High School Football Playoff State Finalists Go Mobile With Customized Mobi App's
Teams Nationwide are Launching Their Own Mobi App's and Online Social Communities with MobiTree
Bedford, TX (PRWEB) December 13, 2011 - High School Football Team State Finalists Go Mobile With Their Custom Mobi™ App’s All-in-One App/Website Solution by MobiTree™
High school football programs across the nation are boasting their playoff success to their fans through a fully-integrated and customized Mobi App for their Smartphones, tablets or other devices. MobiTree™ is proud to congratulate our Mobi clients that are competing in football state championship games across the country, including Texas, where high school games can be attended by over 10,000 sports enthusiasts per game. In addition to displaying a multitude of talent on the gridiron this season, these teams also added buzz and excitement by going mobile in 2011. This year’s state playoff finalists include (download from your Smartphone browser):
Aledo High School - Aledo, TX
Aledo Bearcats travel to Dallas Cowboys Stadium, December 17, in search of their 3rd consecutive football state championship and fourth title in school history. The Bearcats are led by the Gatorade National Player of the Year, RB Johnathan Gray who has tied the national record for career touchdowns with 204 in his four years at Aledo High School. Thanks to Gray and QB Matthew Bishop, the Bearcats have emerged as one of the premier sports powerhouses in the state of Texas. Aledo fans have enjoyed watching Aledo Bearcats Head Coach Tim Buchanan discuss each win in the weekly Coach’s Show video posted in the news section of the Aledo Bearcat’s Mobi. Gray’s fans even purchased a Personal Ad to support him in the Mobi – a feature many teams are utilizing as a fundraising solution and to help with recruiting.
Carroll Senior High School - Southlake, TX
As one of the most recognized football programs nationally, the Dragons have won seven Texas State titles in eight championship appearances. This year, they will make their first trip to the state title game since 2006. Fans are engaging CarrollDragons.Mobi which includes a real-time scoreboard that is updated during each game, player profiles that offer the very latest individual stats throughout the high school football season, and brackets which showcase Carroll’s deep playoff run.
Cibolo Steele High School - Cibolo, TX
The Cibolo Steele Knights, from Byron P. Steele II High School, are returning to the Texas Class 5A State Championship for a second straight year. In 2011, the Knights are averaging 37 points-per-game leading up to this year’s state championship appearance. Steele fans are quick to use their SteeleHighSchool.Mobi to vote for their “Favorite Knight of the Week” thanks to the all-new polling technology. This new feature allows fans to provide their sports team and booster club with instant feedback every week.
Centreville High School - Centreville, VA
The Centreville Wildcats have some of the most loyal high school football fans in the state of Virginia. In fact, The Washington Post wrote a feature article about Centreville’s creative use of social media and their Mobi, which was created by MobiTree, as a key to their success. Their football team has one of the best quarterback-running back tandems in the country, as QB Mitch Ferrick and RB Manny Smith put forth a combined total of 41 touchdowns this season alone. Wildcat Touchdown Club’s CentrevilleFootball.mobi has amassed over 5,000 photos in their mobile photo gallery for fans.
As teams nationwide celebrate the success of their programs this year, they are embracing the skyrocketing growth in mobile demand, expected to supersede PC’s as the top way to search the internet by 2013. Now there is a solution with MobiTree to make it easy to get their very own branded Sports Mobi™ -- App/Website/Email and Text -- all from the same software solution, and both marketing and fundraising expertise to support it. Checkout demos: mobitree.mobi/directory.
“We didn’t realize what we were missing until we got our own Mobi by MobiTree,” said Craig Harbuck, Aledo Athletic Booster Club Vice President of Fundraising, “and now, our fans, school, town and sponsors are so excited to keep up with the Bearcats however, whenever, wherever via AledoFootball.Mobi.”
“We created a scalable platform to accommodate our all client’s needs and keep them ahead of the game with an all-in-one solution that does it all – the Mobi – an optimized experience for any device,” said John M. Reistrup, Chief Operating Officer, MobiTree. “MobiTree’s solution automatically adapts to Smartphones, tablets, PC's and laptops, so we can provide a real-time, frictionless and seamless experience.”
