Sports Management Software Trends: from Personal Training Apps to Global Scale Solutions for Sports Industry

Sports Management Software Trends: from Personal Training Apps to Global Scale Solutions for Sports Industry

Before deciding on building sports management software, you have to figure out how it is going to enhance the everyday experience of its users, and what exact problems it is going to solve. Having answers to these questions, it will be much easier to decide on the required features. Below are some of the trending ideas that may be useful when planning your sports management app functionality.

Personal training management software

The value of such applications is hard to overestimate particularly during the pandemic. People who practiced sports not professionally, but as amateurs or just as a part of a healthy lifestyle temporarily lost their access to gyms and training facilities due to the lockdown. Numerous sport coaches and trainers were at the brink of losing their jobs. 

Although sports facilities have mostly returned back to normal, personal training apps keep gaining popularity. They offer convenience of not spending time commuting to the gym, adjusting the training schedule to flexibly fit into your routine, and motivation for sport practices. 

It does take effort, good self-organization and motivation to develop a habit of working out at home. Once at the gym, sport practice becomes your only task. It’s way more difficult to stay focused and avoid distractions when you try to work out at home. All the books you haven’t finished reading, flowers that need to be watered, dust somewhere in the corner seem to be grabbing your attention on purpose.

These are some of the problems that personal training apps offer solutions for. The functionality may include 

  • Trainings schedule
  • Catalogue of the workouts with videos or description of the exercises they contain
  • Water breaks reminders
  • Possibility to message your personal trainer or coach
  • Possibility for coaches to check on their sportsman’s performance
  • Reports about completed trainings and training programmes
  • Regular updates on sportsman’s body weight and dimensions in order to track their change along the training programme
  • Healthy diet suggestions, tips, and even recipes and consumed/burnt calories count
  • Chat with other app subscribers, and possibility to share your achievements and discuss the workout experience 
  • Notifications about the upcoming trainings or any other parts of sportsman’s routine, foreseen by the app

Sports team (or institution) management app

Fitness centres or their networks, sports teams and clubs feature higher level of hierarchy and require more complex management software solutions. Those may include different types of profiles, e.g. admin/ trainer/ player; in-app payment capabilities, e.g. when sports club membership is paid; team’s or fitness centre’s news feed, etc. Here are some of the features that may be useful. 

  • Online applications to join the sports club or team 
  • Daily schedule of trainings and sports events for coaches and for athletes
  • Messaging functionality
  • Tracking of trainings and training programs completion progress
  • Athlete’s profile
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Performance data. For example, for a soccer player it may be the player's role on a team, the number of games played/ goals scored/ attacks initiated/ goals saved (in case of a goalkeeper)/ etc.
    • Access to the selected list of sport practices or training programme with video or text description
  • Trainer’s profile and dashboard
    • Personal sport achievements
    • Sport achievements of the athletes or teams the trainer has coached
    • Possibility for coaches to create a list of the sport practices or training programmes with videos or text description
  • Fitness or recreational sports facilities management
    • Integration with custom CRM software to keep the clients’ data stored automatically and securely, and to streamline interactions with customers
    • Ability to add/edit/(de)activate user account 
    • In-app payments
    • Additional special offers for clients depending on their subscription plan
    • Possibility to “unlock” a 15-minutes introductory practice in a type of training different from the one the client is subscribed to. This can promote subscription to a variety of services your institution provides
  • Notifications about the upcoming events
  • Functionality for road trips and/or team meetings organisation

Global scale sports management software 

Team management is quite challenging, however it gets even more so when it comes to the whole sports league. Professional sport is spectacular and attracts millions of fans worldwide. They are a significant source of sports industry annual revenue, which is believed to reach over $600B by 2025 according to Yahoo!finance report

While everything looks flawless and effortless on a TV screen, sports industry management faces numerous dysfunctional procedures every single day. Remember, we’ve agreed that it’s crucial to find an exact problem your app will help to solve before proceeding to software development? Here are just a few of today’s issues in professional sport.

Today’s issues in professional sport

The sports industry wouldn’t have existed without talented athletes who generate the winning performances, make the tournaments indeed spectacular and draw interest to the sports market. However, it’s difficult both for the athletes to find their way into professional sport, and for sports teams and trainers to find the best sportsmen. 

