How leading-edge technology brought efficiency, clarity, and drive to a national governing body's mission to make soccer a “sport for life”.
We want all our members to not only feel connected, but also receive tangible benefits that help them elevate their programs. The SportsEngine Platform lets us do both better than ever.
- John Motta, USASA President
The United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) is the largest organization of its kind in the country. With 55 state associations, plus national and regional leagues, the official governing body of U.S. adult soccer strives to “develop, strengthen and promote a unified soccer community”. No easy feat when you’re talking about 250,000 players spread out over every state in the nation.
Which is why the Chicago-based organization enlisted SportsEngine and the power of its national website network to elevate their brand, improve communication, and provide a one-of-a-kind benefit to positively affect membership in a very real way, every single day.
MAKING THE CONNECTION
With a roster of a quarter-million adult soccer players, finding a way to cultivate a true sense of community and share valuable information to every level of membership, in real time, proved to be an ongoing challenge for USASA.
So imagine the excitement when they learned how SportsEngine's Mirroring technology could help them accomplish exactly that through a network of member websites. Mirroring allows an organization like USASA to publish specific content (newsfeeds or social media, for example) on their website, plus all the websites within their SportsEngine network, simultaneously.
…USASA would then mirror important content from their website onto all of their member websites, improving communication and strengthening the connection with membership along the way.
Convinced of the national website network’s potential, USASA pitched the concept to membership at national conferences and regional events. Member organizations would get specially priced, pro-level website upgrades designed by SportsEngine, and USASA would then mirror important content from their website onto all of their member websites, improving communication and strengthening the connection with membership along the way.
In less than six months, 13 member state associations plus a number of member adult leagues joined the USASA Website Network, with another 10 states expected to sign on in the coming months.
WORLD CLASS TECHNOLOGY IS NOW AN EXPECTATION
As USASA President John Motta explains it, the benefits of joining the website network showed themselves almost immediately to membership.
“Being part of the network provides our members with cutting edge website design at reduced cost, a powerful content management system, and the capability to mirror USASA and member content like scores, event calendars and social media throughout the entire network of member sites.”
No coding. No web experience. Just about anybody is able to chip-in to keep content updated and accurate – and do it quickly.
And because SportsEngine's Sitebuilder Content Management System (CMS) is built specifically for sports (as opposed to a generic CMS like WordPress), volunteers are able to choose from an entire library of sports-related elements they can simply drag-and-drop to wherever they’re needed on a page. No coding. No web experience. Just about anybody is able to chip-in to keep content updated and accurate – and do it quickly. Creating a new article? About as simple as putting together an email.
“World class technology is now an expectation,” says Motta. But world class technology that exceeds expectations and doesn’t take world class technical ability to figure out? Well, that’s a game changer.
Since joining the USASA Website Network, members like the Connecticut State Soccer Association have enjoyed improved website design, simplified content management, and enhanced connectivity with its governing body and membership.
DEDICATED SUPPORT INCLUDED
Every member in USASA's network received expert support to go along with their considerable website upgrade, including a dedicated Account Manager and full access to the online Help Center’s extensive library of tutorial videos and articles.
SportsEngine even handled the imposing task of migrating all the content from old sites to new.
When you’re talking about volunteers trying to do the best they can with limited time and resources, knowing someone out there has their back is a huge selling point.
“The support offered by SportsEngine has been excellent from the start,” says USASA Executive Director Duncan Riddle. “We’re a volunteer-led organization, and they’ve been very patient with our members who can’t always respond quickly.”
SportsEngine customer service and support is amazing and makes my job much easier…which gives me more time to spend working with our members.
- Jen Weston, Executive Director, Florida State Soccer Association
That sort of personal attention definitely played a large part in the Florida State Soccer Association’s (FSSA) decision to join the USASA Website Network, says FSSA Executive Director Jen Weston.
“SportsEngine customer service and support is amazing and makes my job much easier…which gives me more time to spend working with our members.”
Though still relatively new to SportsEngine and the USASA Network, Weston couldn’t be happier with the gains already made in organizational efficiency (through the user-friendly Sitebuilder CMS), communication (with FSSA membership and the USASA) and public perception (thanks to the thoughtful work done on their website by SportsEngine's in-house design team).
“By giving us the opportunity to become part of SportsEngine at a member price, USASA is helping FSSA improve how we operate, interact with current membership, and our ability to reach new members,” says Weston.
How’s that for a member benefit?
As the USASA Network grows, benefit to the governing body’s bottom line could grow right along with it. That’s because the same mirroring technology that made it possible for USASA to broadcast news, calendars and social streams to its network of websites can also be used for displaying sponsor ads, too.
By placing an ad on the USASA website, sponsors are guaranteed visibility on every website within the USASA network through mirroring.
And since turning on a network-wide advertisement is a simple one-person/one-task process, sponsors can easily swap out their ads to ensure they’re presenting the most relevant, timely message to their audience.
As it turns out, the same mirroring technology that made it possible for USASA to broadcast content to its network of websites also held a special allure for potential sponsors.
Though USASA has not yet implemented network-wide ads, the potential has already proven to be enticing. “We gained a new national sponsor because of it,” says Motta. “They were very excited to push ads out to all the websites in the network."
INTO THE FUTURE
After experiencing how it has positively impacted the operation, communication, and brand perception of her organization, Jen Weston expects participation in the USASA Website Network to increase rapidly.
“The two biggest benefits to us have been increased efficiency and a more professional look…I would definitely recommend that other USASA state associations join the network based on that alone,” says the FSSA Executive Director.
It’s an endorsement that rings true with Motta’s assessment of the program’s value as he anticipates growth to include over 25 state associations and dozens of adult leagues in the not-too-distant future.
“We believe that with SportsEngine and the national program we have put together, that their experience will be second to none.”