FC Business Recognise Kairos as the Club Solution
A recent piece on Kairos in the FC Business Magazine 👊
Philadelphia Union join Kairos for Internal Communications
Kairos welcome 2023 with new MLS signing 👊
The MLS Eastern Conference Champions, Philadelphia Union, have chosen Kairos to digitally transform the club’s internal communications ahead of the 2023 season.
The Union had a historic season in 2022, topping the Eastern Conference points table and successfully navigating the play-offs to become the Eastern Conference Champions. A title that earned the squad a monstrous clash in the MLS Cup with Western Conference Champions, LAFC.
With the 2023 season in mind, the club has joined the majority of English Premier League clubs, alongside MLS teams that have made the decision to use Kairos to centralize all aspects of team communication allowing the whole club to collaborate on one central system. This decision will see Philadelphia Union, Union II and Union Academy all use Kairos for coming seasons. From this, the club will gain important time back usually spent on admin to focus on their athletes, the ability to adjust itineraries and schedules in real-time, and, peace of mind that vital information is in the one place for staff, players and guardians.
Ryan Sanders, Director, Academy & Union II Soccer Operations commented: “We are very excited to utilize Kairos as our internal team communication platform. Using Kairos will help keep players, staff, and families up to date with its comprehensive calendar and communication features. By using Kairos from our First Team through our Academy, it further drives our club’s mission as being “one club”.
We are excited to join a long and growing list of top clubs and teams from across the globe who have identified the same qualities in Kairos as we did.”
Conor Branson, Commercial Director at Kairos commented, ‘From the first conversation we were able to build a great relationship with the Union staff. It was clear their values and vision matched that of our own. The Union have an innovative, forward thinking and people first approach, and we are delighted that they have chosen Kairos as their operations platform moving forward.’
Kairos is utilized by over 500 teams across 12 countries and 11 sports including teams in the MLS, NBA, EPL, AFL, MLB, NHL, MLR as the world’s best communication and operation platform in elite sport. Kairos is a modern cutting edge platform, built from the advice and expertise of the world’s biggest sports organizations and continually evolving at pace thanks to the input of our customer.
Kairos in multi-language – more than just a box tick…
In 2022, we had a huge increase in the amount of teams globally switching from other providers and opting to use Kairos as their communications and operations platform. This encouraged our team to delve into the why behind the reasoning of some of the biggest brands in world sport, competing in leagues such as the English Premier League, the NBA, MLB and NHL, decided to explore and implement Kairos. We soon realized that apart from a modern and intuitive platform, language and localisation were important elements of building a culture of belonging, understanding and trust – all a huge factor in swaying those decision-makers to make the simple transition to Kairos.
Teams are made up of athletes from different nations, cultures and traditions, and understandably, staff and management wanted to provide an authentic environment for athletes and staff to communicate in. An elite sports team allows for athletes to come under one roof and represent one establishment with rich history and core values, all while allowing those individuals to work towards one goal, collectively. For us, it was important that their communications & operations platform reflected that same level of versatility that would play a key role in an optimal performance environment.
Kairos allows teams to come together on the one app, whether it be in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch or German. Allowing Kairos users to benefit from the versatility of the app; wherever they are, whatever their goal.
The 3 whys:
- Inclusion & belonging 🤝
Inclusion and belonging play a huge role in successful team environments. While we know a sense of belonging can take some time to build, at Kairos we facilitate a smooth transition for each athlete by providing a layer of inclusivity in our app. Ideally, we’re erasing those early stages of fragmentation when athletes are finding their voice in a team. Fostering an environment that grows team connectedness is important for us. It means the core messaging isn’t lost and the key points are delivered to each individual while they play their important role in the club’s ecosystem and ultimately, performance.
- Understanding 💡
Our priority at Kairos is the performance of the athlete. We want to ensure the athlete understands the information being communicated to them – in a seamless, effective and familiar manner to enable them to execute their role as part of the transformational environment.
Receiving key information at the right time is so important for athletes, whether that be training schedules, travel itineraries, physio bookings, performance data, game strategies or files and folders on the opposition. Important too for staff is being able to retrieve objective information from the athlete in a manner that is seamless for both, such as menu choices, travel routes or ticket requirements. Kairos also creates an environment for subjective information to flow, with 1-1 messaging and wellness based data that can be of significant value to performance staff – all allowing the athlete to seamlessly focus on what matters: game-day.
- Action before strategy 🤝
In November, we curated a Masterclass at the Leaders in Sport Performance Summit, ‘Where Strategy Meets Execution’. One of our speakers, Matt Crocker, Director of Football Operations at Southampton FC said that to execute on transformational change staff and management have to build trust and relationships first, through quick wins – “action before strategy”. This struck a chord with us – we know how Kairos helps staff to build rapport with athletes, but we quickly realized that one of the biggest reasons that Kairos works so well is as a result of the trust that we have built with current customers. Through strong relationships with our customers we have not only built the best in class platform but we are able to respond quickly and continually to customer needs and wants. The world of elite sport is constantly changing and we too need to continually adapt so that we and our customers retain that edge.
