- Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms.
- Founded in 2015, SportsForms offers an electronic document management platform for youth sports organizations.
- Peak seasons for signNow usage — spring and summer.
- signNow usage volumes — several thousand documents during the spring season; 20,000-30,000 documents during the summer season.
- Most common types of documents in circulation — liability waivers, codes of conduct, registration agreements.
Some software companies begin as garage startups, but SportsForms was born on the edge of a soccer field.
With his professional background in IT, Michael Brown, father of three children all participating in competitive sports, volunteered to manage their sports teams.
I was immediately amazed by the tremendous amounts of paperwork that was moving around these teams. This was a problem first, but then it also felt like an untapped space for a new business idea.— Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms
This is how SportsForms came to market, providing online registration for athletic events, digital liability form signing, and similar digital paperwork services for athletic teams, leagues, and organizations.
From a Zapier integration to native API
The alpha version of SportsForms was created by Michael himself. During these early days in 2015, Michael started looking for an eSignature solution that could be easily integrated into SportsForms. His search led him to airSlate’s signNow product (known then as Cudasign).
In their first year of using signNow, SportsForms relied on Zapier as the integration intermediary linking signNow to SportsForms on the backend. Launching this integration via Zapier was both easy and reliable. However, there were some untapped opportunities for expansion in terms of functionality. With this in mind, SportsForms transitioned from Zapier to a native API with signNow in 2016:
“The Zapier integration served as training wheels for us during the first year. With our own API, we got much more functionality and flexibility, and could immediately see the performance benefits,” Michael explains.
Now, SportsForms is using an API with signNow for both document generation and eSignature collection.
Major takeaways from signNow’s native API usage
|Intuitive interface for both web and mobile
While the process of eSigning athletic forms often happens on the field (quite literally), preparing forms for sending and signing is easily done while in the office or at home as well. That’s why having an interface that is immediately intuitive for both the sender and signer (whether they’re on desktop, phone, or tablet) is an integral part of the convenient user journey in SportsForms.
We see constant improvements in signNow, especially with regards to the interface and UX. Both web and mobile interfaces are getting better and becoming more flexible with every update. This is good for us as a user and even better for us as a vendor since we are able to offer a more fine-tuned experience for our sports teams.— Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms
|Comprehensive feature list at a reasonable price
Michael pulls no punches when it comes to the state of the competition in the eSignature market. SportsForms performs a competitive analysis on a regular basis and this analysis continues to confirm for the company that they chose the right API for running their business:
Honestly, we looked at Hellosign, and it does not have all the features we need. And DocuSign is not right for us from a cost perspective since it charges per each envelope.— Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms
|Quality of support and personalized approach
Customer satisfaction and loyalty may indeed originate from ease of use, functionality, and pricing. However, quality of personalized support is the decisive factor when it comes to sticking with a solution.
To be completely honest, a big part of this integration is that we have established really good personal relationships by now. We know many of the support staff and solution engineers by name. Even though airSlate isn’t a small company, they still give us that small company feeling.— Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms
2020 was probably the toughest year for competitive sports. But, as some states are gradually opening back up for events, SportsForms and Michael Brown can afford themselves a bit of bold optimism when it comes to planning for the 2021 season.
We were working on making tournament registration touchless long before COVID. Now we are actively marketing touchless team check-in, which would include the eSigning of event liability forms.— Michael Brown, founder of SportsForms
A big part of 2021 will continue to be about social distancing and digital reskilling at the same time. That’s why integrating eSignature into your native business operations is the best way to secure an easy win, no matter which team you are playing for.