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Streamlining sports club management

Simplifying the management of any sports club, for any sport or discipline | Tommaso Guerra - Golee

What is Golee doing?

Tom: With Golee, we say that we run amateur sports clubs professionally. It means that we come with our platform. We run every single operation that sports clubs need to do during their day. So let’s imagine that you are the club administrator. You have to collect money from your member and have to keep track.

All the sports events, such as training sessions and games, monitor the expiration of the medical examination. You must do many things, like coaches, athletes, and families. And once they log into our platform, they find it useful to digitize all their operations again so they can work.

What sports do you support?

Tom: We started with football, the most popular. And a lot of people on my team come from the football world. We are now open to any sports and work with over 50 different sports. Our main target is the semi-professional sports clubs, not the professional ones, even though recently we started to collaborate with them because they need a tool for the activities of their academies around the world.

And the way they do it right now is not standardized. And we want we would also like for them to use our software to monitor the activities of, of their academies.

Golee use cases

Tom: Our clients say we’ve changed their lives because you must. You have to consider that most of the time, the managers at the top of these clubs do their job because of their passion. We provide them with many useful functionalities, like, for instance, the collecting of fees. The season here in Italy starts in September.

Most of the time, they’re collecting these fees over months. And so we had one client saying that by the end of September, usually, he used to 5000 € because he has to run after all the families and all the players. With our Golee payment system, he has already reached 40,000 € in collecting without spending any effort to do so because it’s all automatic.

What are the best features of Golee?

Tom: Imagine A class administrator. He has to monitor the expiration of medical examinations, collect fees or tell them where to go for training sessions. They have to collect sports data. For instance, they have to write all the details of the training sessions or collect the main events during a game, starting teams, substitutions, goals, etc.

They can do that through our software. They also create their website and create their e-commerce selling T-shirts. A club gives us its logo and its main colors, and we can personalize for them a set of items like, for instance, hats or t-shirts. And they can sell it through to their community.

What is the pricing for Golee?

Tom: There is a free entry-level plan; eventually, clients can upgrade two to different modules. The first plan is about 40 euros per month. And the other one has all the functionalities, unlocks all the functionalities is 100 euros per month.

The pricing, we keep it low obviously if you pay 40 euros per month and you get the functionalities that you can get from our software, it’s not enough. We want to be affordable for everyone because we eventually know how it comes from that world.

When did you start Golee, and why?

Tom: We released the prototypes or the first MVP in 2019, but the pandemic happened at the beginning of 2020 and changed because he closed sports activities for over one year. So one year ago, everything got back to normal. Everybody was returning to their sports clubs’ training sections, and games were no longer delayed. The real traction we’re experiencing this year.

I’m the CEO, but there are other co-founders, our technological guy, another founder, our sales guy, and another founder, the financial guy. So now we are a team of 20 people in all the IT, business, marketing, administrative and financial departments.

Have you raised any funds?

Tom: Yes, so far, we’ve raised through business angels. Right now, we want to consolidate our metrics to do our next funding round more or less one year from now.

It isn’t easy to find these angels. The most important thing is to know them personally. It doesn’t happen from morning to evening that they decide to invest. It’s more of a process of meeting them, letting them know what you’re doing, and updating them on all the steps. Obviously, at an early stage, one of the most important things is that they can trust you personally because there are, there are a lot of projects around the world with lots of founders, most of what for what I see at the beginning, investors to invest because of the founders.

What was your biggest challenge as a founder?

Tom: The most sensitive areas are fundraising. Also, the market’s challenges, for instance, the barrier to digital transformation. It’s still present in our market. And another one that nobody really talks about is the creation of your team. I believe this is the most difficult one. You need to find the right people at the right time.

You need to build a personal relationship with them so that in the good moments, everybody’s happy, but in hard moments, you can do a great job because you trust each other. And if this doesn’t happen, or if some of these people are going, you know, against the company, then everything gets more and more difficult. So this is, this is very sensitive. I mean, it’s very important to invest in that.

Any piece of advice for hiring?

Tom: So at the beginning, our hiring process was more like, I know these people personally, and once I like them, we like them, we’ll try to include them in our team. The tips are that getting the right people in terms of personal liking and trusting each other at the early stage is more important. And then eventually, if you are a very tech company, like if you want to send some stuff in the space or if you want to do something very technical, then very important to get a vertical competency.

Most of the time, if you are on a project about e-commerce, management software systems, or something less tech, then probably the best thing you want to do is get people to trust working with you.

What is your story, Tom?

Tom: I have been a football player all my life. From when I was younger until I was 18 years old, I used to play for the youth sector of a professional football team here in Italy. And then I moved to the United States because I did. I moved there because of the university. I did all my university, my bachelor’s degree, playing for the university’s soccer team. And I stayed there for a few years and eventually moved back to Italy.

And, in this period, I experienced how the US market was living the sports – that was incredible. At the stadium, videos of the games and statistics of the players, and stuff like that. So when I moved back to Italy, it looked like I had returned to the past. Completely different story. And so that was when I started working. Also, I worked for different companies in the United States.

And in Italy, in different sectors, financial sales, and marketing. And so eventually, when I moved back to Italy, I realized that maybe it was a good idea to start something that could help to increase the value and the visibility of the sports world, starting from the youth sectors.

What’s your favorite software?

Tom: So, in Golee, we use some software internally. We use Trello, for instance, to do our jobs. We use a Mixpanel to track our metrics. And I would say those are the ones we use the most, or I use the most. And I like them both very much.

One last piece of advice from Tom

Tom: Maybe another thing that changed completely about myself and the company is that I met many founders and CEOs in Italy. I read about them through their books, but you understand many more things once you start this path. First, you understand how difficult it is to build something valuable, and you understand that the path they’ve gone into is similar to what you’re going through.

So each one of us has gone through the same stuff. And so it’s hard, but at the same time, you’re not alone, right? So this will help you build your confidence and exchange ideas because it’s useful to have this kind of contact to get their feedback and advice.

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