After his pre-university education, Niels did not choose to go to a university, but followed his passion because he wanted to do something with sports. He started SM&O (Higher Vocational Education) and the closing sentence of his motivation letter was: "Are you going to start this challenge with me? I'm ready!" He actually wasn't totally ready for it then... But after 4 years he graduated with his own company and research into the 'unbound athlete' with an A. Now he was really ready to help the sports world move forward!
Niels is concerned about the negative developments in tennis. One day he is on the train as a tennis trainer on his way to his training and he comes up with Netband.nl. An online platform that allows tennis players to play where, when and with whomever they want. Tinder did not exist in 2012, but now it can be explained as a Tinder for tennis players, where your tennis date and location are also facilitated. An accessible way of playing tennis, and a good way for sport clubs to get more people on their tennis court, new members and more income.
While Niels shares his knowledge, experiences and vision with the KNLTB (Dutch tennis federation), other sports associations also hear about this young innovator. "That stubborn student can provide us with a fresh perspective", they said at the KNSB (Dutch ice skating federation). The KNSB is also aware of the new path they must take and believe in the vision that Niels has about the future of sport. Niels is developing a concept and business case for the KNSB and in the meantime the vision behind Netband.nl is growing into a collaboration with several sports federations and Sportunity is established.
More and more sports federations are knocking on Sportunity's door. The organization is growing in order to be able to continue to support these federations personally and at a fast pace. A large number of sports enthusiasts, managers and entrepreneurs register and the best players are scouted from the wide selection. Vision, passion, fresh energy and the right click are decisive for strengthening the selection.
Research is conducted into current developments within sports and organizations and the needs of the athlete and sports fan. A complete business case is developed from this. Designs of the digital platform are created to make the realization tangible for your organization and internal and external stakeholders. The concept is realized and brought to the market from a joint investment by Sportunity and the customer.
The transition in sport is taking shape and Sportunity is able to achieve the first results with its partners. Sportunity continues to invest in the development of its concepts and platforms in order to provide even more sports associations (better). For example, Sportunity is developing the SportID, the digital sports ID for every user with which one can log in to all apps that are connected to this platform. Sportunity can now present itself as a frontrunner in the transition of the sport.
The Sportunity.club ecosystem offers insight into the 'unbound athlete'. This is possible thanks to the SportID and the accompanying apps, which have now been developed into scalable solutions for various federations and sports organizations. This allows partners to bind themselves very easily to the .club, obtain its own platform and strengthen its own propositions together with the other partners. At the same time, they contribute to the development of the largest independent sports community, to shape the transition in sports together and to let more people enjoy practicing sports.
We have developed the Sprint app in collaboration with the KNSB (Dutch ice skating federation). Users can track their skating performance with the app, using a chip (on the ice rink) or with the GPS function on your phone (for inline skating and skating on natural ice). After a first version of the Sprint app, it was decided to completely renew it and to include only the most important and most used functions. Since the launch of the 2.0 version of Sprint, the number of users has continued to grow steadily and we were continuously busy adding cool functionalities. In January 2020 this resulted in the 10,000th Sprinter! In this way we get to know the unbound athlete a little better every day.
During the corona outbreak, 'unbound' sports are bigger than ever. Running, cycling and inline skating are examples of sports that are practiced a lot, especially individually. Since July 1st, sports were also allowed indoors, but under a number of conditions. Our selection is busier than ever at the moment. For example, we have developed a reservation platform for sport clubs, together with four sport federations in a short period of time, so that members (and non-members) can practice their sports safely and responsibly.
More and more (independent) athletes are getting to know our innovative sport platforms, which means that we can collect more and more interesting data. Municipalities would also like to know how much, where and by whom sports activities take place in public spaces, the sports clubs in their region and other sports facilities. In this way they gain more insight into the activity of their residents and they can draw up more targeted policy plans based on this data. A collaboration is started with the municipalities of The Hague and Arnhem to develop a sports and exercise platform for them and their residents.
From the first of September, Sportunity will offer event apps all over the world. Sports timekeeping organization MYLAPS will hand over the baton to us. With this addition, we will support some 600 events and 3 million athletes and fans per year in creating the maximum event experience. We offer event organisers the option of developing a white label EventApp. All events can also be found in our TRACX app, in which we want to grow the unbound sports community even more.