New MobiTree™ Mobi™ features include mobile:
- All-in-One Communication with Email/Text/News feeds
- Brackets and tournaments
- Interactive Video and Photo uploads by fans
- Voting and surveys
- Donations and Fundraising
About MobiTree: MobiTree™ is a leader in mobile, eCommerce, marketing and fundraising solutions, helping teams, organizations and businesses build their own mobile and online social communities around their brands. MobiTree’s Mobi offers a revolutionary, leading-edge technology and service: the first all-in-one customizable mobile APP/website experience for anyone and any device. MobiTree’s products include Sports Mobi™, All Sports Mobi™, League Mobi™, Band Mobi™, Event Mobi™, Custom Mobi™ and more. For more information, visit mobitree.mobi today or call 1-800-349-7563.
Centreville High School, MobiTree Featured in Washington Post
If Centreville High School fans don't want to sit on the hard benches at Friday night football games, no problem. There are blue plastic "contour" seats available through the booster club for a season fee.
Should students need to know what to wear to the game - it could be a white-out or blue-out, or even toga or camouflage night - they need only check a Facebook group set up to inform them. If supporters come to the right game, they might get a giveaway flag or towel emblazoned with the Wildcats logo.
And while the only way to get the team roster at most high school football games is by purchasing a program, at Centreville there's an app for that.
Third-ranked Centreville (13-1), which will play Oscar Smith (13-1) on Saturday in Charlottesville for the Virginia AAA Div. 6 state title, is one of the only high schools on the East Coast to have a Web application for its football team. The school also uses mass text messages to reach the student body with news about the team, and Facebook groups have been set up for both the student section and team for discussions and messaging.
"I think we've definitely hit all technology known to man," said Jimmy Sanabria, Centreville's director of student activities, who has spearheaded many of the advances. Before becoming a teacher, Sanabria, 42, worked at Disney in guest relations and attractions.
"I guess I have some Disney in me," Sanabria said. "Everything's a show. They laugh at me all the time here."
The marketing approach is unique to the Washington area and has coincided with a resurgent team. Centreville, with an enrollment of more than 2,300 students, is back in the state championship for the first time since 2000, and Sanabria, for one, is not surprised. He said he knew when Coach Chris Haddock was hired prior to the 2010 season that this window would be a prime opportunity to re-energize the tight-knit community that shares a name with the school.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, "we never really lost and the fans were always there," said Sanabria, who was on the coaching staff when the Wildcats won the title in 2000. "When that finally settled down I had to figure something out, especially when things weren't going well, to make sure people wanted to come out and support the kids. You think, 'What else can you do so people are always feeling good about the school and the community?'"
One of Sanabria's first requests upon taking over as director of student activities in 2003 was for a video scoreboard. In 2004, the school put in a board at a cost of close to $70,000, so now when players score or make a big play, their picture and name shows on the screen on the far side of the field.
Sanabria said the board was paid off completely within three years through fundraisers, such as charity basketball games and dinners sponsored by area restaurants.
Other efforts included giveaways at games and theme nights to generate interest in students who might not otherwise come out to games. He also expanded Centreville's use of "contour seats" for higher-paying boosters. The contour seats are blue plastic chairs with backs located just under the press box at the 50-yard line. Centreville has used them for a number of years, but Sanabria added three more rows over the past two seasons to increase revenue.
Centreville's booster club has a tiered system that includes a "Wildcat Club," which for $250 offers four passes to every home athletic event, preferred parking and two contour seats for home football games.
Centreville also uses Facebook and mass text messages to inform students about where fans may be meeting before and after games, or to discuss what students should wear to games - the past two games have featured a "white-out" and "blue-out." On Friday, students will dress up for a "Haddock-out," named after the coach's usual sideline attire: sweater vest and tie. For Saturday's state championship, they have organized a "black-out" to correspond with Centreville's black jerseys.
"We can make announcements - that's antiquated. We can put it on the marquee - that's antiquated," Centreville Principal Mike Campbell said. "You send text messages, kids get it. 'Hey, buses [to Charlottesville], 10 bucks.' Kids get that stuff. And Jimmy gets that."
