Spring is in the air and the victors are all basking in their glory.
Trophies have been awarded to the grassroots heroes right across the country (and across the Tasman!).
Actually we’ve done a quick count and around 20,000 teams recently won Grand Finals in the SP network. Another winter season done and dusted in sport. With summer competitions now in session, it’s an opportune time for us to reflect on what we’ve achieved in partnership with our sports this season. Our awards night if you like! A list of season highlights that we celebrate and build on for next season…
Leading Goal & Try Scorer
Each week we ranked the country’s top goal & try scorers (for AFL and Rugby League) and awarded them with awesome prizes from our sponsor, SKINS. Congratulations to the Winter 2012 winners:
• Craig Whelan (AFL) with 152 goals in the Kyabram District Football League (VIC)
• George Evans (Rugby League) with 57 trys in the North Sydney District Junior Rugby League (NSW)
• Callum Goff (Football) with 73 goals in the Country Coastal Junior Soccer Association (WA)
• Tiarnie Benson (Hockey) with 62 goals in the Toowoomba Hockey Association (QLD)
This was a very popular competition and definitely one that we will run for years to come!
New version of SP Online Results (April)
April saw the launch of our new version of SP Online Results – an improvement in the interface and also the addition of mobile scoring. This was a massive change that affected thousands of users, and the feedback we got was fantastic.
“THIS IS BRILLIANT!! This is the first set of results I have put in for this season and I have to say it is soooooo much easier to see and use than the old system. You have obviously worked really hard and the work has paid off and is really really appreciated!!” Danielle - Goulburn Women’s Hockey Association
Live Streaming of Games (May)
Thanks to SP's existing relationship with YouTube, Leagues and Clubs can now live stream their games at no cost on their customised YouTube channel. Dozens used this feature over the course of the winter season. Setting up your YouTube channel via SP means you don't lose ownership of your video content and it is viewable on mobile/tablet platform as well. There are a few other benefits which you can read about here.
New version of SP iPhone App (June)
If we had a theme to the winter 2012 season, it’s mobile accessibility. June saw the release of the SP iPhone App which made it to the top few of the list of ‘Top Free iPhone Sports Apps’, and it has maintained a 4+ star rating ever since. The app has had over 40,000 downloads, making fixtures, results and ladders more accessible than ever before.
Mobile-optimised Standard & Advanced sites (July)
One of the big trends in Internet use at present is a massive shift to mobile with almost 30% of our online audience viewing their sporting information on their mobiles. The growth of web apps, and general web browsing via mobile phone and tablet has sky-rocketed to the point where any organisation that doesn’t have a website that isn’t easy to view on a smart phone is at a competitive disadvantage.
In July we made every SP Standard & Advanced website mobile-rendered, which has saved potentially thousands of dollars for each Club and League in the SP network. The EFL, a local AFL league in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne experienced significant traffic on their mobile website:
"Over the course of the 2012 footy season the EFL Mobile website grew from 2000 unique visitors per month to 4500 by seasons end. This is an outstanding result for a league of 15,000, indicating almost 1 in 3 access the mobile site. On game weekends over 3000 visited the site. They each came back more than 10 times over a 48 hour period looking for the latest results and news from the league and to discuss all the happenings on the EFL forum".
Display of Historical Results (July)
One of our long term aims is to bring your sporting career together in one place, just as you can see it currently for professional athletes. Every game for every player, Team, Club and League houses your database, and most of us play sport for a large portion of our lives, why not put it on display in one place so you can look back when you hang up your boots?
New Support Centre (August)
For the majority of the winter season our Customer Service team was busy preparing for the transition to a new support platform, provided by Zendesk. The system aggregates all of our product user guides and videos, user forums with a ticketing system to create a valuable support resource for users of SP products that will only grow and become more and more useful for them into the future.
Here’s what we wrote about this back in August.
The release of SP Passport in September was one of the larger projects we’ve ever undertaken, and capped off a fantastic winter season for us. For years, many of our users had to carry around more than one, and in some cases several sets of usernames and passwords to SP Membership, Websites, MySport and Online Results. Passport brings all of these access points to one place.
Passport is being release in a series of phases which you can read about here.
Our Facebook page more than doubled it’s number of followers during the course of the winter season as we gave away hundreds of tickets to the best sporting events during the year, including Basketball, AFL, F1 Grand Prix, State of Origin and A-League just to name a few. If you’re not a fan, ‘Like’ our page here to be the first to know about any upcoming competitions.
All of this, along with the acquisition of Bellevue IT, the launch of the new brand, Live Scoring, and more, all adds up to a pretty big year for us. Thanks for being part of it!