SAN DIEGO, Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Can Technology Make An Impact on Soccer?
"Technology surrounds us everywhere but on the soccer field," said Mark Skeen, CEO of Affinity Sports, a San Diego based firm specializing in solutions for sports organizations. "I knew we could bring useful technology to the soccer fields across America and have a positive impact on growing the game and keeping our kids safe."
Affinity Sports announced today the launch of Interactive Digital Player Cards for the youth and adult soccer market in the USA. Affinity Sports has harnessed the power of technology and replaced printed player cards with highly secure, digital player cards accessible on any smart phone. This groundbreaking solution will help meet the needs of more than 1.2 million soccer players across the country.
Now, coaches, referees, tournament directors and team managers will no longer have to be concerned with fraudulent player cards and can rely upon Affinity Sports' state of the art mobile platform, which can easily be accessed on any mobile device to check players in before a youth soccer game or tournament.
How has the youth soccer world reacted?
"American youth soccer — in general — is in the dark ages. Most businesses embraced technology 10 years ago. Soccer is filled with mom and pop organizations staffed with volunteers who mean well, but are not necessarily able to take advantage of what technology offers. Utah Youth Soccer Association gave up paper player cards years ago and uses Affinity Sports. Utah's population is highly educated, and even laptops are old technology for us," said Brian Smith, President of the Utah Youth Soccer Association.
Bob Turner, the President of San Diego Presidio Soccer League, recently previewed and tested the Affinity Sports' Digital Cards last month. "The Digital Cards were used for checking in youth soccer players at the San Diego Development Academy Showcase, and people were amazed," said Turner. "The soccer coaches and managers thought the system was too easy!"
"Everyone enjoyed using the digital cards instead of those old fashioned, laminated paper cards on a ring, and the ability to also score the game right from the field was incredible," said Turner. "The scores posted perfectly."
"What most people do is very archaic. Youth soccer team managers are still forgetting their player cards or losing them. Player cards are even stolen sometimes. We really look forward to using the Affinity Sports mobile platform for the season. Getting kids on the field is our goal, and now teams will not have to forfeit games because we will have this tool."
"A goal of technology is to make everyone's life easier," said Smith, who brought in the best technology on the market for his state to use and selected Affinity Sports to run the state's youth soccer association. "People come first, then technology supports the human effort," said Smith. "Paper player cards are antiquated. The youth soccer players' birth certificates are loaded into the Affinity system and are securely protected – not visible but confirmed – and any smart phone on the field can access the necessary information to check in a team and confirm the eligible players," said Smith.
"I believe the Affinity Sports Digital Cards are more secure than paper player cards," said Turner. "Everyone knows people have tried to cheat with the old player cards. We have caught people trying to paste a new player's picture over an old player's picture and then re-laminate the card."
The Affinity Sports mobile application can be securely logged in from anywhere with internet access and provides role-based access. In simpler terms, when a referee logs in before a soccer match, he or she sees the full set of both teams' player and coach cards and can enter information on yellow and red cards right into the system. When a team manager logs in, he or she only sees their team information and can send a message to all the players instantly about a change of field location or what restaurant to meet at after the game.
"Having the player cards right on my cell phone is such a vast improvement," said Turner, who has worked in the youth soccer world for over twenty years. "This is the way of the future."
The Affinity Sports mobile app is feature rich and includes a schedule, Google driving directions, iCal feed, news feed and private text messaging within teams.
Digital Cards are also green and help conserve paper. "Working to protecting our environment is a great goal for 2016," said Skeen. "Wasting paper today is ridiculous when technology makes it so easy to use the digital form instead."
There is little evidence of digital technology on most soccer fields in the USA, and few firms have had the insight to make a significant and consistent difference on any scale. Usually when one thinks about technology and soccer, Goal Line Technology comes to mind. Why should technology just be used for the professionals? With the help of Affinity Sports, technology is changing the soccer world for the better. If we can fly to Europe with our plane tickets on our cell phones and pay for our coffee with our cell phones, isn't it about time we stop worrying about where the laminated player cards are and use our cell phones — and even update scores right from the field?
Affinity Sports will be at the 2016 NSCAA Convention in Baltimore - Booth 1022 providing demonstrations of the new Interactive Digital Cards and mobile application.
About Affinity Sports
Software and technology solutions from Affinity Sports, the leader in sports business applications.
Affinity Sports is the largest and most successful integrated software service provider to state youth and adult soccer associations in the USA. Providing the best-of-market advantages and comprehensive business solutions, Affinity Sports helps more than 1.2 million players, including 14 U.S. Youth Soccer State Associations, 8 US Adult Soccer State Associations, 250,000 administrators, 4,500 leagues and clubs take advantage of powerful technology. Launched in 2002, Affinity Sports was established to develop an enterprise class, secure digital platform for the nonprofit sports association market. Affinity Sports has invested over $10mm in continuous, customer-driven innovation and is the gold standard for sports association membership engagement and management.
Affinity Sports' Affinity Advantage program takes the next step to help grow the game of soccer with best-of-breed services and products for users.
For more information, photos and interviews please contact:
Affinity Advantage Communications Manager
Direct: 619.207.2603 | Email: email@example.com
SOURCE Affinity Sports