If you’re a sports person, who can’t live without activities, chances are you have rented a playfield once or twice over the past year. And statistics show that you’re not alone. 4 out of 10 people engage in additional technical training, skill development, and sports.
Now, imagine a simple mobile app that would help these people book sports facilities, rent playfields, or sports equipment. We were approached several times with such requests and encountered few apps that mimic some of the functionality.
In this article, we’ll share our thought about this app idea, acknowledge best practices and tricky use cases that would enhance the future app.
Target audience of Athletic facilities rental app
Our advice would be to make a prototype, or an MVP before starting the development of full-scale app. This will help you to test out the idea on a limited audience, pick the right set of function to solve their problems.
But first, you need to pick a preferred audience type to target at:
- Business clients – Such clients are usually interested in hosting their corporate events, company birthdays, business holidays, educational camps, summer training, etc. From here you should target event managers, marketing specialists, human resource managers.
If you target this kind of audience, you should think about the development of web app or a website. Such app can contain minimum functions, limited to a clear description of a facility and contact information.
- Private clients – In regards to this audience, we’re talking about small groups of people who are interested in an occasional rental of sports facilities, usually for non-profit reasons (for fun). It could be a company of friends on vacation, a little child camp, a rental for a birthday party, etc.
Your sports facilities listing must include small to medium-sized playgrounds in order to fit the needs of private clients. It is preferable for such app to contain hourly rates and geolocation feature, that would find the best option nearby.
- Nonprofit organizations – This is the least obvious type of clients. But you still should keep in mind this option. Firstly because non-profit organizations are the easiest and most efficient way to get first clients and get at least some popularity. Think of nonprofit sector as a free advertising tool to gain traction.
Nonprofits are usually rather reserved about new advancements, but they have the widest communication network. They can help you a lot in search of new clients, especially corporate one, that may be donating to such organizations.
Search for a golden niche
Besides the target audience, you should look at different sports types and carefully choose the type of activities your listing will serve. Obviously, the speed skating and archery are less popular than football or baseball.
Here is a short checklist that would help you to make a choice:
- Team sports vs individual sports.
- A number of sports facilities available by type.
- A number of clients a sports facility type can accommodate at a time.
- An average price for a sports facility or amenities rental.
- The popularity of sports in the area, country, district.
- Accessibility of the facility & number of rule clients should adhere to.
Athletic facilities and amenities types
It can be easy to lose yourself in the variety of sports facilities that exist today. Starting with big arenas, and ending with gyms.
For the User Experience purposes, we advise making a listing of activities and sports names rather than names of the facilities (like hippodrome or bullring). This would allow users to solve their real problem – find the best place to play their favorite sports.
In addition, some types of athletic facilities can serve different sports. Thus, you won’t limit users with only one type of facility and give them more variants to choose from. You can even include advanced search algorithm, that would pick the right place based on sports type + the number of players.
Monetization of Sports Facilities Rental App
Use cases and overall functionality of such app greatly depends on the monetization strategy you’ll choose. Fortunately, this app idea offers a great variety of options to choose from.
- Advertising – The easiest way to monetize your app. It does not require any additional use cases but only a spare space in the footer of an app to serve those ads. It can do a little harm to the overall user experience, maybe little annoying if you leave to much spare place for ads.
- Sponsored offers – Your app can collect money from a sponsored placement of facilities. Just like Google, you can reserve first search positions for promotional placements of facilities. This will be a suitable monetization option once your app accumulates a big number of facilities and users. Thus you’ll have a competition inside your app, and sports grounds would be interested in the promotion of their field.
- Sponsored content – Another type of monetization that profits from a big user base. It is suitable in case if you don’t have too many sports facilities but your app is used by many players. You can serve dedicated advertising articles and promotional content that would target users based on their sports preferences.
- In-app purchases – While you may don’t want to sell user information elsewhere, you can sell products based on the interests of users. For example, coupons and vouchers for several visits in a bowling club, or offer equipment rentals. You can even connect your app to an e-commerce store like we did for our client.
Gym Rentals & Professional Trainers
Besides listing big facilities you app can focus on fitness activities and users that are looking for a gym nearby. You can integrate a gym locator feature. It can list the best gyms nearby based on the equipment and facilities the user is looking for.
It must be acknowledged that adding gyms and professional trainers would greatly increase the monetization potential of your app. This way you can promote different trainers and new gyms reaching a far more reliable audience that just occasional sports fans.
Rental of sports facilities and amenities is a promising industry. The development of a local app to cover such needs may play out a steady income for a developer. But there are tricky moments every app developer should solve out in advance. What would be your audience? How are you going to monetize your app? What additional functions to include in order to increase app value in the eye of users?
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