As said by James Hume, “The art of communication is the language of leadership”. Through working in partnership with some of the biggest brands in elite sport and showing leadership in our field of expertise, we are providing a vital and continually evolving platform that allows for the effective facilitation of a culture of belonging, understanding and trust to drive high performance and success.
Leaders in Sport x Kairos: Where Strategy Meets Execution
We took some time to reflect on the key takeaways from our Masterclass at the Leaders in Sport Performance Summit! Check it out below 🔥
Yesterday, at the Leaders in Sport event in Twickenham we hosted a masterclass session engaging with some of the brightest minds across the sports industry in leading roles within their organisation.
Moderated by Kairos CEO Andrew Trimble, the discussion which aimed to tackle the implementation of strategic goals was led by Manchester United’s Head of Women’s Football, Polly Bancroft and Southampton FC’s Director of Football Operations, Matt Crocker..
Strategy has become a buzz word within the world of elite sport, with many staff becoming sceptical and disillusioned that another ‘strategy meeting’ will again lead to nothing. Our CEO Andrew Trimble with his experience of playing professional sport and now leading a global company posed to Polly and Matt that a strategy in its most simplest form is merely a plan that allows an organisation to overcome a significant challenge or harness a marked opportunity.
Agreeing, Matt Crocker simplified his view, stating that strategy is ‘a long-term action plan’ that needs to be measurable, actionable and achievable. The length of the long-term action plan is unique based on the organisation, but must be constantly performance reviewed to ensure progress is being measured.
Reflecting from his time at The Football Association, Matt suggested that England’s national teams lacked a clear vision, travelling from tournament to tournament, hoping for the best result. During 2013, they refined their strategy under the slogan, ‘unite the game, inspire a nation’ with the long-term goal of winning the 2022 World Cup. Now that the 2022 World Cup is around the corner, the success of England’s Men’s National team has been unprecedented – achieving a World Cup Semi-Final in 2018, European Championship Final in 2021, and tournament success at junior levels. Similarly, the Women’s National Team are currently having the most successful period in history, winning the European Championships earlier this year. Resultantly, the FA’s decision to roll out the strategic plan back in 2013 saw a successful implementation of the EPPP amongst other methods which made it: measurable, actionable and achievable.
Manchester United’s newly appointed Head of Women’s Football, Polly Bancroft, stressed the importance of collaboration and communication. Polly mentioned the critical importance of ‘involving staff along the way’ which in turn, becomes vital for staff buy-in. Communicating the vision from senior management in a transparent way, throughout all stakeholders within the organisation is essential to achieving the desired outcome. ‘This includes the players, they need to feel part of the journey, so listening to them becomes essential to success’. Polly shared examples from her time at Brighton and Hove Albion. In one instance, they held a player council to listen to the player’s needs, and implemented things such as a flower meadow to become greener and more sustainable, amongst other wishes to make the players feel part of the club.
The recent women’s Euros success has certainly inspired a nation, with participation, viewership and attendee numbers at an all time high. Polly noted her hesitancy in drawing direct parallels with the men’s game, ‘it’s like comparing a 5-year start up to a 140 year establishment’, believing the strategy of the women’s game shouldn’t be to replicate the men’s game, but to evaluate and apply what’s necessary for the growth of women’s football. With the strategic vision running throughout every level of the club, Polly recognised that Manchester United can be a great voice for the women’s game. The ‘United way’ certainly has direction and an expectation that comes with the red print, but the women hope to be innovative when implementing the strategic goals over the coming years. Though early in her tenure, Polly is holding meetings with key stakeholders to evaluate the potential quick wins which can help everyone feel part of the journey.
Similarly, when returning to Southampton for his second stint, the board had presented the strategy to Matt as part of his recruitment process and Matt was tasked with creating the footballing implementation. After speaking with various stakeholders, he admitted he could feel the ‘strategy fatigue’ within the club. After presenting back his plan after 90 days, the short-term execution was simple; ‘action before strategy’, listen to people within the organisation and implement the quick wins. Including them in the club’s success and longer-term strategy could be outlined and worked towards, becoming part of the club culture. The leadership team can identify the ‘what’ and ‘why’ but it takes everybody to be onboard to achieve the ‘how’ reflected Matt.
Every club has a unique identity, and there are certain negotiables and non-negotiables that must be protected with that identity to keep the culture consistent. Reflecting on the recent managerial hire at Southampton, Matt stressed the importance of two key factors when recruiting a new candidate: playing style and leadership style. The playing style had to match that desired by the Saints, this could be identified by various data points and analysis, however the leadership style was also a key factor. Through psychological profiling they were able to analyse insights, but the interview process was a key differentiator to assess if the candidate was the right fit. The leadership style is important to the club so the strategy can be successfully implemented, and the candidate will be given specific targets that are constantly reviewed to make sure the progress is on the right track.
