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Connecting Families and Keeping Kids Moving

jake wilson

When Jake Wilson took on the role of president of the Somerville Youth Soccer Association, he encountered an outdated league management software platform—one that relied on loads of spreadsheets to manage and required lots of emails to communicate. 

What SportsEngine did to help

Somerville Youth Soccer brought in SportsEngine HQ to simplify their operations, enhance communication to its more than 1,000 athletes, and position them for success—now and going forward. 

What the impact was

When Jake Wilson stepped in as president of the Somerville Youth Soccer Association, the program used an outdated league management system. “The system was piece-mealed together, with so many spreadsheets and inefficient emails,” notes Wilson. “It was clear something had to change.”

A background in professional communications gave Wilson a headstart in what to look for in league management software. “As I vetted all the options, it was clear SportsEngine had all the features we needed,” says Wilson. “If you’re in the industry, it’s pretty clear SportEngine is in a league all its own.”

“The backing of NBC gave us even more confidence. We knew this was a program we could rely on for the long haul.”

Wilson recommended the change to the board, and they started using the platform in 2017. The improvements were noticeable right away.

Somerville has a large, vibrant immigrant community, many of whom are non-native English speakers. All of the emails in the previous system were a barrier for many of these families. “Many of the families didn’t have access to email systems at work or throughout their day-to-day lives,” notes Wilson. “The mobile app is far more accessible for our parents and keeps everyone connected in meaningful ways.”

“We love all the communication tools. If a kid leaves a ball or a sweatshirt at the field, it’s easy to send a message in the app and keep everyone in touch.”

The switch to SportsEngine paid off when COVID struck in the spring of 2019. Like many, the Somerville Youth Soccer Association shut down its programs. But as summer approached, the local mayor—a respected national leader on the COVID-19 response—suggested the association offer a summer program. He knew about the physical and psychological damage happening to kids who had been kept inside since March. 

The only problem? Somerville Youth Soccer had never offered summer programs. “We’re traditionally a spring and fall program,” says Wilson. “We’d never offered a summer program before, so this was something completely new for us.”

Enter SportsEngine HQ. “We were able to plan, set-up, and run registration in a matter of weeks,” notes Wilson. “There is no way we could have done that without SportsEngine.”

The software helped them set up a unique registration option. “We set up an unpaid registration where families registered but didn’t pay,” says Wilson. When the season officially went live, the families were then invoiced and able to pay online.

“The entire system worked flawlessly. We were able to apply discounts, offer credits, and track all the payments online.”

The platform also helped them with some other unique elements of the summer program. During summer, the program now had to share fields with baseball and softball teams.

“We were able to track field usage and availability for the entire program and limit double bookings,” notes Wilson. “SportsEngine was instrumental to our program’s efforts. We wouldn’t have been able to be this successful without it.”

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