RainedOut is one of those technologies in which anyone involved in organized sports can truly appreciate. We have all been there: show up to the park on a rainy day, only to have sparse attendance. Those who are not present, indeed got the message. Game cancelled. This is a similar scenario in which Ara Bagdasarian found himself. He is CEO and co-founder of Omnilert, providers of emergency notifications. That day, Ara decided to apply a similar notification service to the soccer league where he was coaching. “I offered our emergency alerting service for the soccer league to send out time-sensitive information such as game cancellations. Over the following five years the service virally grew to over 3,000 teams and leagues – completely via word of mouth.” RainedOut was born.
The web-based platform provided subscribers with time-sensitive information by means of text message, email and online. Bagdasarian says that RainedOut is a discreet service that reaches customers in a customizable way. “We provide players freedom by allowing them to be out and about and knowing they will receive time-sensitive information wherever they are. We provide coaches and administrators time by providing a service that enables them to reach 5 or 50,000 people in just seconds.”
RainedOut leverages technologies applied to an established communication infrastructure. “The technology that powers RainedOut is the same mission-critical emergency notification network that thousands of organizations including government, military, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of universities rely on every day.” says Bagdasarian.
He points out that whether coaches have to reach a team or event organizers have to alert attendees of a change, the RainedOut platform is poised to provide real-time notifications using cutting-edge technology.
“Having the ability to instantly reach tens or tens of thousands of teammates or tournament attendees with information wherever they are is invaluable. RainedOut was the first to offer this instant-and-everywhere communications ability for team sports, and we continue to make it even easier.” says Bagdasarian. “For example, we recently introduced mobile opt-in so a coach can simply ask his team to send a text message in from their phones to sign up for alerts- right from the field! We also added the ability for an administrator to send a text message in to RainedOut in order to generate a message. We keep making group communications easier.”
Bagdasarian’s vision to provide a unique service to a market he understood, allowed RainedOut to position itself as a frontrunner for such sports technologies. “RainedOut was the first to offer mobile alerts, which means we had a head start in understanding the market and innovating to meet the unique needs of team sports. In addition to the intuitiveness of our platform, we make it incredibly easy for teams to communicate- wherever they are. From mobile opt-in to remote messaging, it is important to be accessible to the way organized sports operates. If you are on the field all day, you need a communications tool that works with you on the field.”
Given the grassroots nature of RainedOut, it comes to no surprise that Bagdasarian and his team have also integrated one major aspect of sports into their technology. “We are the first and only provider of team sports mobile alerts to serve as a fundraising vehicle. Teams and leagues can actually raise funds every time they send an alert! We have a full sponsorship ecosystem incorporated into RainedOut, so just as the local pizzeria would sponsor a teams uniforms, they can now sponsor their mobile alerts.”
The success of RainedOut can be measured by subscribers at any level. As Bagdasarian points out, the success of this sports technology lies in its simplicity. “There are alerts going out all day, every day. I can tell you that I am personally a RainedOut subscriber for my son’s soccer league, and I can appreciate when I am notified in advance when there are cancellations and I do not check the website or call the cancellation line! We have so many teams, leagues, racetracks, marathons, events that use the service everyday that it is difficult to get a gauge on specific successes. I guess every time RainedOut is used it is a success story in its own community!”
*Originally published in Sports Activated magazine: http://www.sportsactivated.com/April2011
Author: sportsactivatedThis author has published 15 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.