NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Powered by a series of acquisitions and platform development, Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) Sports Illustrated Play (http://siplay.wpengine.com) is connecting the world of youth sports by delivering digital products and services to the fragmented youth sports market. Beginning in July, SI Play will accelerate its growth with the launch of its next-generation, state-of-the-art digital, mobile and social platform for passionate and engaged youth sports participants.
SI Play’s comprehensive platform offers an unprecedented utility, content and social experience for its growing community of 10 million monthly users. The full-service technology enables youth sports administrators and coaches to manage a wide range of activities, such as online registration and payments, calendars and scheduling, professional website creation, and team and roster management—all with the click of a button. Other features include integrated background checks, team- and league-wide communication tools, tournament management, data and analytics, and team gear and fundraising.
Debuting in July, SI Play will extend its platform offering by releasing the most robust and player friendly app that is all about simplifying and celebrating the sports lives of players, coaches, families and fans. It provides users the best scheduling and notification tools, including real-time posts, updates, live game scoring and communication/chat capabilities with other parents and team members. The app also promotes the social sharing of content and in-game moments, allowing user-generated content and stories, plus curated content from Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for Kids.
“ As our world goes through a massive digital transformation, the youth sports sector is still underserved by technology,” said SI Play CEO Jeff Karp. “ SI Play is devoted to supporting the nearly 40 million US kids aged 5 to 18 who participate in youth sports. From participation to achievement, we are passionate about creating tools and technologies to engage, simplify and celebrate this experience for every participant who touches the youth sports ecosystem.”
The next-generation services demonstrate SI Play’s approach to supporting every youth athlete, coach, parent, volunteer, administrator and fan. Karp explains that SI Play’s vision is “ modernizing a fragmented youth market that in many cases is still pushing paper.” He says, “ Unlike anything that has been in the marketplace before today, SI Play’s new digital platform provides simple, easy and effective solutions that enrich the overall experience for all youth sports participants.”
“ As a president of a very large Babe Ruth League, I cannot tell you how hard it is to find the right platform to manage everything from registration, scheduling, team communication, financial records or even something just as simple as database management,” said Tony Galarza, President of Oviedo Babe Ruth. “ When we decided to partner with SI Play we were hoping they would be able to provide us with our missing piece to the puzzle… and I am happy to say the missing piece has been found! Not only have they already impressed us with their product and support, they are now rolling out even more exciting functions with their app, website and beefing up their already ‘top-notch’ registration system.”
SI Play’s commitment to revolutionizing youth sports has been supported by strong partnerships and relationships with nine governing bodies across sports including baseball, lacrosse, soccer, football, basketball, hockey and softball that include Babe Ruth, Dixie Baseball and Softball, US Lacrosse, USA Volleyball and others.
Sara Coughlin Noon, Managing Director, Membership and Regional Development, US Lacrosse, commented: “ Since the US Lacrosse/SI Play partnership was established a year ago, we have been impressed with SI Play’s improvements to the US Lacrosse league management platform USLaxteams.com. SI Play has proven to be a very collaborative and supportive partner as they innovate their products and services to enhance the overall experience for US Lacrosse youth sports programs. Our event managers, program leaders and parents have benefitted greatly from these innovative tools such as Tourney Machine and iScore. US Lacrosse is looking forward to continuing to improve the lacrosse experience for players and all participants.”
In July 2015, Time Inc. announced the launch of SI Play with three acquisitions—League Athletics, SportsSignup and iScore. These league management platforms provided Time Inc. with a strong foundation to create a robust platform and the opportunity to innovate and reimagine the youth sports platform. Jeff Karp was hired as CEO of this new Time Inc. company, which was established under the trusted Sports Illustrated brand. A youth sports enthusiast himself, Karp participated in the Olympic trials for tennis and now, as a parent of three daughters, spends his weekends on the sidelines at their soccer, lacrosse and gymnastics events. Karp joined SI Play with 15 years of experience in the gaming industry building and creating brands, such as EA Sports, The Sims, Need for Speed, Farmville and Words with Friends. At SI Play, Karp has built a talented team with decades of mobile, gaming and online experience and with a passion for youth sports.
SI Play recently accelerated its growth with the acquisition of Tourney Machine, the leader in tournaments and one of the leaders in management and scheduling software that enables SI Play to provide a suite of digital and mobile management and tournament services for clubs, organizations, leagues and governing bodies in the youth sports ecosystem.
For more information about Sports Illustrated Play, go to http://siplay.wpengine.com.
ABOUT SI PLAY
SI Play (siplay.wpengine.com) brings together industry leaders in sports software around a simple yet ambitious goal: to connect the world of youth sports. Since its launch in July 2015, SI Play has gained tremendous momentum and now supports more than 10 million active users each month across a wide range of sports, regions and age ranges through its digital products and services, and it has official technology partnerships with nine youth sports national governing bodies. The company provides the platform and tools to fuel the passion for sports and ensure a rewarding experience for all participants.
ABOUT TIME INC.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world’s leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.
SI Play CEO Jeff Karp is available for interviews. Photos are also available upon request.