Case Study: Sport:80 and Hockey Wales

Planning for a significant transformation to their membership scheme, Hockey Wales came to us for support in making the shift from club-focused processes to direct-to-member relationships.

By developing enhancements to their existing Sport:80 Platform, we were able to streamline administration tasks for their team and enable personalised connections with their members, enhancing efficiency and community engagement for their organisation.

Transforming personal connections

Hockey Wales were set to undergo a significant organisational and strategic change, as they were shifting their membership scheme from club-focused processes to more direct-to-member relationships.

Consequently, they needed to change their ways of working, and adapt their usage of the Sport:80 Platform to ensure their system could effectively support their organisation moving forward.

“We wanted to change the way our affiliations worked for a number of reasons,” said Paul Whapham, CEO at Hockey Wales.

“Firstly, we wanted to know more about our members, and collect more extensive details about how they engage with our sport, rather than simply their name and club. Secondly, we wanted to create a more personalised connection with our members and, in turn, better serve them with our development programmes, marketing materials, events, and more. Finally, we felt it was important that we made steps to modernise our internal processes and systems, to ensure we weren’t being left behind in the constantly developing sporting and technological landscape.

“Previously, members would affiliate via their clubs rather than directly with us. This would mean huge databases were being managed via excel, and as a result our paper-chase for information upload in membership renewal season would take a minimum of about 8 weeks, which was incredibly admin-heavy for our team.”

A system to elevate member experience

To support Hockey Wales, we adapted and reconfigured their pre-existing Platform, efficiently pivoting its capabilities to make their journey and change as seamless as possible.

The first step was providing a streamlined online payments system which allowed the organisation to take member payments directly via their Platform. Their previous processes saw them relying solely on invoices, a system which was fully manual, and all offline.

The system allows Hockey Wales' members to use all the payment methods they expect, from credit and debit card payments to Google Pay, Apple Pay, Direct Debit, and more. It also allows Hockey Wales to take advantage of comprehensive built-in admin tools which make financial management simpler than ever.

Their new enhanced Platform allows users to log directly into their account to access new member benefits provided by Hockey Wales, and gives them the ability to log their own qualifications and create a unique digital CV.

Hockey Wales' clubs are also able to benefit from the new system, as they are similarly able to manage their members more easily thanks to the automatic addition/removal of an athlete from the club based on the individual’s affiliation to the NGB. Clubs are also able to view specific member information, create standardised reports, efficiently email members, and assign roles.

"Working closely with Hockey Wales to support them on their transformative journey has been a great opportunity to showcase the flexibility and adaptability of the Sport:80 Platform,” said Jonny Turner, Chief Operating Officer at Sport:80.

“We understand that modernising membership processes and strengthening direct-to-member relationships are essential steps for sports organisations to thrive in today's dynamic landscape, so we were incredibly excited to work with Paul and his team to help them achieve this goal.

“We wanted to provide the tools they needed to collect in-depth member data, foster personalised connections, and streamline internal processes. We are proud to have played a part in helping them achieve these objectives, and look forward to supporting their continued success."

Future enhancements to Hockey Wales' Platform are already being scoped. In the coming 12-18 months, the NGB are looking to implement additional payment options for their members and create new cost-effective membership tiers to appeal to young people and families. The organisation are also planning to utilise the Sport:80 Platform’s extensive product suite to support the development of coaches, officials, and volunteers, to provide additional benefits to their clubs, and to implement our data visualisation dashboards solution to enhance their future strategic decision-making.

Empowering efficiency and strengthening connections

Our project with Hockey Wales has drastically reduced the admin load on the NGB’s team, while allowing the organisation to establish better and more personal connections with their community, as they provide better service and value for money to their members.

Not only that, but Hockey Wales now have a much more defined and engaged community than they did before.

“In the long-term, the Sport:80 Platform is going to drastically reduce the amount of time spent on membership profiling and uploads, and the system’s auto-renewal functionality is going to make our annual affiliation processes significantly easier.

"Before, the admin burden for re-registering one of our members could take between 30 minutes and an hour per member. Now it probably takes less than two minutes.”

“The system has allowed us to be more fit-for-purpose as an organisation, and move with the trends that young people are more familiar with.”

With an extensive range of new features and upgrades still to come, we are incredibly excited about the future of our partnership with Hockey Wales.

This agreement exists thanks to our official partnership with the Welsh Sports Association (WSA), established in 2018. Since our work with the WSA began, we have been able to make our innovative technology solutions more easily accessible for Welsh NGBs, and our agreement with Hockey Wales is a clear example of how successful that partnership has been.

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