British schools try out AllTeams' NZ software

Last updated 09:07 01/02/2010

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The British government is trialling Auckland start-up AllTeams' sports software in a deal that the firm says could be worth up to 3 million pounds (NZ$6.86m) a year.

AllTeams' software lets sports clubs create their own websites, manage their teams and post competition draws and results online, text message members and provide social networking services for clubs and teams.

Clubs can also sell listings in AllTeams' online business directory, and visitors to club websites are encouraged to support local listed businesses.

A version of the software is being trialled by about 50 schools in England's West Midlands – which will use it to manage their sports teams, providing online information about draws, results and rankings.

AllTeams marketing director Jimmy Gardner says the trial is part of a drive by the British Department of Culture, Media and Sports to create a "play-to-win culture" and increase participation in sport.

Chief executive Will Stamers-Smith says if the trial is successful, the software could be rolled out to more than 20,000 schools and nine million pupils across Britain in a deal that could be worth between 1m and 3m a year.

"There's an enormous amount of opportunity.

"At the moment it's a schools-based product in Britain but there's no reason why it won't work elsewhere in the world."

The company, whose board members include co-founder of information technology services firm Datacom Paul Hargreaves and former Gen-i boss Garth Biggs, will trial the software with New Zealand schools early this year.

Mr Gardner says so far about 30 New Zealand sports clubs are using the software, including Ponsonby Rugby Club and College Rifles, and former All Blacks Inga Tuigamala and Michael Jones use it to power the website for Village Sports Academy, an Auckland sports and education programme.

Mr Stamers-Smith says the software is free to use, but AllTeams takes a cut of revenue from business listings, and will also take a share of online registration payments when that feature is introduced in a few weeks.

The company spent about $2m developing the software and is on the hunt for a cornerstone shareholder who can offer capital and business nous.

AllTeams plans to develop the software so clubs can sell goods online and businesses listed in its directory can offer special deals to club members.

Mr Stamers-Smith says the software was developed to help clubs boost their funding, improve the flow of information to their members and provide them with a more sophisticated management tool.

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"Volunteers in these organisations often have insufficient time and there's a lack of training.

"They're using pretty outdated tools to run what is essentially a small business."

- The Dominion Post

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