After an extensive process, AYSO has selected Blue Sombrero as its exclusive partner to deliver member registration and program management system solutions for your Regions. This partnership represents an exciting opportunity for us to improve our overall ability to communicate with everyone within AYSO and be able to positively impact their experience with AYSO. Blue Sombrero has a 13 year tradition of providing fully integrated, user-friendly solutions to approximately 8,000 sports organizations across the country.
Two years ago, one of the key recommendations from an AYSO IT Taskforce was to find solution providers who could deliver more robust, cost effective system solutions than are possible with limited, in house technical resources devoted to custom systems. Another Taskforce collected system requirements for a formal Request for Proposals, focusing on the parent and volunteer experience and the needs of our Regions.Over twenty proposals were received and evaluated, resulting in the selection of four finalists. The finalists were further evaluated and tested in areas such as user-friendliness, system architecture, data security standards and product features. In the end, Blue Sombrero was selected as the best business partner for supporting our programs and for providing our parents and volunteers with the best experience.
The work of integrating Blue Sombrero’s solutions into AYSO’s infrastructure is well under way. The combined efforts of Blue Sombrero and AYSO’s team of consultants and volunteers will work to ensure the smoothest transition to solutions that better enable the world’s largest soccer club.
There will likely be many questions about this major transition and we will work to keep everyone as well informed as we can during this major transition. Here are a few questions that may come to mind:
1. What will the Blue Sombrero solution cost?
Blue Sombrero offers its system solutions at no cost to our Regions, Areas and Sections.
2. What are some of key features of the new system?
The Blue Sombrero solution will provide:
• Seamless integration between a Region website and registration/team/game information with easy to use templates.
• Regions with the ability to simultaneously accept applications in the current and upcoming membership years.
• Automatic player wait lists.
• Links between players and their parent volunteers for team assignments.
• A coach/team page for posting coach and parent information such as release forms, parent pledges, incident reports, concussion fact sheets, etc.
• Team balancing, game/field scheduling and referee/volunteer scheduling.
• Regions to vary registration fees by division, set payment plans, early-bird or multi-child discounts and accept donation/sponsorship payments.
3. When will the system be available?
The current plan is to allow Regions to start converting their websites to Blue Sombrero sites beginning immediately. The websites will be enhanced automatically with updates starting March 1, 2016. We will also begin testing the full integration of the new registration features.
In June and July, 2016 we will test additional Region management features such as an automatic team balancing feature based on the “Reverse Serpentine” process and referee/volunteer scheduling.
Starting September, 2016, we will phase out the use of eAYSO and ensure all Regions are able to use the new Blue Sombrero solution.
In January, 2017, Blue Sombrero will add a complete tournament administration feature and an event/calendar feature.
4. Will the Registration feature allow for credit card payments?
Blue Sombrero offers integrated credit card processing at 2.8% for accepting credit/debit/pre-paid card payments for registration fees, donations and sponsorships.
5. Will the new systems be available on phones, tablets and Apple products?
Yes. There will be mobile apps and the ability to publish text message notifications, in addition to being more accessible on all these devices.
6. How can I learn more about the new system plans and features?
Blue Sombrero will be attending all of our EXPOs and will have a booth in the vendor area. There are two featured workshops, one introducing the Blue Sombrero website tools and features and another workshop to introduce the new Region Management System features. We will also schedule follow up webinars as well. Stay tuned!