Zensports Launches New Sports App
Jul. 13, 2017
Jul. 13, 2017
Amateur and recreational sports has been broken for quite some time. The new ZenSports app is ready to fix that.
ZenSports is announcing today the launch of its new mobile amateur and recreational sports app for both iOS and Android. The app makes it easy for people who play in amateur and recreational sports to find and schedule matches with other players and teams near them, as well as find, register, and pay for leagues, tournaments, pickup games, and social sporting events.
In addition to the discovery component, ZenSports also has several social features that allow players to live stream their matches, share pictures, and make other sports-related posts for their friends and followers to see. ZenSports uses a news feed style activity stream so that players can follow along with everything going on in the world of sports from their friends and those they’re following. There’s also an instant messaging feature where players can message a friend or group of friends to have conversations with.
ZenSports previously launched a different app back in February that focused on managing the registration, payments, and brackets for just pool leagues/tournaments in the Bay area. The company grew to over 1,100 pool players in the Bay area before scaling back on marketing efforts in favor of building features to expand beyond pool, beyond software management, and beyond the Bay area.
“Our original launch in February was a very focused test to see if the concept of helping amateur and recreational sports players discover new competitions, as well as register and pay for those competitions with their credit card right from their phone had any legs”, according to ZenSports Co-Founder & CEO, Mark Thomas. “After just 6 weeks, we had processed thousands of dollars in player payments through Zensports and grew to over 1,100 pool players in just the Bay area alone. Having proved out the amateur/recreational sports concept in just one sport and in one concentrated area, we then began the work on April 1st to build out additional player, marketing, and social features for ALL sports and in all locations, which is what we’re launching today.”
Getting started with ZenSports is really easy. After downloading the app from either the App Store or Google Play Store, players simply tap the Log in with Facebook button, and they’re instantly connected into ZenSports using their Facebook account. ZenSports seamlessly pulls in a player’s existing Facebook profile photo and information, which minimizes the signup process that players have to go through. Players can choose which sports they’re into, and skill levels and availability that they have. From there, players can easily search for competitions and other players that have the same interests that they do. A slick payment solution allows players to enter in their credit card information just one time and pay for registrations and entry fees with just a couple taps of a button, right from their phone.
For directors and organizers that run and manage competitions, they can manage the registration and payment process all in one spot. Real-time notifications let them know when players have registered and paid for their competitions, and they can easily see a list of all registered players and message them with any updates. ZenSports still offers its bracket, match-play, and prize money management features that it originally rolled out in February, which makes the actual running of a competition ridiculously easy for directors.
“We really are a complete solution for competition organizers and directors”, says Thomas. “We start with the marketing piece, and allow them to manage everything through until the very end of the competition. And it’s a complete solution on the player side as well, because not only can they discover new competitions going on, but they can register, pay for, and see everything going on right from their phone.”
Beyond organized competitions, players can see a list of players that are in their area (sorted by distance) and into the same sports that they’re into, and can then schedule matches directly with those players. For example, if a player is looking for someone else to play tennis with this weekend, they can see all tennis players within a 50 mile radius that have availability this weekend, and instantly schedule a time to play with them. ZenSports offers the ability to search and sort by several different criteria, and expand the search to any distance, so if players are looking for something beyond the default list of players or competitions that ZenSports shows, they can easily customize what they want to see. Another cool aspect is that ZenSports is easy to travel with. Since players are sorted by geo-location, if you travel out of town for the weekend and are looking for a golfing partner, just open up the app and see who is nearby and looking to play.
But the discovery and management features are just the half of what ZenSports offers. With this launch, ZenSports is also rolling out a full-blown social network for amateur and recreational sports players. The Home screen has been turned into a Facebook-style news feed. Players can post videos, pictures, and other content for their friends and followers to view. Players can even live stream their own matches in real time, essentially allowing them to broadcast their own matches. And the aforementioned instant messaging and tagging of friends and followers keeps the conversation flowing, minus the political posts and cat videos that are found on other social networks.
Thomas envisions all of this as part of bringing the world together through sports. “There are 50M people in the United States alone that play in amateur and recreational sports. There are hundreds of millions more worldwide. While the world may disagree on politics, religion, or world peace, one thing that remains constant in bringing everyone together through sports. Countries have even paused wars and other conflicts during the Olympics. We may not see eye to eye on everything, but one thing we can agree on is that playing sports is fun, and it’s fun to win. ZenSports is making that happen, and bringing the world together like only sports can.”
ZenSports is headquartered in San Francisco, and has raised a little over $200K in funding to date.