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by Frank Molema | 9 April 2020
The lockdown has reduced the options for outdoor sports. The demand for online sports classes, on the other hand, is growing exponentially. A good reason for software developer Eversports to modify their services to help companies offer online sports classes. "Start with just a few classes, no need to go all outright away."
It was hard work, admits Leon Janssen of Eversports, the software supplier for professionals and consumers in the sports industry. With all sports locations, like yoga studios, gyms and tennis courts closing due to corona, the company wanted to facilitate the offer for online sports classes as fast as they could.
Consumers from all over the world
In the weekend after the announcement that the Dutch would go into lockdown and everyone had to live in some sort of quarantine, Eversports made every effort to adapt its software to make it suitable for the growing demand for online sports classes. “We immediately informed our customers how they could use us in their online classes”, says Janssen, head of sales Europe. “Hundreds of customers quickly adopted the new application, and more than a thousand classes came online. You also see that consumers are willing to pay for online classes. And, because the classes are online, we see that people from all over the world are now suddenly participating in classses offered by studios in Amsterdam, Berlin or Vienna.”
Eversports was founded in 2013 by Austrian former volleyball player Hanno Lippitsch. While searching the internet for tennis courts, he realized how difficult it was to book a location and a time slot. He decided to develop software for professionals, to make it easy to book and pay for sports fields and classes. For the users of the sports locations and yoga studios, it is a convenient way to book their activities anywhere, anytime from their phone, tablet or computer.
"Yoga, dance, boot camp and other fitness classes are particularly popular at the moment"
Because sports locations had to close due to the corona crisis, it is all hands on deck at Eversports. “We, too, will have to apply for government support,” says Janssen. “There is a significant drop in turnover because companies have to stop using our services, as they no longer have any income. The upside is that the number of companies offering classes online is growing. We see a surge in demand, both on the supplier side and that of the consumers. ”
Yoga, dance, boot camp and other fitness classes are particularly popular at the moment. Eversports’ professional customers can use the payment system of the Austrian company. Moreover, it is up to the sports providers which service they use to stream their videos. “The advantage is that we work not just with Zoom, but that you can also link with other parties such as YouTube or Google Hangouts. Although we had to set everything up very quickly, we have managed to offer good service and quality.”
Adaptation of new technology
Of course it takes time for sports providers to get used to the switch from off- to online. Janssen sees the adaptation of new technology as a challenge. How does Facebook live work, for example? Or an Instragram video? “People are trying to find their way, and of course everyone is stressed already because of this coronavirus. Suddenly you have to use new things. We try to help as well as we can, with videos and free webinars. You can gradually improve your services, for example by buying a better camera or a headset.”
"Keep supporting your studio. Make sure we can continue after this crisis"
It is possible that the industry will change permanently, Janssen agrees. “I am convinced that the corona crisis will have a lasting impact. Of course, many studios will go back to the old situation, but a large number will find a combination of off- and online classes very interesting. Either way, this experience will accelerate the adoption of technology. You have no choice.”
Janssen realizes that many sports providers are struggling right now and therefore appeals to all sports enthusiasts: “Keep supporting your studio. Make sure we can survive this crisis. And to studios that don't offer anything online yet: Explore our options. Start with just a few lessons, no need to go all out."
For more information: www.eversports.com en www.eversportsmanager.com