Q&A: Sport:80

Sport:80 is a company at the forefront of automated, cloud-based management software. Newly formed, but with a cohort of experienced project leaders, sports event professionals and system programmers steering the reigns, the organisation is poised to become a market leader by changing the expectations of innovative data management. Major Events International spoke to director Gary Hargraves to find out more….

What does Sport:80 do?

“Sport:80 is a company with a big vision: To develop and continually innovate, for the financial and operational benefit of all our stakeholders, a cloud-based global sports information, management and operations system that delivers one version of the truth across a number of differing functional areas of the business of sport and major sporting events. That system is confidently and eponymously named Sport:80 - and it provides an unprecedented comprehensive data collection, management and syndication product for national and international federations, our primary clients, and could quickly become the foundation for sports events delivery. Through the Sport:80 system the company is uniting the business of sport - helping stakeholders to grow together with strong roots in intelligently-organised data, and raise standards across the industry. As a company, we also use our breadth of sporting expertise to manage various international sporting events, corporate days, conferences and training days... but it's the system that Sport:80 really prides itself on.”

You say breadth of experience, what's your background?

“Personally? Sport! I spent over a decade in the football industry in a range of commercial capacities, before becoming managing director of Brentford Football Club. I have since moved into wider sports logistics and event management, including being part of the Organising Committee for last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. My Sport:80 epiphany came out of a necessity to centrally store information for the sports events we were running. I could see the sheer number of errors that were creeping in because of all the paperwork, and the amount of time wasted. We needed a database that simplified the key management processes, making us more efficient - and that gave birth to the system's first incarnation, SIMON. We’ve now got a great team behind the developing product, to offer this necessary shift in data management to organisations, and support the commercial opportunities the system offers.”

What can Sport:80 do for an event or organisation?

“On the surface, it makes life easier: Automating over 80% of administration, removing human error and centralising data storage. But behind that, and the simple user interfaces, is a powerful database that centralises real-time information and enforces a single, trustworthy version of the truth. How that central record is used is down to the client. And we’ve got a host of customisable modules that organise everything: from logistics to registration, across end-user interactions and back-office administration functions. It can take care of accommodation and transport management, merchandise sales and evaluation and reporting… and much more.

Jobs like coordinating team arrivals are much easier when all of your staff on the ground are logged in to a system that displays the real-time locations of the teams, flight updates and projected journey times. A membership is far more engaged when you can analysis demographic data, send out top-level communications and automate individual’s interactions. And track each athlete’s performance data, looking for talent.

These are all examples, but the potential is huge and the scope is massive – we’re developing bespoke modules constantly - and it’s all made by possible by the way Sport:80 stores the information it’s given. And what’s more, Sport:80 is constantly developed to ensure it is always compatible with the data syndication needs and requirements of international federations around the world.”

Where has the product been used previously?

“Two versions have been released already. The first managed competitor logistics for the ISSF Shooting World Cup London 2012 - a London Prepares Series event for the shooting at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sport:80 collated entries, managed accreditations, hotels, transport, processed visa requests, and delivered invoicing and payments – as well as managing data for the 2012 ISSF Congress.

We are currently powering the registration portal for the European Archery Festival, which you can find more information about at www.europeanarcheryfestival.com. It’s one of World Archery’s Indoor World Cup events – and features a number of new Sport:80 modules, including spectator and merchandise sales.”

 

What are the challenges for federations and sports organisations in collecting their data, and using it effectively?

“The massive amount of information, and how to organise it. Plus there are just so many companies out there offering to work with different aspects: results, entries... but that's where it stops - and that means duplicating records, mountains of confusing data and a quickly-developing spiderweb of information.

Sport:80 is designed to manage as much or as little as its user requires - but will only ever store its data once: That's one version of the truth! And because of this principle, it's easy to integrate with - feeding data in or taking it out from - other systems a federation or organisation might already be using.

It's not just difficulties we should focus on, though: there are opportunities. There is significant revenue to be earned through data syndication and advertising – and it’s completely unattainable if information is not managed effectively.”

Why is Sport:80 cloud-based?

“It's all about having useful and accurate data at your fingertips. Hosting and manipulating data in single, unique records in one central place provides three primary benefits:

  1. The data’s real-time. As soon as something’s updated, it’s updated everywhere, instantaneously: so you’ll never be looking at out-of-date information.
  2. The data can be accessed from anywhere – that’s connected to the internet of course. Desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet… you name it, Sport:80 pushes real-time information to any device.
  3. The data and system can be controlled from anywhere. You don’t require a costly, complicated set-up - and can be up and running in any location in the time it takes to log on to the online portal.

Working from that central source of the truth is so important to us, we built it into the company name: Sport:80. Port:80 is the foundation of communication for the world wide web; Sport:80 should quickly become the same: paramount to event and sports management.”

Are you concerned about security?

“Of course we’re concerned about it: in as much as that we won’t let it concern anyone else. Everyone’s connected these days; the important thing to consider is what we’re doing to ensure that the data remains safe. As soon as you submit information through a Sport:80 user interface it’s encrypted – and won’t be de-encrypted until someone with the relevant user permissions looks at it.”

Who should be contacting you to find out more?

“Anyone, really, who manages a sports event. From domestic tournament organiser to international federation. At the least, we can take away a huge amount of the paperwork and administration behind running and event - and at the most... well, we haven't thought of the most yet. Get in touch: And we'll see what Sport:80 can do for you.”

For further information please visit: www.sport80.com 

Or contact:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +44 7768 243046

Additional information