Eugene Antoshkin is the founder and CEO of Sportimity, a service that helps communities connect and easily create sporting events that provide fitness and social benefits to everyone. With his background in mobile marketing and public transport, Eugene was well-positioned for success in this market and has been able to grow the app at an impressive rate, appealing to many people who want to be more active but don’t want to pay for or commit to a gym membership.
Eugene was able to answer a few questions about Sportimity.
Why is sport important to you and was this part of what inspired the creation of Sportimity?
Sport became important to me when I realized how much it affects my brain. Several years before Sportimity I started noticing that after even small cardio exercises my mood improves and I make better decisions. After that, I read a lot about this topic, of course, but only after I felt this effect myself.
On the other side, I always was interested in how cities built. Urbanism took me so hard that once I moved to live in Curitiba – a city in Brazil where modern urbanism has started. Charles Montgomery in his book Happy City perfectly described what modern urbanism is. The main point is you should know your neighbors. Without strong social connections with people you live nearby, is almost impossible to maintain sustainable happiness in any city.
To help combine sport and social connections with people live nearby (proximity), Sportimity, I believe, solves the most important problems of big cities.
Briefly, can you explain how Sportimity works to connect people to create sporting events in their local community?
Sportimity provides information about local free outdoor sports facilities and events from local sports communities such as running groups, workout communities, soccer and basketball pickup games, and yoga in the park. No planning ahead needed. When you have time, just open the app and choose what workout or game to join in walkable distance from you. We have around 15 events per day on average. Or you can find a basketball court or a soccer field and create a pickup game. People that live in walkable distance from this court and like basketball will get a notification about a new pickup game nearby they can join.
Who benefits the most from using Sportimity? Can anyone use it?
Our main userbase is young professionals who want to stay active but hate gyms. Anyone can download the app from App Store or Google Play and use it. Some features are available even without registration.
Besides B2C market we are building relationships with our B2B partners such as:
- Hospitality (hotels, Airbnb hosts, colivings) – they provide information about local urban sports events for their customers.
- Offices and coworkings – employees and members can join local urban sports events near their offices.
- Public schools – after class sports activities.
- City government – keep public sports facilities busy and reduce criminal activity.
What were some of the design/development goals you wanted to make sure you achieved with Sportimity?
I want Sportimity to become the default service for sports activities in the minds of city dwellers. When people choose a new neighborhood to move in, they check how active this neighborhood in Sportimity because it helps to establish local social connections faster and easier. When travelers choose a hotel or Airbnb to stay, they check if there any running or workout groups near that location. It’s as common as checking if breakfast’s included. Are there any basketball pickup games near my hotel in New York? Are there some pickup soccer games near my Airbnb in Rio de Janeiro?
How much does Sportimity cost to use/how can people sign up?
Download and sign up is free. You can sign up with email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. In the app, users always have access to the map with free outdoor urban sports facilities and events that their friends are going to join. For a $5/month subscription, they get access to sports events from urban sports communities. We share 50% of our revenue with these communities. In the future, we plan to change this flat subscription model to a progressive one – as more often you join events – less you pay.
Are there any tips people should be aware of when using Sportimity?
- If there are no urban sports events around, you can create one and invite friends. We have more than 1,000 locations on the map.
- Open the app when you travel. We will make decisions on what cities to launch next based on app statistics – where our current users travel the most.
- We have a podcast! Each episode we invite noticeable people of the New York City urban sports community. Most of them are founders of sports communities and there’s a story behind each of them.