Even the "Touchdown Club," basically a booster club for the football team, is unique in the area. Parents organized the club before last season, said Ron Willis, the club's president, who said he grew up with a similar club in Oklahoma, a state with a rich high school football tradition.
"I really think it's forward-thinking," said Pete Bendorf, former football coach at South County and now the dean of students at Westfield. "As a DSA I give Jimmy credit, but some is the community. They're really supportive of the football program."
The approach that most sets Centreville apart from other schools is the Web application, which was set up by Willis and Steve Rondeau, a football parent.
Willis was "doing research about this time last year for some creative and innovative ways to help the program," he said, and heard many of the top teams in Texas were using a mobile application.
He contacted a Dallas-based company to set up an app for Centreville. The application includes a roster function that has player pages, which consist of pictures and information on every player on the varsity, junior varsity and freshman football teams - as well as the cheerleaders, band and dance team.
Parents were able to purchase personal advertisements on player pages for $10, and the application also includes ads from local businesses that scroll across the bottom. The application, located at centrevillefootball.mobi, also includes schedules, standings, picture galleries, results and a news page.
All the community outreach will have the ultimate payoff Saturday, when six busloads of students and a caravan of area fans travel to Charlottesville for the state championship game.
"For the boys, when they walk out they're just going to see they are a part of something bigger than themselves," Sanabria said. "They are the ones we are cheering for, but they understand, when they see everything, we're part of a community that supports us. And in turn, they'll support the community."
Full Article at Washington Post: Read it Here!
Making Fundraising Fun... Not A Chore - Article from AAU Basketball Featuring MobiTree™
Technological advancements have changed the ways programs go about fundraising, By Dave Lubach, Contributing Editor Anyone who has been involved with a sports team or another social club through the years has been asked to help raise money to support it. It could be a Girl Scout cookie drive or a pizza sale for the chess club.
AAU basketball is no different. With the rising costs of travel these days, increased fees for airfares and gasoline to name a few, ensuring there are enough funds for your program to maintain participation in tournaments across the country or keeping open practice gyms so players can continue to improve is more vital than ever.
Whether it's selling cookies or pizza or magazines, or even raffle tickets to win a destination vacation, there are many options available for AAU programs to consider when it comes time for players, parents and coaches to raise funds and make your project a success.
"A fundraiser should be short, simple, and profitable," says Dan Aamodt of Pine Valley Foods, an AAU spon- sor and major distributor of fundraising products.
Time Is Of The Essence
The most important note on fundraising, other than raising money, of course, is to not be consumed by it. "I tell everyone I consult with to remember the following phrase: Will the fundraiser allow our team to spend less time fundraising and more time participating in our sport," Aamodt says.
One way of doing that is to take advantage of the technology available. With the reliance on smartphones by consumers higher than ever in this digital age, the use of applications has soared.
Dallas-based MobiTree helps teams and organizations reach fundraising goals from the comfort of their living rooms. The business has developed a customizable mobile application to give programs an easy way to reach contributors by designing team "apps," which give fans easier access to programs. In addition to following the team from your phone, customers can click on the app and find all they need to know about the fundraising campaigns. Consumers can simply click on the team's app and order the products they want without having to leave their homes or talk to a live body. "It's much better than knocking on doors and writing out checks ... it's all a bit dated," says John Reistrup, the chief operating officer at MobiTree.
"Fundraising is about showcasing your cause. Getting their message out through the Internet is easier than ever before. The younger generation and parents of the younger generation are all about the smartphone. Having it all available to be spread and distributed through the social media, it's a great way to generate a lot more money." Going online helps spread the fundraising base beyond the corners of your neighborhood or city limits. Becky Avery, the director of fundraising for Advantage Fundraising Online, says an online-based campaign is an example of "fundraising for the 21st Century." "It's also fun, very easy and there's not a whole lot of work to do," says Avery. "We can do about 90 percent of the fundraising for you."
Avery's company specializes in nationwide raffles that offer premium vacation packages and gift cards valued over $1,000. Advantage sets up websites for their clients and shares the link with supporters while coaches, players and parents are relieved of the tasks of trying to sell product.
