LeagueApps Holiday Hackathon
By Brian Litvack
December 26, 2011
Last week the entire Sportsvite/LeagueApps team gathered together in NYC for team meetings, strategy sessions and most importantly some good old team bonding and holiday revelry in the form of a Bowling Bowl tournament. Here are the results for those scoring at home.
To mix things up a bit we decided to hold a half-day, mini “hackathon”. For the non-techies out there, A hackathon can loosely be described as a free-spirited event where developers collaboratively build a program, application or feature over a condensed period of time. It’s almost like a pickup game for developers. For our LeagueApps hackathon we incorporated the entire team so even our sales, marketing and account management teams “hacked” up and contributed to the project.
After discussing social media and digital engagement around sports participation in earlier meetings during the week the team was eager to build something “social”. We’re already working on Facebook projects but haven’t yet really had the chance to dive into Twitter. So we decided our hackathon would focus on leveraging the Twitter platform for sports leagues.
Early in the afternoon we hijacked all of the  Media conference rooms and split the project into different tasks that incorporated research, product management, development, design, marketing, account management and corporate relations. Each member of the team discussed their preliminary objectives and we agreed to meet one hour later with each of our plans and tasks.
When we reconvened, our product team had decided the scope for the project and developed a half-day project “sprint”. They were going to build a twitter button to easily allow players to tweet out information from a LeageuApps program page. We would also integrate bit.ly link structure to make it easier to track. We shared some quick research that more than half of our LeagueApps partners were actively using twitter and many had already incorporated twitter into their league website. After some rapid fire questions, answers and information-sharing everyone understood what needed to get done by the end of the day.
While we were all eager and excited for the end result, we soon realized the real value of the project was to work together in real time and better understand and appreciate each other’s roles. It felt like a classic championship team first coming together and gelling!
By the end of day we had made our first foray into Twitter and launched the new feature. You can learn more about it in the blog post that our account management team published. Our product and partnership teams also created a support article for more detailed information on how the feature works. We talked through our product roadmap for twitter and hashed out best practices for how local sports leagues can leverage twitter. We also created a marketing survey for our league partners to learn more about how they use twitter and where they see value in it. In less than a day, we had not only developed the first twitter feature for LeagueApps but we also had a very clear path for what we want to accomplish moving forward.
After such a great day of teamwork and accomplishment we felt like big leaguers. So naturally we capped it off by acting like pros and autographing a bucket of baseballs. The limited edition balls will be awarded to some of our corporate partners as a holiday gift and thanks for their support (got to keep the front office happy!).
Happy Holidays From Team Sportsvite!