is committed to continuous improvement of our systems to ensure we’re delivering leading-edge technology to all levels of users.

Looking for more improvements? Give us your feedback today by contacting support@blog.demosphere.com!

Best Practices for Selecting Vendor Partners for Youth Sports Organizations

vendor agreements youth sports contracts

Several years ago CIO.com published an article titled “How to Choose the Right Software Vendor”, which offers some valuable insight to help organizations decide on some of the most important relationships that impact their daily workflow.

The article breaks the decision-making process down into several important areas, which we further shed light on below, especially as it relates to the growing youth sports industry:

  • Figure out what it is you really need – Before talking with any potential new business partners, get your team together internally to discuss any current hurdles or challenges, along with desired improvements to your workflow. As Steven A. Lowe, Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks indicates, “If you know what you want, ideally separated into a must-have list and a nice-to-have list, it will be much easier to figure out if any given solution fits your business–and to resist ‘shiny’ things.” In simple words, make sure the solution you’re considering actually meets your needs.
  • Check the software provider’s credentials and certificates – This is especially important in today’s volatile youth sports technology market. With the amount of consolidation, acquisition and unfortunate failure; it’s crucial to understand the foundation of the companies you’re partnering with: How long have they been in business? How has their technology grown over time? What types of partnerships do they have? Are they PCI Certified? How sound is their infrastructure? What is their data model and how will they protect your member data?
  • What do other customers have to say? This may likely be one of the most critical questions. Ask for references and find out how long they’ve been a customer, how their technology needs are being met, and how supportive, responsive and knowledgeable their team is. Chat with other organizations in your network to find out what the company’s reputation is.
  • Can it scale? This is an important question as it relates to future growth and emerging technology; has the company shown the ability to scale over time to meet market demands and to grow with your evolving needs? Malcolm Cowley, CEO of the Performance Horizon Group, hits the nail on the head when he said, “The last thing CIOs and other technology decision-makers want to be faced with is the need to re-evaluate and invest in a new solution two or three years down the road, when the existing system can’t handle the company’s emerging needs.” Before talking about price, first make sure the solution will meet your needs, both now and according to your growth plan. If the solution doesn’t meet your needs, cost is irrelevant.
  • Check for hidden or additional fees. Make sure you understand the full financial impact of the partnership:
    • Evaluate setup fees, recurring fees, and usage fees such as per player/per team fees.
    • If you’re processing online transactions, it’s imperative to calculate the total cost of credit card transaction fees – not only the various percentages across card types, but also per transaction fees, monthly gateway/account fees, etc.
    • Review the fine details of the agreements’s termination clause. Are you locked in for multiple years? Are there any early termination fees?
    • Equally important is to understand any additional fees you may incur due to any software deficiencies you uncover. Will there be any third party costs you’d have to incur to fill any gaps? Will there be any extra hard or soft costs due to lack of integration across platforms?
  • Who gets custody of your data? Most especially in the world of youth sports where member data has turned into a perceived “gold rush” of the current decade, it’s important to remember that your organization owns your member data (or at least you should). Be sure to find out before you enter into a new vendor agreement what they will do with your valuable member data while you’re a client, as well as after you leave. These are crucial questions to ask to ensure protection and privacy of your members.
    • What is the vendor’s privacy policy?
    • Will they use your member data for financial gain?
    • Will they market to or sell off your data?
    • How easy will it be to get access to your data after you move on?
    • Will there be a fee to obtain your data once the partnership is over?
  • Take a test drive. Now that you’ve had a chance to identify with your team what your must-haves and nice-to-haves are, make sure the software you’re considering meets your needs. Go through a full demo of how the tools will address your specific needs. Ask the vendor if they will provide access to a demo site, or if there’s a free trial option that will allow you to test the system before you commit to pay.

Navigating the waters of vendor research can be cumbersome and even frustrating at times, but these steps will guide you to help ensure you’re making the best decision possible, given the specific needs of your organization.

Demosphere has been serving the youth sports community since our humble beginnings in 1990, and we commit to bringing experience, authenticity, integrity and a strong sense of community to the conversation. If you’re interested in evaluating integrated solutions to help solve some of your complex technology needs, we invite you to contact us today!


Demosphere’s mission is to provide authentic, industry-leading technology solutions for organized sports, accommodating the needs of all levels of organizations, and all levels of users, with an ethical approach in how to impact the greater community.