I created RosterBot in 2007 in order to scratch an itch: my Sunday night hockey crew needed to gather 20 skaters and 2 goalies every week, and was mercilessly difficult to organize. After noticing a few teams I knew sending out notifications about their games via email and asking players to reply YES or NO it was self-evident that this process could be (and should be) automated.
RosterBot was the catalyst for a wave of Team Management tools, however it didn’t become a business until 2013, when Bret Hedican and I teamed up and began to advance the service as a commercial enterprise. Several iterations later, we pitched RosterBot on the CBC’s Dragons’ Den in October 2014. Here is the result:
RosterBot is globally acclaimed. It has grown well beyond my original vision and is actively used by tens of thousands of teams in more than 400 cities for more than 400 different types of sports and activities.
During 2014 and much of 2015, RosterBot experienced explosive growth, hitting around 160,000 active members by Mid-2015:
The Dragons’ Den pitch was successful, but was in only a small part responsible for this growth. Radio campaigns in two major markets established RosterBot as an institution in GTA and GVRD. Here are some of those spots..
… but by far RosterBot’s most successful campaigns were community-based and leveraged social networks. We sponsored tournaments, created hilarious and/or controversial online content, and drew upon our own user community to find and share interesting stories about how people use RosterBot every week to simplify their lives. We also ran an influencer campaign driven by some very awesome swag:
The online sports marketplace is growing radically. In 2015 we compiled data which indicates the massive impact that youth and adult sports have economically. The community’s behaviour is only recently beginning to shift online, and advertisers are soon to follow, creating a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.
RosterBot was acquired by ProSmart Sports in 2017.