Checklist: Are you ready to launch your group and your first event?

Ready to launch your first game on OpenSports? Here’s some advice from the pros!

Navigating through your group on the Web:

Most of the following steps involve using the different tabs on your group’s navigation bar ( Home | Announcements | Members | Invite | Events | Memberships | Settings | Reports | Payment )

Once you create a group on OpenSports, we will email you an invoice for a subscription to your monthly plan. As soon as the invoice is paid, all plan features will be activated!

Pre-Launch Check List

Group Set Up

1.Group banner photos, logo, and event images — When it comes to uploading images to your OpenSports group or event, the crisper, cleaner, and more high quality the image, the better! Group banner and Event banners: 2000 x 714 pixels; Group logo: 500 x 500 pixels.

2. Upload a waiver — The first time somebody joins an event within your group, they must accept your waiver. Find this through the Settings tab. More info about waivers here.

3. Connect to Stripe —To collect payments that are automatically deposited into your bank account, connect your group to your bank account through our payment gateway, Stripe. Find this through the Payment tab. More info about collecting payments here.

4. Embed events Iframe/widget onto your website — You can embed this live updating widget onto your website, so that website visitors can see all of your upcoming events, and can join directly through the widget. More about the widget here.

Find the widget through the Events tab.

Clicking on “Embed Events” gives you a code to paste to your website!

Here’s an example of a group’s widget on their website.

Chicago Fire Rec Soccer (CFRS) embedded the widget on their website at http://fire-pitch.com/pickups/

5. Assign multiple group/event admins — You can promote existing group members to become Event managers, Event Administrators, or Group Admins. Here’s our tutorial about adding admins to groups/events. Find this through the Settings tab under Group Permissions.

Event Set Up

6. Event description — Ensure your event title and description contain descriptive information! Use the description text box to tell players what to bring, where to meet, what kind of surface you’re playing on, and what to expect. Here’s a great example of an event description.

7. Create an attendee cap — Think about creating a sense of “urgency/demand” for your games. For example, if you host 5v5 games, think about limiting your first few events to 10 players initially so players want to commit/ RSVP right away. Always create a sense of urgency. Edit your attendee cap through your event’s Edit button.

8. If you have multiple admins — This isn’t totally necessary but we suggest that you create an additional OpenSports account, and name it with the name of your club (i.e., Basil Sport and Social Club) and make that account a group admin. The idea is multiple people from your club(such as yourself and other event managers) can share that account, and can view incoming communications from players. This way, players know that they should message that account with concerns, etc.

Next, you need to invite players to your group and Promote, Promote, Promote!!!

For our comprehensive guide on growing your group and promoting your first few events, read here.

9. Let us know how many invites you want to send— We will increase your invite limit based on how many invites you want to send out. Msg the OpenSports Help Desk through chat.

10. Send email invites to players that you already have emails for — Typically, groups have an email database and they either send an email blast through their email system, or insert a bulk list of emails into OpenSports’ email invite tool (Find this through the Invite tab). Most of our group admins use the OpenSports email invite tool. Here’s a short “how to” with instructions. Organizers tend to send invites a few days to a week before the first event.

11. Share via Social Media — If your group is public, share links to your group (and/or event) on different social media channels. You can post messages on your FB group like “Join this group https://opensports.net/@best-group-ever to receive invites to our upcoming pickup games!!!”

12. Set up discounts — In a lot of sports markets, in order to gain traction, it’s very effective to create event promotions! It’s really easy to set up discounts like “the first time you play you get 50% off” or “$2 promotion for first game” — whatever it is that gets players over the initial hurdle and trying something new! Here’s some great discount ideas. Find this through the Payment tab.

Bonus: If the game is happening NO matter what, in the description, write that it’s a guaranteed game!

Game day — What to Expect

  • Players who joined your game will get an automated reminder message, 24 hours before the event starts. This will be a push notification for players who have the app, and an email for players who have an online account only.
  • We recommend sending a message to everyone through the Event Chat one day before the event, to get participants hyped!!
  • The automatic waitlist turns on when your event fills up, and does all the work for you!
  • After your event, players will be prompted to leave you — the organizer — a review. This goes out whenever it is the first time a player participates in one of your events. Your reviews will show up in your group!

Our last piece of advice is to take beautiful photos!!! This will be helpful in terms of promoting your upcoming games — If you can get some closer up action shots, that would be great as well!

Photo from Sons of Pitches FC: https://www.instagram.com/sonsofpitchesfc/