(links to our website, github repo, and the product demo video, can be found at the bottom of this page)
With Covid-19 bringing unprecedented halts to entertainment, our competitive nature has been thirsting for every drop of sports we can get. As fans, we crave the surreal atmosphere of a 3-point buzzer-beater, the intense sweat of a 4th down and 1, an ear-splitting last lap, the “close your eyes because you can’t watch” penalty shootout. We feel your pain. That’s why Square Up Sports is bringing a new app to the market that lets you challenge your friends to a good old fashioned free game of “I bet ya my team will win!”
Navigate to our free app online. Your journey to the top of the leader boards starts with a base of 100 points given to you just for logging in - and let’s not forget about all the free points you can earn through engaging with your favorite teams through social media, trivia games, and inviting new friends to the arena of Square Up Sports. Your goal is to leverage the points you have and put them on the line as you compete with friends to predict the outcomes of live sports results and stats. Invite everyone you know to your arena for a challenge so you can pick the right team and win the most points as possible.
Ben Rich (Project Manager) - Informatics Major at Indiana University going into his senior year. Ben organized meetings and made sure deadlines were met for project goals. He also developed the front end of the Square Up Sports app.
Drake Wolan - Drake is a rising senior at Valparaiso University majoring in Finance. Drake has constructed the environmental analysis and helped create the business plan and value proposition design. Drake also researched trivia questions and presented the final presentation.
Jaqui Fernandez - Marketing and International Relations Major going into her senior year at Indiana Wesleyan University. Jaqui was in charge of designing the business model canvas, value proposition, and customer personas. In addition, she organized two interviews with potential partners.
Matthew O'Hern - Matthew is a rising Senior Software Engineering major at Butler University, Matthew was the lead developer on this project and primarily worked on making the back end functional and scalable. Matthew brings his knowledge and experience with software and web design from both personal and school projects.
Luke Thurston - Luke is a Mechanical Engineering major going into his Junior year at Purdue University. He helped with Front End Development as well as completed other tasks to help the other Pro Squad members develop the website by the deadline.
Amber Little - A Chemical Engineering major from going into her Junior year at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She brings with her a knowledge of product development and engineering, as well as experience in developing and launching hypothetical products for various projects.
How did you decide on this customer segment, problem, and solution?
Most research on the challenges being faced by the sports and entertainment market right now reflects that the biggest challenge is the revenue lost from ticket sales. So, when brainstorming our ideas for the product we wanted to build, we centered around trying to find a solution that boosted fan engagement and offered an opportunity to recover that lost revenue. This is where we drew the idea of a competition-centered app that encourages users to interact directly with each other as they watch their favorite sports teams this season.
Now more than ever, people are discovering new hobbies and games due to having been in quarantine. This allows for greater entry into the market, especially for online games. In our interviews with members of Indy Eleven, we learned that the players also miss seeing the fans in the stadiums. This is why we wanted to connect social media to our website so players could also see fans supporting them through the wagering system.
How did your team build and iterate on the solution?
“Come to the meeting with two ideas.” That was our mission as we started brainstorming what our solution would be. Two of us had a similar idea of creating a “betting” app that differentiated itself because it didn’t use money. We all grew to like this idea knowing that it spurs off of sports fans' competitive spirit and makes fans extra engaged with the sports they love. Also, by making it a fun and family-friendly app it encourages users of all ages to play.
We wondered how we would get professional teams to come on board with the app so we thought of the prize page where users would be able to earn real-world prizes through earning points and also interacting with their favorite teams via channels like social media. The prize page is enticing to professional teams as fans can earn coupons to buy merchandise and the added fan engagement helps grow their brand.
We received great feedback on our minimal viable product during week four. This let us know that the user experience was lacking in terms of visual responsiveness and needed more development to make the app accessible for mobile phones. We then made changes to make the front end responsive and fit to any size screen.
After adjustments, we received great feedback from interviews with the equipment manager of Indy Eleven (Kevin Roorbach) and the Director of Youth Development and Club Liaison (Josh Kremers) telling us they would be interested.
- 5,642 lines of code
- Conducted three interviews:
Jacob Quick - Marketing Manager for Gas City Speedway
Josh Kremers - Director of Youth Development for Indy Eleven
Kevin Roorbach - Equipment Manager for Indy Eleven
- 43 individual users test our product
- Predicted 500 new customers in the first 10 days following official release
- Uses NodeJS as server and EJS files as a front end
- The Database is a MYSQL server hosted on AWS
- The website is hosted on AWS as well with the domain acquired from namecheap
Key Tools, Libraries, and Frameworks
- Body-parser, connect-flash, cookie-parser, and ejs were used to create the dynamic front end and were chosen because of their ease of use and familiarity. Connect-flash specifically was used to alert the user of any errors.
- Express-mysql-session, express-session, and mysql2 were used to create a cookie session so that already logged in users would stay logged in until they log out.
- Passport, and mysql were used to create a login auth that connected to our MYSQL database
- Sequelize was the invaluable tool that allowed us to easily create queries to our MYSQL database
- Node-schedule was used to create routine checks to the server and database at 2:00 am est every night.
- Dotenv, and nodemon were dev tools used to both secure important data about the server and allow us to try changes without manually rebooting the server.
If you had another 5 weeks to work on this, what would you do next?
- Build a more developed plan for the in-app purchases/ other revenue
- Partner with professional teams to sponsor prize page
- Contact other businesses for advertisements
- Raise capital to publish app
- Continue to polish app layout so that it is easier to navigate on mobile devices
- More user testing
- Connect a live sports updates API to pull in data
- Overhaul trivia to add live trivia during game breaks to encourage users to get on the app while watching sports