It’s extremely hard for young sports talents to get noticed, especially in countries like Ukraine. Participation in most competitions organized by sports associations and federations is paid. As an amateur tennis player, I have faced these three scenarios

  1. Ideal
    1. Parents have financial capabilities to pay for their kid’s professional sports training and participation in competitions. 
    2. The kid loves the sport. 

a+b=winning combination 🏆😃

  1. A frequent disaster.
    1. Parents pay for their kid’s professional sports training and participation in competitions often to show off without asking if their child even likes that kind of sport.
    2. The kid can’t stand the sport.

a+b=epic fail, angry parents and sad kid 😡😭

  1. Lost opportunity
    1. Parents don’t have the financial capability to pay for their kid’s professional sports training and participation in competitions.
    2. The kid loves the sport and uses any cheap or free opportunity to practice.

a+b=lost opportunity both for the kid and for sports association, sad kid 😭

What does the sports app development have to do with this situation? That’s a natural, but wrong question. The right one is “How can sports management software contribute to solving this issue?” It can focus on attracting the investors, showcase the potential of young athletes and provide tools for sponsorship campaigns, etc.

Not just the beginners, but professional sportsmen also struggle with presenting themselves to the teams and sports agents. The teams and sports agents, in their turn, often don’t have the information about numerous players available and their choice is very limited. 

This is where sports talent onboarding software is able to make the difference for all participants of the sports market, and bring so long-awaited innovation, in particular

  • help the sports clubs acquire new promising talents
  • help athletes build their career and let them:
    • see the opportunities available for them
    • know their worth 
    • transparently see the requirements the leading teams have for the athletes, so they can set clear personal goals for professional development and find a sports club that would suit them best. 

Limited visitors' access to the event? And live broadcasting is nothing new? AR and VR can let the fans online feel as if they are present right at the heart of the tournament! 

Let's outline some of the features that may come in handy.

Sports talent marketplace and league management app features

  • ID verification to avoid identity thefts, e.g. photo ID import, bank cardholder data utilization, etc.
  • Existing league’s database integration so when a user decides to register in the system, they don’t have to fill out all the information about themselves, but some of it is already preloaded 
  • Data encryption for important documents, e.g. personal data, banking details, collaboration agreements and contracts, etc.
  • Possibility to share a user’s profile or a job offer via URL
  • Ability to easily make profile updates, and to have a few profile managers if necessary (e.g. for the sports team)  
  • Activity feed showing the latest updates from the platform users and its admins. Besides helping to stay on track of various events in sport life, such feature encourages higher level of engagement with the platform  
  • Filters 
    • By player’s professional level:
      • High-school team player
      • College team player
      • Professional athlete
    • By sportsman’s body parameters (e.g. body weight, height and arm reach in boxing)
    • By athlete’s age
    • By athlete’s sports achievements and performance statistics
    • Search for a sport event, player, agent, sports club, or any other stakeholder within a selected area
  • Job offers publishing, as well as sport camps and tryouts openings, and ability to apply for them 
  • Ability for an employer to see a list of all the candidates, registered on the platform, who match the posted job criteria
  • Applicants filtering by those who match all/ some/ none of the job criteria 
  • Job applications processing status notifications
  • Chat functionality
  • Platform subscription plans offering extra value, e.g. discounts for some sport brand apparel or for a sport event tickets

Features to boost interaction with sports fans

  • Upcoming sports events schedule
  • Search for a sports event by dates interval, location, league rank, athlete who takes part, etc. 
  • Mobile ticketing for upcoming sports events 
  • Sport tournaments live video streaming
  • AR functionality, e.g. live assessment of player’s performance, boards with current game statistics, etc.
  • VR functionality, for example to let the spectators explore the sports facilities and feel as if they have walked around that very same stadium where their favourite team plays.  
  • Sports tourism offers

Let’s sum it up!

There are way more aspects of the sports industry that would benefit tremendously from modern solutions. For the best results, it’s crucial to see the situation from the inside. If you are not one of the stakeholders, it’s necessary to get deeper insights from the professionals.

Note that implementing all the features at once is a bad idea, which may result in costly and overcomplicated software with partly useless functionality. Select the minimal set of features that will solve a particular problem your application is targeted at, and make an MVP first. Test if that’s exactly what the app users need. If it is, then feel free to gradually increase the value of your solution by adding new functionality.   

What are the ideas for sports applications that you would like to see implemented? We at Apiko are looking forward to hearing about your experience with the sports industry, no matter if it’s at the stage of pet peeves and struggles, or already approaching software development. We would gladly help the sports world to become a better place.