LA JOLLA, CA. - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (Sept. 8, 2004) - USA Hockey Inc., the national governing body for the sport of hockey in the U.S., has recently partnered with The Active Network, Inc. to debut online membership registration for its national membership of approximately 600,000 ice and inline hockey players, coaches and officials. Using a customized technology application from The Active Network, a leading provider of application and marketing services for the participatory sports and recreation industry, USA Hockey received more than 5,000 online memberships in just the first week offering the new service.
According to USA Hockey President Ron DeGregorio, the organization's goal is to create one online destination where members can interact with USA Hockey throughout the season while also enhancing the membership experience. Explained DeGregorio, "Part of our vision of having a million members by 2010 requires the use of technology, and Active's online registration application can help us reach our goal."
For its 2004-2005 season, USA Hockey launched a pilot program to introduce the online service to a representative cross section of its 3,000 local ice and inline hockey programs. The service is currently available to all officials and inline participants as well as to seven ice hockey programs from six cities (Billings, Mont., Saratoga, N.Y., Louisville, Ky., Reston, Va., Madison, Wis. and Cape Cod, Mass.). At the end of the registration process, users are given a five-question survey, in which they are asked to rate the system. According to Lauren Pasquale, Director of Internet Communications for USA Hockey, the vast majority of users rated the system as highly user-friendly.
Using the new technology, USA Hockey members can register online, day or night, right from the USA Hockey Web site (www.USAHockey.com). Members can enter their data into the online application form and submit payment using a credit card, receiving an immediate e-mail confirmation.
Typically, USA Hockey's local program registrars process registrations and payment from all members, sending data, checks and cash to the organization's central office for processing. The new service will eliminate data entry and cash and check processing, enabling USA Hockey to improve the accuracy of its data and payment collection, ultimately streamlining the entire process for the many volunteers involved.
The Active Network's hosted technology application provides an easy-to-use, intuitive interface for USA Hockey members and a robust back-end system for data management and reporting. USA Hockey can now process registration transactions and manage data using a central online system. A comprehensive membership database can also be created, enabling the organization and its sponsors to reach out to well-defined target groups nationwide. Other national organizations using similar, customized technology systems from The Active Network include Little League Baseball, NFL Youth Football Network and Ironman North America.
"This is the first time USA Hockey has had the advantage of a central online membership registration system and we're proud to provide the customized technology to make this possible," said Jon Belmonte, chief operating officer, The Active Network, Inc. "USA Hockey has been an Internet leader in youth amateur sports and an early Web innovator, providing free Web sites and a range of Web tools for its members. We're looking forward to working with the organization as it continues to provide innovation to its membership."
Added Pasquale, "USA Hockey has always supported the use of technology to provide a better experience for our members, and the application was built with that objective as a central focus. The Active Network showed great insight in understanding our business objectives and responded with an intuitive technical solution that simplifies the process for our members and volunteers."
USA Hockey plans to make the online registration service available to its entire membership for its 2005-2006 season.
USA Hockey, Inc.
USA Hockey, Inc. is the national governing body for the sport of hockey in the United States. As such, its mission is to promote the growth of hockey in America and provide the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing and administering the sport. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Hockey is the official representative to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and is responsible for organizing and training men's and women's teams for international competition including the Olympic Winter Games and IIHF World Championships. With a membership of approximately 600,000 ice and inline hockey players, coaches, officials and volunteers nationwide, USA Hockey's primary emphasis is on the support and development of grassroots hockey programs. For more information, visit www.usahockey.com
The Active Network, Inc.
Founded in 1998 and based in La Jolla, Calif., The Active Network, Inc. is a leading provider of application and marketing services for the participatory sports and activities industry. The company's network of properties includes Active.com (www.active.com), eteamz (www.eteamz.com) and Active Team Sports, RecWare, and Active Marketing Group. Its application services reduce the cost and complexity of managing, organizing and promoting participatory sports and activities. Its marketing services offer integrated online and field marketing campaigns to reach active consumers. The Active Network also offers a one-stop shop of services for active consumers. Serving one of the largest customer bases in participatory sports and recreation, the company's clients include more than 7,000 event organizers, 600 park and recreation departments and 2,500 leagues and camps. For more information, please visit www.theactivenetwork.com or call 1-888-543-7223.