Sport Recon Launches. Sport Recon is a brand new startup based in Orange County, California. They have developed a customizable online registration Solution that is free to use for running, cycling, and triathlon events at the moment, with other endurance sports to follow. Their catchy tagline is: Recon, Register, Race.
The Sport Recon 3D helicopter views of an event course are unique perspectives that both racers and fans will enjoy to use. A photocentric, slide show of the course walkthrough is another useful tool. Event promoters can also choose to include course maps and elevation profiles. All of this rich data is created using Google Api open source code.
Co-owners Michael Heindel and his partner, Tiffany, are way Sports Techie. Tiff is a runner and her husband is in the Action Sports Industry. Mike and Craig ride bikes together and often use a Garmin GPS unit that sits atop their bicycles handlebar and calculates ride data. Both are family focused, environmentally conscious (facilitating registration online saves tons of paper) and they have the courage to open a small business during a down economic time here in the US. The upside is they founded Sport Recon while an Internet fast sports technology boom is underway globally.
Mike voiced his frustration with simply finding a Mt Bike event itself on competitor’s web sites which are laced with banners ads and bombard users with daily emails after you sign up. Plus, he said, “Some companies hold your fees for two week.” Thus, about a year ago, Sport Recon was born.
Mike works full-time as a longtime Senior Executive in the technology recruiting field while Tiff is a stay-at-home Mom, for now. Both dream that Sport Recon will help them work in and contribute to an industry they love. I believe his career experience will offer their company a competitive edge in the sports business industry because Mike truly understands both technology and sport. What was wild to uncover is that his wife went to Whittier College, the same school I attended, go Poets.
Online registration as a sportsbiz is exploding and there are no companies bigger in this market then Active.com. Mike said, “Active brought in $330 million last year yet came in at a loss.” See: http://www.mmdnewswire.com/12-84411.html.
You can read more about online registration here in this past Sports Techie blog: http://sportstechie.net/blue-sombrero/.
What Sport Recon does for event organizers that if different from others are they offer their services to events as a freemium model. Yes, free is the key word. The only fee that is charged goes to each individual registrant. The small amount you charge each registrant can be quickly calculated by using the “Fee Calculator” on their web site.
Sport Recon holds none of the Ecommerce registration fees. They immediately transfer the money, once it clears, to your PayPal account. Sports Based Online and I company I worked for, Count Me In, both went under causing some fees they collected to never be dispersed back to their clients.
While checking out their web site notice how it is clean and ad free. The sign-up process is easy to complete. Create a user name and password using the dashboard. You can also pick the custom web name URL you want to use that gets coded into the end of an existing Sport Recon web page address. The Sport Recon liability and waiver forms are CSV docs that can be exported to an Excel spread sheet.
Because Sport Recon launched this year, they understand the value of integrating social media and the exposure it offers by offering one-click integration with Twitter and Facebook. Google+ is not yet ready though. Their Solution can also automatically markup code to semantic list your event on Google and other search engines.
After the event is over, you can post results, pictures and video. This is also a good time for promoters to market other upcoming events in their portfolio. Mike feels that, “post-race is a super opportunity to allow sponsors to advertise.”
From a techie perspective, Mike shared that they contracted the necessary programming via a third party. Sport Recon contracted with Ruby Rails developers to create their Solution using milestone based goals. Sport Recon does not pay a Google Earth or Maps licensing fee yet, however, Mike mentioned that it is a good problem to have should they get there because that means that, “enough hits have occurred to justify the business expense.”
The next Sport Recon upgrade will allow you to register teams all at once instead of one at a time. They plan to code in the ability to let users see who else is registered as well. Mike also wants to synch the GPX file from Garmin into his software. A mobile phones app is under consideration. Finally, they will tap further into Google Maps for more animated imagery and increased off-road capabilities.
From a sportsbiz angle, Sport Recon is privately held. They have no intentions of raising capital. Their exit strategy is not to sell out, rather, they wish to be able to steadily grow Sport Recon and be along for the ride as happy owners and employees. Revenue will come from the registration markup percentage. Mike feels that they have addressed the delicate issues of content ownership and youth aged registrants after consulting with attorneys. Sport Recon has no office space right now which is an eco friendly point. You can reach Mike via e-mail at: email@example.com.
More and more Sports Techie enthusiasts are online using smart phones and tablets to be connected to the web and cloud computing Solutions. Action Sports such as the Tri and Endurance events like the XGames are exploding too. The morphing together of sports and tech created a new sportsbiz industry known as online registration. We feel that Sport Recon’s timing is spot on and are a new 2012 sports tech brand worthy of knowing about. The time is right for Sports Techie entrepreneurs to rise up.
I will see ya when I see ya, Sports Techie
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