How Springly Gave Life to Over 150 Hockey Clubs
The French Hockey Federation (FHF) is a large network of 174 clubs, 18,000 members, 33 departmental committees, and 13 leagues.
While working at this scale, there is nothing more important than ensuring your organization runs like a well-oiled machine. One lost folder can cause chaos, creating delays and missed deadlines, not to mention frustrations among team members and volunteers. It was for this reason that Laurent Frappart, director of one of the FHF’s leagues, began searching for a new, more reliable way to manage his network of clubs.
In no time at all, Laurent had entered into talks with Springly and set the wheels in motion for what would become a long-term partnership between the two organizations. As part of the partnership agreement, we offered our software at a discounted rate to every single club in the league. With consistent support and high-performing tools, clubs could avoid mistakes, save time, and put the focus back on hockey.
An onslaught of positive reviews came their way and the FHF’s governing body soon caught wind of this. Excited by what they could see, the federation wanted all their club’s to have access to Springly, not just those in Laurent’s league. So, without hesitation, they contacted Springly, and put forward a case for upgrading the partnership to the national level.
Needless to say, our discussions reached a swift and positive end: all FHF clubs were granted access to all of Springly’s services at a discounted price. This made the FHF Springy's leading champion.
By partnering with us, the federation was able to support their clubs in a new way, not only by streamlining operations, but by letting volunteers get back to what truly mattered to them, their mission.
We sat down with Sandrine Louis, a volunteer at one of the FHF’s many institutions, Iris Hockey Lambersart Club. She detailed her experiences with Springly and told us exactly how the software made her life easier.
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Creating a Modern Website and Online Store
Founded in 1941, the Iris Hockey Lambersart Club went largely unchanged for decades. But in 2013, with over 450 members, the club began modernizing their daily operations. They announced the grand opening of their very first wheelchair hockey team and successfully invested in the growth of their women’s teams, which now took to the international stage to showcase their talents.
As part of the club’s transformation, they decided to organize their team of volunteers according to specialization, dividing them into several task forces: accounting, partnerships, admin, and more.
Sandrine, an employee of the club, in charge of all administration, website management, and social networks, was over the moon to have begun modernizing these areas. When she arrived in 2015, and before migrating to Springly, the website was completely outdated. The online store, for example, did not allow secure online payment and the website was regularly hacked, rendering both completely non-functional.
"We sell a few products but it was impossible for us to offer them on our website as the platform was too old for secure online payment. Our website was also regularly hacked."
This was not only a problem on the club level, but on the national level as well; both websites lacked modernization and security. So when Laurent, the League director, took the plunge and purchased two Springly subscriptions (one for each body), Sandrine could not have been more relieved.
"The website of the league also needed a facelift. We killed two birds with one stone. "
The Club's First Steps on Springly
"Our most pressing needs were to modernize the website, simplify the membership system, and put together an online store."
It wasn’t long after subscribing to Springly that the Iris Hockey Lambersart Club had taken full advantage of the powerful CMS feature, swapping their previously outdated website for something more slick, modern, and easy to use.
"It went so quickly! Our first contact with Springly was in March 2018 and the club needed everything ready by May for the start of the new season. Needless to say, time did not end up being an issue. Within days of taking on Springly, both the website and membership campaigns were up and running."
A small digital task force of the hockey club was set up in order to manage all this, but luckily, due to the software’s easy-to-use interface and simple drag and drop operating system, only one person was required.
"I took charge of Springly with another volunteer from the digital task force. He designed the website and set up the membership campaign. Today, if I have a question, I will call either him or the Springly team."
Only a few weeks in, all of the club's previous concerns and fears regarding their old website had been dealt with. They now had a state-of-the-art website through which members could purchase sports equipment, find upcoming events, view training schedules, and so much more.
"The website is now secure, which allows us to collect payment online, finally! Our members even have their own dedicated space where they can view a number of personalized documents."
After the new site launched, the club’s digital task force looked ahead to the next task. This was to simplify the management of memberships for the start of the next season, which until then had been a tedious endeavor.
"Before, athletes couldn't just sign up or even pay online. I was responsible for managing membership forms and handling the different methods of payment, like checks and cash, all by hand. I was constantly having to set reminders and follow up with members on their dues."
With Springly, all member information was centralized on a common platform. All important details, from product requests to jersey numbers, were linked to the relevant people. Never again would number 9 run out on game day wearing a number 6 jersey by mistake.
"We imported our members directly into Springly and this year alone, more than 200 athletes signed up through the website. That's the number of membership forms which I don't have to manually collect and organize this year. And, what’s more, over half of them paid by credit card, which is more than 100 checks less for me to manage!"
Even for those members who do not sign up via the website, Sandrine now has a quicker, more efficient way to follow up with payments. Gone are the days of setting alarms, penciling in reminders, and scribbling notes on the back of her hand.
"For all members, I follow up payments on Springly. This allows me to find the people who have not paid their dues in just a few clicks and simplifies the amount of reminders I have to set enormously."
Ultimately, from training dates to parental authorizations, the extent of Springly’s data handling abilities means that the Iris Hockey Lambersart Club will never be burdened by membership management again.
"This has allowed us to gain more rigor in managing both memberships and our members."
Engaging Members With an Online Store and a Weekly Newsletter
For years the hockey club had been dying to offer its members and fanbase a dedicated space to purchase club merchandise, like caps, jackets, socks, etc.
"A few years ago, one of the volunteers developed an online store, but it soon fell apart when he left, especially since the website didn't allow for internet payments."
Soon after adopting Springly, the club listed its products on its new site. The game changer here was that the products could be paid for online via a completely secure payment process.
When they saw how easily they were ticking off tasks that had been sitting on their to-do list for years, the Iris Hockey Lambersart Club soon started questioning all of their current systems.
"We were even able to create a newsletter and run it efficiently. Previously, we were on Mailchimp and I had to import members' email addresses every time. Now, it’s all done automatically: my members are on my mailing list and I don't forget anyone."
With most of the main features up and running, the club had little left to do. They were finally free to focus on their mission and nurture the next generation of hockey stars.
"Considering that the vast majority of everything we do corresponds to our memberships and store sales, a big chunk of the work is now already done."
A Last Word From Sandrine
"The software is extremely convenient and it's all-in-one capacity was a huge pro for us. The features we like the most are the online membership campaigns and the communication tool for sure. What if Springly was taken away from us tomorrow? Oh no! No way, we would be totally lost!"
A big thank you to Sandrine for accepting to answer our questions.
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