On the up · 28 September 2017

Meet the AirBnb for grassroots sports that’s connecting players with pitches

Investment via the government’s SEIS scheme helped launch MyLocalPitch?
By simplifying the booking process, growing revenues for sports venues and increasing local participation, MyLocalPitch is the new online sports booking portal for players looking to find venues on the go.

Available in London, Manchester and Dublin, the online portal already gets 50, 000 monthly visitors, with 70, 000 bookings having been completed by users whore able to choose from 1, 000 available pitches and courts, for 17 different sports.

As the startup verges on completing its next fundraise, CEO and co-founder Jamie Foale spoke to Business Advice about his plans to expand the platform, and why recruitment is so important for tech businesses.

1) Who are you and what’s your business?

Im Jamie Foale, co-founder of MyLocalPitch, the market leading online sports booking portal. The booking service compliments our website and is supported by a free iOS app to cater for players looking to find venues while out and about.

We have partnerships with Better Leisure, PlayFootball, Powerleague, Fusion, EveryoneActive, and agreements are already in place to help boost participation numbers with Islington council and Salford Community Leisure.

The MyLocalPitch homepage
Theportal’s homepage
2)? How do you make money

MyLocalPitch works on a commission based model with grassroots sports facilities. Our mission is purely based on increasing bookings and getting more people into regular activities.

There are no set-up fees and we don’t charge a monthly rate for listing on the website. it’s vital to have a flexible product to ensure we provide a service to suit the needs of venues and players.

3) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

Aggregation and booking technologies have been around for a while and are widely used in the accommodation, takeaway and travel industries. MyLocalPitch has rolled out this platform for 17 different grassroots sports for the first time to enable easy access for physical activities.

Our objective is harnessing the power of technology to eradicate the inconveniences and pain-points that frustrate grassroots players. The grassroots sports space has many nuances, and weve created a bespoke service for venues to manage demand whether they are an independent venue or a larger corporate entity.

Sports facilities, in some instances, don’t yet have the resources to introduce the online booking technology and market their facilities online.

In these instances, we provide bookings management software to help venues migrate online. Improving the grassroots sports booking process has already had numerous positive results for venues by increasing booking numbers and revenues.

4) What was key in terms of getting started

Extensive research was undertaken to ensure we understood all key grassroots B2B factors that would help shape the service. With a foundation in place, it then was about creating the business model and raising the first tranche of investment to get the project out of the blocks. Ensuring our platform was technologically sound was important given it’s the integral part of the grassroots solution.

5) Howve you raised finance and why have you chosen that method?

SEIS is a fantastic scheme and that helps you to partially de-risk the investment for the investor. We were lucky enough to bring on some excellent investors who also help act as mentors in a wide range of matters, each lending their expertise.

Jamie Foale
CEO Jamie Foale
6) What’s been the key to your social media success? Which platforms do you use?

Understanding what content our users engage with has been pivotal in our social media successes. Sports create vast streams of rich content and it’s important only the most relevant and fun pieces are shared.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin are the platforms and each is used depending on the type of content being posted. In-depth analytics allow us to monitor our communication and adapt accordingly.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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