Yale Daily News

Yale Sports and Recreation has adopted a new software platform this year to manage facility reservations: Bond Sports.

Launched in March of this year, Bond Sports helps groups manage sports facilities. The company, co-founded by former Yale men’s basketball captain Matt Minoff ’04 and Marc Rothschild, consolidates facility revenue streams and administrative workings into one platform. Its main client-partner groups are schools, colleges and universities, departments of recreation and large multi-sport complexes.

Minoff, who remains CEO, and Rothschild, who is now president, discussed the company in Zoom calls with the News. The pair lead Bond Sports along with Chief Product Officer Shahar Chaskelevitch.

“The genesis of the company frankly goes back about eight years ago,” Minoff said. “I played basketball at Yale, and played professionally in Israel for a few years, and I came back and was living in New York City for basically the last 15 years. Throughout that time, I organized a lot of different sporting activities, whether it was games or tournaments or practices, and every time I did it, I was incredibly frustrated by how difficult it was to find and reserve places to play.”

Rothschild shared Minoff’s sentiments about the complicated process of making sports reservations and said Minoff would constantly relay his difficulty finding a place to play basketball. As the father of twin girls, Rothschild struggled to register them for soccer programming. He and his wife also struggled to find places to play tennis.

While it is now easy to schedule restaurant reservations or doctor’s appointments online, Minoff said that sports reservations have fallen behind. Many businesses or institutions that operate sports facilities primarily communicate via email, text message and spreadsheets, which makes it challenging to publicly display facilities’ availability.

“There’re so many people sitting on a lot of spaces, and we’ve realized that part of what makes it so hard is that they’re operating no software or operating software that doesn’t help them as much as it could,” Rothschild said. “If we can help them, it’ll both have the dual purpose of generating more revenue and also providing greater access to their facilities to the surrounding community, therefore enabling more people to participate.”

Minoff, above in a home game against Penn, led Yale in rebounds (168), blocks (28), and steals (42) as a junior during the 2002-03 season. Courtesy of Yale Athletics

Minoff said Bond Sports manages four revenue streams in facilities. The first is customer membership. The second is activity management — leagues, tournaments, events, classes, instructions and camps. The third is facility rentals, which allow third parties to host tournaments, events and activities. Finally, the fourth is commerce, with facilities selling everything from water and Gatorade to equipment and apparel.

Users can also use the software to run the administrative side of the businesses. Bond Sports includes modules for calendar and scheduling management, employee communication, customer relationship management and digital payments.

Despite COVID-19 significantly decreasing demand for facility rentals, Minoff and Rothschild remain confident in their platform.

Minoff believes that the pandemic has made many rethink their business practices. He said that there has been a push to move everything to digital platforms from both an administrative and customer standpoint. Because sports facilities need to control their capacity, online reservations are necessary.

“Bond Sports assists us in ensuring that we give our staff and users the best and safest experience possible for recreation at our tennis and hockey facilities when applicable through our phased athletics return,” Yale’s Director of Third Party Rentals and Events Greg Zullo wrote in an email to the News. “Their system helps us to manage online sign-ups and supervise the total number of people in each venue while also providing a contactless point of sale when completing registration.”

Minoff believes that post-COVID, the demand for sports is going to be higher than ever. Especially as everyone moves to work remotely and work from home, he said sports will be a major outlet for how people convene and where they find their community.

“There’s over 200,000 sports facilities just in the United States alone,” he said. “Obviously, our vision is to be the software that powers all of them — ultimately, to power all recreational sport. [Our goal is] to make it easy for people to find places to play, find activities and leagues, and things to join and find people to play with. That’s our long-term vision. You have to start with step one, and step one is we’re building great software for people who own and operate sports facilities.”

Yale Sports and Recreation began using Bond Sports in September.

Zach Morris | zach.morris@yale.edu

Correction, November 5: A previous version of this article misspelled Shahar Chaskelevitch’s name. The article has been updated to reflect this change.