How a small-town department of recreation uses the MOJO app to supercharge growth
| 3 min read
City of Star Recreation
Idaho is home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the entire United States — in particular, just west of the capital, Boise. Since 2000, the town of Star has grown more than 569 percent — so much so that KTVB, the local NBC station, called Star “ground zero for growth in Idaho’s fast-growing Treasure Valley.”
Located 30 minutes outside of Boise, Star is currently poised to build 4,000 new homes, says Ron Weston, the sports coordinator for City of Star Recreation. As the once-rural town explodes in population, the demands on the local recreation department must keep up.
And one way Weston has stayed ahead of the curve has been the MOJO app.
“When I started, there was no rec department,” says Weston, who arrived in Star from Southern California 20 years ago. “We started from zero, and now we’re at 1500 players.”
Growth doesn’t come easy, though.
With the rapidly-changing community comes new faces, new families — and new expectations.
“We’re getting people moving from other states (like California and Oregon), and we can’t be behind the eight ball,” says Weston. “It’s forcing us to be a little more tech-savvy.”
Another huge challenge for Weston has been recruiting and retaining the volunteers who are the lifeblood of any recreational youth sports program.
“We don’t have many jobs out here, so people work in Boise,” explains Weston. “The drawback is that I have to start practices at 5:30. If not, they can’t make it from Boise to here in time to do it.”
The MOJO app fills the gap when a coach shows up with minutes to go until practice, by giving them a robust, dynamic practice that fits the age and stage of their players, all at the tap of a screen. Not only that, 96% of coaches who have used the app say that MOJO makes the season more fun.
“This is a program used by all my coaches for the past couple years, and all my coaches love it — even the grouchy older coaches,” he says.
Experienced coaches will always do their own thing, says Weston. “But when they look at the app they do find some drills they forgot or they find a new drill to add to their portfolios.”
New coaches, however, stand to benefit the most.
“You have to tell parents, at a specific point, If you don’t coach, we don’t have a team,” explains Weston. “I get a lot of parents who don’t know what they’re doing. And I say, Here’s the app, all you have to do is follow the drills.”
For Weston, the MOJO app is about more than just solving weeknight practices for soccer, basketball, flag football or baseball. It’s about keeping coaches — and kids — coming back season after season. Eight out of 10 parents are more willing to coach after using MOJO, and 85% of organizations that use MOJO say players are more likely to keep playing a sport after a season using the app.
Those numbers add up to real growth.
“Two years ago, when I got MOJO, we were staying flat. Now, not only are people coming in, they’re not leaving. The coaches that I have who are using it stick around.” Says Weston, “I couldn’t grow without MOJO.”