Are you looking for a better way to engage students with recreation programs on campus? What about a way to better organize all recreational programming and information? David Oestreicher is here to help. The president of REC*IT, an app that mobilizes the intramural and recreational sports community, shares insights on how the company’s technology can both assist recreational departments and students.
CS: What was the inspiration behind REC*IT?
DO: I started my business career in the intramural and rec sports world about eight years ago when I started working with American Collegiate Intramural Sports and Fitness (ACISF). The intramurals, fitness and rec sports space is a massive community. It is the most popular organized social activity on campus — 60 percent or more of students on each campus are visiting the rec center at least once a week for some type of programming. I noticed it was way behind from the technology and innovation standpoint. As you can imagine, college students are pretty mobile and they need their information on the go, at their fingertips. We felt there was a great opportunity to deliver that. It was very ripe for the right partner to provide the resources and know how to mobilize and give these rec departments and students a big opportunity to better engage with the programming through new-age technology.
CS: How does REC*IT benefit recreation departments?
DO: IM Leagues is our official partner in the space. Together we provide the universities, recreation directors and administrators who run these programs a great tool and enterprise software that helps them better manage their programs, save time and aggregate all information in one place. IM Leagues serves as the back engine behind REC*IT, which gives recreation departments a communication tool. When an administrator enters intramural schedules, fitness classes or game results into IM Leagues, it populates REC*IT in real time. Recreation departments can now have the confidence that they can get their message out to the participants as close to real-time as possible. Whether it is a forfeit, cancelation or rescheduling of a game, the information gets to the right audience, so that is the big need that we are fulfilling on the university side.
CS: What about the benefit to students?
DO: REC*IT gives students the opportunity to learn more about what is happening on campus without having to visit the center. Everything is conveniently in one place. It is updated in real-time, whether it is information on intramural sports or fitness programming. It also gives them a communication channel to better engage with teammates, coaches and recreation administrators. All of that happens seamlessly through REC*IT.
CS: How can administrators and students get REC*IT
DO: The IM Leagues software is free to administrators and the app is free to everyone. It is available in the iTunes store for Apple devices and on Google Play for Android devices, so we have got most of the handheld market covered.
CS: What are your plans for the future of REC*IT?
DO: In the fall, we are launching a new and improved version, REC*IT 2.0. We are working hard behind the scenes to build it based on the feedback we received from our campus constituents and we are pretty excited to provide that next level of functionality, including things like registering for fitness classes and intramural sports to joining teams. It is really going to be an enhanced communication channel for everyone involved. We officially launched REC*IT in fall 2014. We have learned a ton about how we can get better. REC*IT 2.0 is going to have some pretty cool core features that will be added to the mix and it is going to be a big hit on over 900 campuses for the 2015-2016 academic calendar. We are pretty excited about the investment we have made in the community. It is one that needs our help. It is our goal to become entrenched in the university eco-system and we are doing just that, by providing these free tools and mobilizing a community that is extremely passionate and is behind the game when it comes to technology. I feel like we are just scratching the surface.