"For us, the biggest challenge is to get people to think outside the box," says Avery. "It used to be candy bars, wrapping paper, candles. Now it's 'Oh, there is something else we can do.'"
Do's And Don'ts
Aamodt admits that the prospect of fundraising doesn't appeal to many who are asked to do it.
"Fact No. 1 - people do not like to fundraise," he says.
Aamodt, whose Pine Valley Foods has food products - such as cookies, cookie dough and cake - available for prospective campaigns, doesn't like to talk about the negatives of a successful campaign.
"There are too many don'ts," he says with a laugh.
He offers five steps for a successful campaign:
1. Make it simple and fun.
"Is the fundraiser easy... or a pain in the neck?" Aamodt asks. "If you spend time distributing product, you are spending too much time fundraising. Try to pick a fundraiser that offers delivery to the consumers' home, so that you don't have to deal with safety issues, spending unwanted time, etc.
The faster you can conduct your fundraiser with specific individual seller goals, the more motivated and successful your sellers will be." Avery says safety should be the first priority when considering a fundraising project.
With AAU programs, where players often come from all over the state or region instead of just one city or town, this is of the utmost importance. Where To Start There are a number of options available to groups seeking information and suggestions for a successful fundraiser. Here are a few to consider for your programs: Pine Valley Foods/Crazy About Cookies- This Louisiana-based company and AAU sponsor offers cookie dough, snacks, and other baked items. Website: www.pinevalleyfoods.com
MobiTree- Works with teams and organizations to produce apps for smartphones, making it easier for potential consumers to access fundraising programs and pay for product. Website: www.mobitree.mobi
MOBITREE OFFERS PROGRAMS the opportunity to move all their fundraising information into a smartphone app. This allows you to show potential buyers you are on the cutting edge of fundraising, plus it keeps your players from having to walk door to door carrying money, product, etc. with them.
"You don't need them out on the streets with lots of money in their pockets that can get lost or stolen," Avery says.
2. Make the campaign short (less than 3 weeks) with delivery of product direct to the customer, so you don't have to deal with it.
"It is my personal philosophy that the more time you spend on your fundraiser, the less money you will make," Aamodt says. "If a fundraiser extends longer than three weeks, sellers get bored and aren't as motivated. "Our goal at Pine Valley is to create solutions that promote less time fundraising and more time participating in a sport."
3. Make sure it makes you a good return.
"Some folks worry about percentages," Aamodt says. "They ask what the percent of profit is vs. actual dollars they will make. Try to stick to a solid dollar amount you will make for each item sold. Try to avoid programs with multi-tiered pricing incentives, where it is hard to forecast what you will make at the end of your campaign."
4. Create a budget and plan for why and how you are going to reach your sales goal.
Why? Equipment, jerseys, trips, etc. How? By setting specific seller goals. For example, each participant needs to sell "X" to reach the team goals. Aamodt offers one valuable tip for programs embarking on a program: do not pay for products upfront. "Many fundraising companies require you to pay upfront for your product, which gives you 100 percent of the risk," he says. "No matter how much you believe in the product and how great it looks- do not pay upfront.
"The only time I would pay upfront for a fundraiser campaign is if I have already collected my orders. However, this simply extends time spent during a campaign."
5. Offer incentives to make it a fun competition for your participants.
Awards for the top sellers encourage athletes to put their best efforts into fundraising. Consider awarding things such as T-shirts, plaques or gift cards to the highest sellers. The fun has to go beyond only the athletes who are doing the selling. It extends to the coaches and the parents too.
"You need to communicate the need of the fundraising cause with emotion and passion," says Reistrup. "The coach needs to be excited about the fundraiser and get excited about it. If the coach shows conviction and enthusiasm, then others will follow." Avery offers a sixth suggestion for success, something that may be overlooked, but is vital to keep those consumers helping your program for years to come. "Send them a thank you note, because a little bit goes a long way," Avery says.
