When two sports buffs missed a game of their local sports clubs and couldn’t find a way to follow along through live updates and stats, an idea was born. Soon thereafter, Barry Nestor and I set out to develop ClubApp – a live scoring platform designed to keep community based sports fans up to speed just like professional leagues covered by big media players.
With passion for our product in mind, the ClubApp team conducted extensive market research and identified two other pain points that sports clubs face: club communication issues and fee collection. Before we knew it, we were researching ways to integrate payments into our solution, and that’s where our relationship with MasterCard began.
We pitched our idea to Start Path Global in March 2015 – MasterCard’s virtual mentorship program for early stage commerce solution companies. Although we didn’t have a commerce solution quite yet, MasterCard agreed there was an opportunity to create one. And we’re grateful they did – as one of just six companies selected from more than 300 applicants to the program, we knew we were onto something special.
During the six-month program, we worked alongside MasterCard mentors and their partners to take our solution to the next level. As part of the program, we realized that there was yet another opportunity that we had overlooked. There was a way we could make it easier for club members to pay their fees and also to buy merchandise. One of our sessions sparked the idea to integrate Qkr! with MasterPass to enable mobile payments through our app. Now, any club on our platform can accept card payments seamlessly and securely for merchandise and membership fees via the club store on their ClubApp profile page.
With MasterCard’s help, we have grown immensely. With over 1,200 clubs on ClubApp now and a rapidly growing user base – it is staggering to see the unwavering loyalty of sports fans to their teams (the user retention rate is a whopping 87-92% on ClubApp!). Fans are really seeing the value we bring to their mobile experience – from ordering sports jerseys from anywhere in the world or paying club memberships from their devices, the possibilities are endless.