DC SCORES Wins Big at United Expressions Benefit

Demosphere’s Kris Baker proudly attended the United Expressions benefit event this week, gathering for a special evening to bring art and soccer together in support of DC SCORES.

DC SCORES

The DC chapter of America Scores is a non-profit organization which serves kids in need through programs that build confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. Through a unique combination of soccer, poetry/spoken word, and service-learning, the organization helps over 2,200 kids in 55 schools develop into healthy teens and young adults.

UNITED EXPRESSIONS

The evening, which took place at the Hyphen Galley in DC, was well attended by members of DC United, DC SCORES, and friends and family of artists John Brendan Guinan and DC United’s Head Coach, Ben Olsen. Both artists graciously donated several pieces of artwork, with proceeds going toward DC SCORES in anticipation of contributing to a meaningful difference in thousands of kids’ lives.

THE ART

Several DC SCORES members performed original poetry for the crowd in between mingling with the artists, DC United players, browsing works of art and enjoying the delicious food donated by Mindful Restaurant Group. It was truly an amazing evening bringing two seemingly uncommon worlds together: Soccer and Art.

COMMUNITY

Demosphere is extremely proud to be a supporter of DC SCORES to help the local community in support of the development of our youth through soccer, poetry, leadership and more. We encourage you to consider contributing to the organization, or to a similar affiliate in your area. If you have a similar organization in your area that you’d like to share, please post your comments below.

Part of Demosphere’s mission involves providing continuous support of the youth sports community, which we have been contributing since our beginning almost 27 years ago. Our goal in this realm is to help build community connections by sharing ideas and investing in the leaders of tomorrow.

Demosphere Propels St. Louis Scott Gallagher into the 2017-18 Season

Camille Cheatwood (Demosphere) and the SLSG Team
Camille Cheatwood (Demosphere) and the SLSG Team

Like many of our customers, St. Louis Scott Gallagher (SLSG) is feeling both a sense of excitement as well as the healthy bit of stress that goes along with preparing for the opening of a new season. The 2017-18 season is upon us and Demosphere is firing on all cylinders to help our clients kick it into high gear!

Senior Account Manager, Camille Cheatwood, recently visited the SLSG team and their amazing facility for a working session to review registration set-up of their club and team invitation programs for both their Missouri and Illinois locations. Managing an organization this large takes a great team, a lot of coordination, and a top-notch system to handle it all – the partnership between SLSG and Demosphere really hits the mark!

The SLSG team previously launched Demosphere’s integrated online registration system for some of their camps and ancillary programs. This recent working session focused on some of the more in-depth components of the system for their larger programs including:

Cheatwood and the SLSG group then discussed solutions for team formation using auto-roster tools via the team invitation process, as well as drag and drop team building with Demosphere’s powerful registration management solution.

Demosphere is really excited about our partnership with St. Louis Scott Gallagher and the opportunity to help them #GetIntegrated to streamline their administrative workflow so they can focus on what they do best: create and grow programs that develop our youth through sport.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your youth sports organization do the same!

Demosphere and Copper Mountain Rec Soccer Expand Partnership

Pictured (left to right): Ted Sonnenburg (CMS), Camille Cheatwood (Demosphere), Racquel Augat (CMS)
Pictured (left to right): Ted Sonnenburg (CMS), Camille Cheatwood (Demosphere), Racquel Augat (CMS)

Demosphere’s Senior Account Manager, Camille Cheatwood, recently made the trip to beautiful Utah to meet with the Copper Mountain Soccer (CMS) team to discuss an expansion of our partnership. Our enhanced solutions will include creation of a new youth soccer website to help in their re-branding efforts to their newly re-envisioned Copper Mountain Rec Soccer name.

While in Utah, Cheatwood met with the CMS team for a working session to review best practices relative to our current partnership which includes online player registration and league scheduling tools. This streamlined solution is vital to the success of their organization, and with the addition of a new and improved website, Demosphere plans to help CMS reach their goal of being a premier, fully integrated, youth soccer club.

Demosphere is proud to support the efforts of Copper Mountain Soccer in achieving their mission to provide a place where all children have an opportunity to learn the sport of soccer and to have fun doing it. Demosphere’s goal is to provide leading-edge, integrated technology solutions to youth sports organizations to allow partners to focus more on what matters most: creating programs that help grow and develop our youth through sport.

If you’re interested to learn more about what Demosphere can do to help your organization #GetIntegrated, contact us today!

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!

 

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.