A new app promises to facilitate sports clubs’ adherence to Covid-19 guidelines and to streamline administration and ticketing.
John Hyland of clubspot.app has partnered with the ticketing service used by the RFU in Twickenham to create “a personalised club management platform.”
Hyland says: “If a GAA club signs up, for instance, gets an app customised in its own colours and with its own crest — my own club is Gowna GAA club, so that app is on the app store.
“That app carries club fixtures, news, events, lotto, tickets for fundraisers such as a Strictly Come Dancing and so on.
“With the virus, however, we felt this was a great opportunity to include digital ticketing at grass-roots level. We’d planned on doing it next year, but we saw the opportunity to do it now when it was really needed.”
Hyland approached Tixserve, which handles ticketing for the RFU at Twickenham, and with their support he got Cavan GAA to use the app.
“If you want to go to a Cavan GAA game you can buy a ticket with the app within 30 seconds — the ticket is sent to your digital wallet on your phone.
“When you get to the game, then, instead of going through a turnstile with hundreds of others, we advise the county board to open gates and put barriers there. In that way you scan your phone on the way through.
“It’s a lot faster, and better in terms of social distancing, than having people queue up with others, to root for change, or to hand over €20 and wait around for change.
“Cavan are going to give some price reductions to encourage people early on in the return to matches, but it also helps those working at games, the lads who’d be in a van or a cubby-hole selling the tickets.
“This cuts down their exposure. Rather than dealing with hundreds of people — and hundreds of different bank notes — they simply stick out a phone and scan the supporters’ tickets as they walk in.
“A lot of people who might be reticent about going back to games could use this app, scan their tickets and find their own socially-distanced spot at a game without coming into contact with anyone.
“We’ve also found that clubs which are using it are finding a massive boots in lotto sales and engagement — and that’s with no games at all going on.”
There’s a general move towards cashless and (paper) ticketless experience at sports venues but, as Hyland says, the virus means “instead of learning how to walk, we’re going straight to running” when it comes to this new contactless system.
“When I was developing the app I considered a ticketing platform but the opportunity came up to work with Tixserve, and they're at the leading edge of this: the All Blacks are due to play England this autumn and there’s no supposed to be a single paper ticket involved, it’ll all be delivered on their digital system.”
Hyland is confident that by next year most county boards will be able to offer the ticketless option, adding that other organisations in other sports can also benefit from the app.
“We’re amazed at the uptake — every presentation we’ve made has led to clubs signing up to use the app.
“Soccer clubs, rugby clubs, athletics and basketball clubs have all signed up, and we had a scout troop from Kilkenny on to us in the last couple of days.
“We feel the app would suit any membership-based organisation.”
For more information see clubspot.app