Online Is The Way To Go Many of the products available for fundraising projects haven't changed much over the years. If you embarked on a campaign selling pizza, cookies, raffle tickets or magazine subscriptions as a child, your children are likely trying to sell similar products today. Only now, those items may be sold online. The times of door-to-door and bringing sheets to work may be coming to an end. The ease of using the Internet has encouraged programs to take to the web more frequently and reach more people. "People do stick to the tried-and-true things they know, the things they were doing as kids," Avery says. "But I can see things turning more online. Originally, five to 10 years ago, grandma and grandpa didn't have emails and computers, but they have found it's a great way to keep in touch with family and grandkids."
Where To Start
There are a number of options available to groups seeking information and
suggestions for a successful fundraiser.
Here are a few to consider for your programs:
MobiTree — Works with teams and
organizations to produce apps for
smartphones, making it easier for
potential consumers to access fund-
raising programs and pay for product.
High Schools Nationwide Launch Their Team Sports Mobi's All − in − One APP/Website Solution Powered by MobiTree™
August 25, 2011 (Bedford, TX) - Football fans around the country are kicking off the new season with their high schools' own customized Mobi solution from their favorite teams. Sports teams are introducing their own MobiTree™ Sports Mobi -- the first all-in-one customizable mobile APP/Website solution -- for their teams and organizations.
"This Mobi is without a doubt a tremendous way to promote our program," said Mike Fuller, Head Football Coach at Colleyville Heritage High School, Colleyville, TX. "The MobiTree client relations team has done an awesome job of setting us up for success for this season and beyond. This product has truly revolutionized the way that we showcase our kids."
MobiTree listened to the needs of sports teams, booster clubs and other organizations to design the Mobi which is easy-to-use, generates incremental revenue, improves communication, attracts recruiters, enhances fan engagement, showcases their teams and leverages their existing social community − all in their mobile phone or other devices.
MobiTree is not limited like some APP makers where you have to find, download and often purchase the APPs at stores. Instead, MobiTree is free for fans, utilizing the MobiTree Mobi proprietary technology which adapts to the device you are using, and renders a custom experience to fit it. MobiTree works with all popular touch screen smartphone devices, like iPhones, Android, and Blackberry, iPads, other tablets and standard desktop/laptop technology.
"Having our own Mobi is cutting-edge and it helps promote the excitement of all of our sports," said Byron Crutcher, Athletic Booster Club President at Smithson Valley High School, Spring Branch, TX. "It increases booster club revenue and the pride and enthusiasm of our students."
MobiTree Sports Mobi features include:
- All-in-one customizable APP/website solution
- Breaking news about the team
- Scores and standings: updated from each game
- Player rosters and coaches bios
Mobi Sports Features Continued
- Schedules with GPS capabilities for all classifications
- Photo gallery with pictures from each matchup
- Coupons offering exclusive geo-targeted discounts and offers for fans
- Coach's Show: weekly interviews with the head coach
- Social media: clients can leverage Mobi Facebook, Twitter and YouTube integration
MobiTree also offers:
- All Sports Mobi: Ideal for multi-sports programs
- Clubs and Leagues Mobi: Multiple teams, brackets, tournament information and membership
Advertisers utilize MobiTree Mobi to drive acquisition, generate incremental revenue, promote products and services and build awareness from thousands of fans through a mobile/online community at each school or organization using their own team Mobi. MobiTree's advertising packages include full page ads, banner ads, geo-targeted coupons, title sponsorship and Coach's Show ads just to name a few.
"In our years of doing business with coaches and booster clubs, we recognized the need to improve on their communication, reduce expense and showcase the teams," said Brian Markwood, president of MobiTree. "MobiTree's Sports Mobi is a single solution that enables teams to offer their fans what want to know and see, anywhere and anytime all in their palm of their hand."
Check out leading MobiTree client Sports Mobi's (launch in Smartphone browser):
MobiTree is a leader in mobile, e-Commerce, marketing and fundraising solutions, helping teams and organizations to achieve their goals. Our mission is to provide any team, organization or individual with vehicles to facilitate an open and engaging relationship with their community and constituents, create new and exciting ways to generate revenue, and to assist each entity with the continued development of their membership and participation. MobiTree's Mobi offers a revolutionary, leading-edge technology and service: the first all-in-one customizable mobile APP/website experience for any individual, team or organization. MobiTree's products include Sports Mobi, All Sports Mobi and Club and League Mobi.