8 minutes

“We always had a sense that you guys were in control of the project.”, Peter Connor, Co-Founder, Astrobook, Ltd.

The Need

Surprise, surprise, 20% of time spent online last year, was spent on social networking. Social networking sites now reach 82 % of the world’s Internet population age 15 and older, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe.

Astrobook, Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based firm, realized this; they also spotted a shift in how sports were moving from the gym and the very structured clubs to social gatherings like Zumba and Bootcamps. The founders of Astrobook contacted Softjourn with an idea to develop a new online sports community aimed specifically at social and recreational sports – PlaySport.

The company’s founders wanted to be able to build a tool that fixed 4 problems:

  1. A market place to allow people to easily fill their events from, 
  2. A platform to allow event creators to gauge sources and increase traffic to their events, 
  3. A way for anyone to securely collect on-line payments in way customers felt secure paying. 
  4. A market place that took into consideration, your social circles, location, and interests so people can find fun events to meet new similar minded people at.

The Solution

Users are able to organize a group to participate in whatever sport they are interested in and find others who are interested in the same sport and want to get together for regular or impromptu games. Organizers of sporting events, that users may want to watch, are also able to post their events and sell tickets to the events.

Since the main idea was to create a sports social community, PlaySport is heavily integrated within Facebook and is using Facebook accounts to log in the system; it increases the sense of community and provides a channel to share events and training. Using Google Maps enables users easily find events and training facilities in their local area.

Other features of the system include:

  • Create/edit sporting events and/or teams
  • Join events, training sessions
  • See who joined the event: user’s friends (first) and then other people who said they would participate 
  • View events where the team is participating and players, who are currently playing for this team, as well as follow the team (receive all of this team’s events in their news feed)
  • Count down time left before the sporting event starts as well as the number of players that are needed for the event to be activated
  • Search includes different sections: Near me: search for all activities happening near the user on the day that he wants to play
  • My friends are playing: this locates all activities happening near the user that his friends are participating in
  • Text based search, user can also search using hash-tags

During Phase II Softjourn integrated a payment processing system to enable the buying and selling of tickets to community sporting events.

The Benefits

The developed site lets users find people and teams in their given area who are also looking to take up or excel in a sport and to get more involved.

“Softjourn allowed us to deliver a product on time and with in near budget. Their communication also gives me confidence that the build is strong and if we have issues post launch they will be rectified in a timely manner.”- Peter Connor, Co-Founder, Astrobook, Ltd.