How Sports Facility Booking Company Playfinder adapted to a COVID-19 world

On Monday 9th November Pfizer pharmaceutical company spread hope across the world with the announcement of a vaccine for Coronavirus with a reported 94% success rate. The vaccine will provide confidence for the nation, but the fight is far from over: given the vaccine is needed twice, we can assume it will take considerable time to vaccine the UK’s 67 million people twice over.



But what does the future look like for sports facilities?
Playfinder, a sports booking platform that connects amateur sports players to over 5,200 sports facilities across the UK, has seen a 720% increase in players trying to make bookings online since the initial lockdown measures were lifted. Playfinder were dynamic in adapting to ensure grassroots sports could be COVID-19 safe, by introducing new features & a new booking software:

New Lockdown Status feature
As a result of staff remaining on furlough and operational challenges in the post-pandemic world, a majority of tennis and basketball facilities remain closed. Envisaging an unpredictable road ahead for venues opening, Playfinder has launched a ‘Lockdown Status’ filter which only presents sports players with facilities that have been reopened. This new feature will be regularly updated to show venues as they reopen.

Booking fees removed to help venues
The challenges and pressures the pandemic has presented to the grassroots community cannot be compared to anything before, with the recovery looking long and uncertain. In response, Playfinder decided to waive booking fees for venues to help them get back up and running, meaning they pay no commission on bookings. This applies to both existing and new venues that join, with a surge in demand seen in operators trying to join the platform.

Launched a sports facility management software, Bookteq
Grassroots sports clubs have been massively dented financially, having to close for 3 months. Among the 8,000 sports clubs, many will be searching for a lifeline, COVID-19 has presented many venues with issues such as being short-staffed and chasing up on invoices and payments. Bookteq is an affordable, sport-specific system which includes automated invoicing and online booking. The service will reduce administrative workload and in turn, improve your team’s productivity, time-management and help adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Since the first lockdown, Bookteq have integrated an online risk assessment to the booking process. This allows the lead booker and venue manager to gauge any potential risk before their booking takes place.

Jamie Foale CEO, “We’ve seen a crazy amount of demand for people to get back out and play sport. We knew there would be a lot of pent up demand and expect this to be the same come 3rd December. The team have been working tirelessly to ensure we could provide a COVID-19 secure service for all our venue managers and players, which is why we introduced a number of features to give venues the confidence they need to reopen their doors.”