Checklist: Are you ready to launch your group and your first event?

Ready to launch your first game on OpenSports? Here’s some advice from the pros!

Navigating through your group on the Web:

Most of the following steps involve using the different tabs on your group’s navigation bar ( Home | Announcements | Members | Invite | Events | Memberships | Settings | Reports | Payment)

Group Set Up

1. Group banner photos, logo, and event images

When it comes to uploading images to your OpenSports group or event, the crisper, cleaner, and more high quality the image, the better! Group banner and Event banners: 2000 x 714 pixels; Group logo: 500 x 500 pixels.

2. Upload a waiver

The first time somebody joins an event within your group, they must accept your waiver. Find this through the Settings tab. More info about waivers here.

3. Connect to Stripe

To collect payments that are automatically deposited into your bank account, connect your group to your bank account through our payment gateway, Stripe. Find this through the Payment tab. More info about collecting payments here.

4. Embed events Iframe/widget onto your website

You can embed this live updating widget onto your website, so that website visitors can see all of your upcoming events, and can join directly through the widget.

Find the widget through the Events tab. If, for example, you are using Squarespace, as long as you have the iframe code from the events page, you should be able to copy and paste that to an html code block on Squarespace. More about the widget here.

5. Assign multiple group/event admins

You can promote existing group members to become Event Managers, Event Administrators, Event assistants, or Group Admins. Here’s our tutorial about adding admins to groups/events. Find this through the Settings tab under Group Permissions.

6. Suggestion: Set up a neutral account if you have multiple admins

This isn’t totally necessary but we suggest that you create an additional OpenSports account, and name it with the name of your club (i.e., Basil Sport and Social Club) and make that account a group admin. The idea is multiple people from your club(such as yourself and other event managers) can share that account, and can view incoming communications from players. This way, players know that they should message that account with concerns, etc.

7. Familiarize yourself with the Player Dashboard

The player dashboard allows you to easily find registration information for your group members, and quickly complete administrative tasks like sending account credits or refunds! You can even view if a player has a web or app account, and they have any active memberships through your group. Read more here.

Event Set Up

8. Event description

Ensure your event title and description contain descriptive information! Use the description text box to tell players what to bring, where to meet, what kind of surface you’re playing on, and what to expect. Here’s a great example of an event description.

P.S.: If the game is happening NO matter what, in the description, write that it’s a guaranteed game!

9. Create an attendee cap

Think about creating a sense of “urgency/demand” for your games. For example, if you host 5v5 games, think about limiting your first few events to 10 players initially so players want to commit/ RSVP right away. Always create a sense of urgency. Edit your attendee cap through your event’s Edit button.

10. Transaction fees

By default, the total transaction fee is 5% + $0.30 per transaction for events.

  • The breakdown: 2.9% + $0.30 is the Stripe fees. 2.1% is the OpenSports service fee. So, if you charge players $10 USD, you will receive $9.24.

11. Cancellation deadlines, Account Credits & Refunds

OpenSports has a fantastic credit system!! This means you no longer have to send refunds to a players’ bank account. Now you can just send credits (full or partial credits) to their OpenSports account, that they can immediately use towards other events/leagues/tourneys within your group only.

  • By setting up a cancellation policy, OpenSports will issue account credit to attendees who cancel [#] hours before the start of the event.
  • Note: If for some reason you need to send a refund (i.e., to a players’ credit card/original payment method), you can still manually refund transactions, but the organizer incurs the Stripe fee for doing so. Learn about Stripe’s fee policy on refunds.

Read more about account credits and cancellation deadlines here.

12. Don’t overwhelm players/members with too many upcoming events

If you are still trying to grow your group and the amount of people who come out to each game, we suggest you only create a few upcoming events at a time. Reason being: when you create events for weeks/months into the future, it takes away from the excitement/tension players feel when they have less options. Less options = better attendance!

If you want to collect participant info (like emails and phone numbers, t-shirt sizes, skill level, etc.), then you should be collecting them with the custom questions tool. Read here to learn more about setting up custom questions and viewing or exporting the responses.

14. Automatic waitlist

The automatic waitlist turns on when your event fills up, and does all the work for you! Read here to learn more about how it works. It is truly an administrative time saver when it comes to popular games.

Next, you need to invite players to your group and Promote, Promote, Promote!!!

For our comprehensive guide on growing your group and promoting your first few events, read here.

15. Share your group URL via email invites (For public groups)

We usually recommend sending players invites to your group through your own email address, that way your members will recognize who the email is coming from. Typically, organizers have an email database and they send an email blast through their email system. Organizers tend to send invites a few days to a week before the first event.

Sample email: You can send an email to your members saying something like: “Hey [name]! We moved to OpenSports to manage our pickup games. Join our group here to view and join upcoming events: . You can have a web account only, or download the app!”

16. Share via Social Media

If your group is public, share links to your group (and/or event) on different social media channels. You can post messages on your FB group like “Join this group to receive invites to our upcoming pickup games!!!”

17. Set up discounts

In a lot of sports markets, in order to gain traction, it’s very effective to create event promotions! It’s really easy to set up discounts like “the first time you play you get 50% off” or “$2 promotion for first game” — whatever it is that gets players over the initial hurdle and trying something new! Here’s some great discount ideas. Find this through the Payment tab.

Game day — What to Expect

  • Players who joined your game will get an automated reminder message, 24 hours before the event starts. This will be a push notification for players who have the app, and an email for players who have an online account only.
  • We recommend sending a message to everyone through the Event Chat one day before the event, to get participants hyped!!
  • After your event, players will be prompted to leave you — the organizer — a review. This goes out whenever it is the first time a player participates in one of your events. Your reviews will show up in your group and you cannot remove or hide them!
  • Our last piece of advice is to take beautiful photos!!! This will be helpful in terms of promoting your upcoming games — If you can get some closer up action shots, that would be great as well!
Photo from Sons of Pitches FC: