Business

US-based SportsEngine expands presence into Northern Ireland

CREST OF A WAVE: Belfast-based NBC Sports executive Brian Smith (left), who will lead SportsEngine’s growth plans, with Tim LaRoche (right) of TeamUnify and swimmer Ciaran Sloan at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex

SPORTSENGINE Inc, America's biggest provider of online sports management solutions to sports clubs, coaches, athletes and parents, is to expand its presence into Northern Ireland following the successful GB introduction last year of a new platform for swimming clubs.

Owned by the NBC Sports Group, SportsEngine offers time-saving software to help more than one million teams, clubs and league administrators to manage, connect and communicate with their athletes, parents, coaches and team managers – and, crucially, spend less time on labour intensive, manual, administrative tasks.

The successful UK launch last year of TeamUnify, a team management software tool which helps swimming clubs manage all aspects of business from online registration and finance management to membership communication and class or event scheduling, has encouraged the Minneapolis-based company to invest further in the UK market, with Northern Ireland a key area for growth.

The investment will see the company set up a new international base in Belfast and target more sports clubs in Northern Ireland by expanding its sales and account management team and opening up its comprehensive range of online services to other sports outside of swimming.

As part of the expansion, NBC Sports executive Brian Smith will transition into an expanded role from vice-president of sister company GolfNow's UK office to lead SportsEngine's growth in Northern Ireland and across the UK, as well as the Republic of Ireland and Europe.

Belfast-based Smith has a proven track record of success since NBC-owned GolfNow acquired BRS Golf, a company set up by Smith and his brother Rory.

Under his leadership, the GolfNow tee time management platform has grown its UK and Irish business by almost 200 per cent in five years, and now represents more than 70 per cent of the golf club market. In the same period, the GolfNow team in Belfast has grown from 15 to 70 employees.

SportsEngine is the leading software provider of Sport Life Management solutions for 35 million monthly users - including coaches, parents and athletes - and Sport Relationship Management applications for more than one million clubs, leagues, governing bodies and associations.

The company helps sports organisations around the globe reduce the time they spend on administrative tasks, enabling them to focus more on furthering the love of sport, developing athletes and providing safe experiences through background screening and safety programs for volunteers.

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