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Flash Sports - App for the live linking up of local sports facilities' availability with residents

An App/website provides a live update of which local facilities are free to be used (football, basketball, badminton, tennis etc..) and who in the area is currently looking for others which which to play games, and at what times (UPDATED).

Photo of James Robertson
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With the success of multiplayer online computer games like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare etc, connections are being made between kids and adults alike all over the world, who, at any given moment in time, can log in and see who is also feeling like a quick round of two of gaming right at that moment.

What if a local, outdoor, sporting equivalent was available? If you are at a loose end of an afternoon, and suddenly feel like you could use a kick about with some friends - and some people you've never even met before. Well, you could chance your arm and just turn up with a football, but what if you were able to go online to your website/app see where there is a free court/pitch, set up an event and invite people to add themselves to your game? You could even tell everyone what colour shirts to bring, and who's bringing jumpers for goalposts!

Alternatively, you may work in the city and find that your usual squash partner is not available..why not see who is keen for a game at midday? Which courts are free where, book one!

Builing on Arjan's SgNal concept (as well as Pedro's flash mob concept), it would be great if pedestrians passing by a sports venue were able to utilize a tag displayed on the signage to immediatley acces info on when that particular venue is free, if there are any associated costs, who is already looking for people to play with there, etc...

UPDATE:

Having thought a little more about who would be the buyer/seller for a service like this, the closest model I could find was that of Nike+ or Nike Fuel. 

The Nike + community has literally millions of members worldwide; they don't own any roads or parks, but by creating a technology to track excercise and a growing a community within which to compete and connect, they have encouraged greater enjoyment of the existing facilities in environments all over the world.

If this 'Flash Sport' app were to be embedded within the Nike + community, as say 'Nike Play' or pitched to a competitor like Reebok or Puma, these corporations could fund and market the uptake.

In terms of interface and the online community, it could be great to catalogue all of the games you play, who played with you, how many goals you scored or sets you won. Buddies who have a golf, squash or tennis rivalry could keep an online record, groups who play pick-up soccer games can note who turns up and when each other are available etc..If Nike were to integrate it with the GPS wrist bracelets, energy expenditure could be tracked also. Meters run etc..

I think there's an amazing opportunity for a brand to take ownership of casual sports, and in so doing revolutionise the access to pick-up games anytime anywhere! Goes without saying that this would have a huge impact on their apparel and footwear sales.

This is not where the idea started, but as it develops and seed funding sources become relevant, it could be a direction worth considering. Feeback welcomed!

  

How does your concept inspire collaboration between individuals, private sector organisations, and the government in an effort to create cleaner neighbourhoods?

Connecting individuals with each other and their extensive existing local facilities is the aim of this concept. If residents are made aware of exactly what facilities are available to them, how near they are, and when they are free, who is free to play with them, they will find it far easier to spontaneously play that game of tennis, or badminton, or indulge in whatever their interests are. It would be hoped that with increased awareness of existing facilities, the interest in the maintenance and upkeep would be increased also; NEA would have to colloborate deeply with SSC (Singapore Sports Council) to provide a joint catalogue of all sports and recreational facilities open to the public, live updates on their availability, and a booking (and possibly payment) portal for their usage. Private sector organisations could perhaps play a slightly more sutble role here; appropriatly selected firms would be invited to advertise on the mobile/app platform, and this could even be net revenue-generating, or at the lease offset some running costs.

How might your concept be scaled in a way that creates even more connections between people?

In terms of scaling, I could imagine a scenario whereby a bunch of kids become friends after finding each other online and playing games in their local park. They then extend offers to kids from another park to come over to their park one day for a kick about. Perhaps these kids know of another group from even further afield. Then one day a sponsor is able to set up a tournament for all of these teams, whereby they are able to get some great PR, maybe hand out some kit or prizes, and the App itself gets also gets the great exposure that comes with a pre-arranged, reported event.

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

I would start by cataloguing a cluster of facilities around one particular neighbourhood/district, ,publicise the app to the local residents, and see how big the catchment is for these facilities, before rolling the data collection and app usage city-wide.

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. How easy would it be for citizens to get involved and take initiative for this idea?

Very easy; this would rely on ground-up participation from the beginning. - 25%

Somewhat easy; there are ways for citizens to get involved, but an outside organiser may be needed to sustain and grow this concept. - 75%

This concept needs to be led and maintained by the government or private business. - 0%

2. Can you build this concept on top of something that already exists, like an organisation, physical space, or system?

Yes. This could fold into, or extend from, something that already exists. - 100%

This concept taps existing networks for a few things, but also needs a lot of new processes, materials, relationships, etc. - 0%

This concept requires a new system to be built to support it. - 0%

3. After the initial launch and support, could this concept be sustained and cared for over time by the community it's designed to serve?

Absolutely! This concept is easy to keep going. - 75%

It depends. There are opportunities for growth, but it's not yet clear how the concept would thrive after launch. - 25%

Probably not. A lot of effort would be needed to keep this concept going. - 0%

4. Does this concept create community?

Yes. It naturally brings people together and inspires them to take care of one another. - 50%

There is potential to create a thriving community. - 50%

No. It doesn't galvanize people to come together for a common cause or interest. - 0%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world. - 75%

I liked it but preferred others. - 25%

It didn't get me overly excited. - 0%

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Photo of Pedro Luís
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Great concept James!

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