My Online Camp plays “matchmaker” for kids and events with Ryzer

When Andy Priestley co-founded My Online Camp in 2006, he was motivated by the opportunity to combine his enthusiasm for sports and a love of technology. This year My Online Camp surpassed a total of 1 million registrations. Now Priestley is taking the Ames, Iowa, company to the next level with the launch of Ryzer…

ryzer_myonlinecamp

ryzer_myonlinecamp

When Andy Priestley co-founded My Online Camp in 2006, he was motivated by the opportunity to combine his enthusiasm for sports and a love of technology. This year My Online Camp surpassed a total of 1 million registrations.

Now Priestley is taking the Ames, Iowa, company to the next level with the launch of Ryzer – a new way of connecting kids to athletic events via customizable alerts.

What My Online Camp does

My Online Camp works to simplify the administration and reporting process for coaches and camp managers by providing marketing assistance, facilitating the online registration process, and setting up payment processing tools.

The company employs 13 people and last year facilitated hundreds of thousands of registrations on behalf of approximately 12,000 events and 2,400 organizations nationwide.

Priestley, C.E.O. of My Online Camp, said the organization’s client list ranges from large high schools in local communities such as Ankeny and Waukee to prominent athletic programs of colleges including Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Creighton University, Florida State University and Iowa State University.

Ryzer connects kids to events

Whereas the services of My Online Camp include marketing, management and administrative duties associated with hosting sports camps and other youth events, Ryzer works to connect individuals to athletic events based on user preferences including gender, location, age group, radius of up to 200 miles, and types of activities preferred.

Subscribers, typically parents, choose to be notified on a weekly or “as it happens” basis in the form of email, text messages or push notifications with information on upcoming camps, clinics, tournaments or leagues as events matching the criteria are posted.

“Coaches tell us all the time, ‘If we had more people who would come to our events, if we could get the word out, then we would we host more events,’” Priestley said. “Parents ask if we know where any events are that would interest their children. We are essentially playing matchmakers.”

Ryzer is currently available for use by parents and coaches at no cost.

A positive early reception

Ryzer went live in March and by the end of that month had already subscribed 15,000 users. As of June 1, 76,000 users had signed up for more than 86,000 alerts with opportunities to attend any number of 6,000 events in 48 states.

The company’s website highlights 25 different activities ranging from baseball, softball and basketball to martial arts, gymnastics, cheerleading, field hockey, water polo and bowling.

“One kid is competitive swimmer,” Priestley said. “They wanted to get better, improve their skills. The parents told us that outside word-of-mouth there was no place on the Internet to find information on camps or classes that pertained specifically to their child’s interest. That’s where Ryzer comes in.”

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