The friends of Brook Green leased the tennis courts from the local Council back in 2014. The 21-year lease allowed them to obtain funding to refurbish the tennis courts and install lighting. Further building the pavilion and finishing works in December 2016 allowed them to fully take over management from the Council, however, not before running into a potential issue…
How did a charity run by volunteers manage the booking of tennis courts?
By reaching out to the LTA for advice they were informed about the ClubSpark system, that it had been piloted and soon to be available to the public. This not only offered a booking system solution but also gated access and lighting control.
The transition to the new system was a smooth process and allowed Brook Green to offer members a single point of contact to join, book courts & coaching and keep informed about events taking place.
In the 14 months since introducing ClubSpark, their revenue and court utilisation increased by over 50% and greatly improved the customer journey for both the tennis courts and coaching making it much simpler.
Brook Green found the system requires very little intervention once set up and not been a burden to manage. They highly recommend it for tennis venues and especially venues situated in public parks like theirs.
So we asked them a few questions...
Have you had feedback from players and others in the local community?
Before we installed ClubSpark and the gated access system, the tennis courts were previously booked by telephone (available only 9-5pm) with the Council.
When we installed the system, initially there was some resistance. However, after a short period of time that has quickly given way to praise for the system. Our players find it much easier to book and now love the ability to book 24/7!
Have you noticed a change in who is using your venue?
Yes. We have noticed a steady increase in the young adults who work locally.
Are more people playing or do some people play regularly?
Yes, we couldn’t have made it work without the gate system. The ability to allow players to book online and access the courts themselves has made a huge impact not only on our revenue but we have also noticed more people playing more regularly.
Do you manage lighting with the booking codes?
Yes, we do. This has allowed players to book later and also giving that extra added security.
How did you manage access (and floodlights) before SmartAccess was installed?
The gates were always unlocked, and players just booked online. This led to a lot of people chancing it and playing without booking. Our parks team only checked in on the venue a couple of times a day to make sure people were paying which was time-consuming.
Previously players had to buy a token at the local pub and place it in a box to activate the lights.
Do you feel SmartAccess has improved accessibility to your venue?
Most definitely. The ability to book 24/7 quickly online or using the App has made it a lot easier for most people to book a court.
Do you now make a charge or is it a free booking service?
We do not currently use the additional charge facility for booking fees.
Have there been any unexpected benefits since implanting ClubSpark?
The ability to look at booking data, who is using the courts and the coaching facility have made it much easier to make the right decisions for on-court management
Has income increased at your venue?
Yes. There has been a significant increase in revenue and a clear decrease in maintenance costs.
What would you say to a venue considering using ClubSpark and looking at SmartAccess?
Don’t hesitate and go for it – the system is very easy to set up and implement the system.
The data ClubSpark provides is invaluable in better management of the venue. The system is always being developed and improved and the support available from ClubSpark if you encounter difficulties is excellent. Best of all it’s free as an LTA registered venue!