Both Matt and Polly agreed communication plays an important role in the implementation phase. Everybody within the club needs to be on the same page and language needs to be clear and efficient. Simplicity is key, with clear and consistent messaging throughout the organisation being instrumental for people to feel part of the bigger picture. ‘Catch people doing it well’ Matt emphasised, look for the positives and be sure to highlight them within your organisation.
At Kairos, we work with elite clubs from a communication and operations perspective to ensure everybody within the organisation, both internal and external stakeholders, are part of the journey and ultimately drive performance on the pitch
To learn more about what we can do, please click here 👉 https://kairostech.io/talk-to-sales/
Leaders in Sport: The Sport Performance Summit
15-16 November, Twickenham Stadium, London
Leaders in Sport exists to connect the most influential people in sport to the most powerful ideas. Through a series of global events, topic-led communities, and cutting edge intelligence, the environment facilitated by Leaders is one that allows the global sporting community to use an established organisation as a platform for conversations off the field.
On November 16th, the Kairos team will attend the Sports Performance Summit, hosting a masterclass: Where Strategy Meets Execution. Our team will be accompanied by Matt Crocker, Director of Football Operations at Southampton FC, and Polly Bancroft, Head of Women’s Football at Manchester United FC as they distill how those behind-the-scenes planning and strategy moments take effect through the daily operations and communications within elite sport.
The masterclass will focus on:
- How to effectively implement and foster a culture of collaboration,
- Understanding what the non-negotiables are of building a high performing environment,
- How communication and collaboration play a key role in the implementation and effective execution of new initiatives.
If you’re at the event, be sure to say hello to the team 👋
How All-Ireland Champions use Kairos 📱
Our latest case study explores the importance of using Kairos in the county setup for recent All-Ireland Champions, Kerry GAA.
GAA players are familiar with the grit, resilience and discipline required from the sport. Those who have the privilege of playing club and county know all too well what is needed to keep themselves, their teammates and management on top of things. Skills like time management, leadership and the ability to prioritise in relation to their teams longer term goals are all critical to sustaining a high performing team. Indeed, given the sheer depth of the county panel and management staff, focusing on these elements can become complicated.
Kerry GAA recognised a need to align the long-term goals of their athletes, management and staff in a way that would build them up for success. Through rolling out the Kairos platform, the All-Ireland team began improving their smaller moments, day by day, that would contribute to those longer term wins as a unit. Consolidating the everyday necessities of the team meant the security of knowing session details, location updates,appointment times, files and important messages all had their own place, at the right time for athletes.
Time is precious in the GAA, often with a short turnaround period. With club and county teams demanding discipline, commitment and resilience from athletes. Typically, they’ll not only juggle their sporting commitments but their professional and family ones too.
For Kerry, it was important to eradicate pain points for their athletes by streamlining communications, ensuring they maintain a positive relationship with the team and long-term goals.
Through rolling out Kairos across the senior panel, miscommunication has been minimised. Players have the confidence that important information is shared safely and securely, having the confidence to refer back to the Kairos app saves significant time and effort for athletes.
It simplifies the small moments in the ‘behind the scenes’ of successful teams that you don’t often realise can take up the most time.
Seán O’Shea commented, “Kairos has definitely allowed us to level up as a team. Sometimes, the thought of trying to navigate my way through a WhatsApp chat for the sake of one fixtures list or training schedule feels like a lot. Using the platform effectively means everything we need as athletes has its own home with the ability to keep track of any last minute changes.”
While Paul Geaney noted the accountability the platform brings to the county system, “There’s definitely an added layer of accountability because if you’re using the platform effectively with your teammates and coaches, you’re reaping the rewards when you arrive at training or matches and everyone’s on the same page.
The app itself is clean and minimal, meaning it’s easy to navigate, it doesn’t feel like a drag to go on and locate any kick-out documents we might need, or even find out when the next set of physio sessions are.”
Paddy Tally contributed, “As a coach, you can spend a lot of time sending out messages, asking for responses to certain sessions or events, and even just checking-in with players or certain groups, say defence, midfield and your attack. With Kairos, everything’s there for me, and, instead of scrolling trying to find documents I’ve already sent to redistribute to members, I can actually just pin the relevant files so I, and anyone else who might need to, can easily access them.
Having a platform that encourages our staff and athletes to collaborate so seamlessly is another confidence boost when the time comes to take the pitch.”
Head of Athletic Performance, Jason McGahan agreed, “What’s great about Kairos is that the platform adapts to the demands of your team. You really get the sense it’s built for an elite sport environment – it is so easily adapted to consider any last minute changes to schedules. All the elements are covered: location and facility management, real-time updates for users on their mobile or desktop and the necessary reminders for players ahead of an important match. Its agility and efficiency are what make it so compatible with our program.”
We look forward to supporting the Kerry squad throughout the next season and wish all staff and athletes the best of luck.
Diversity Mark award Kairos with Bronze accreditation
We are delighted to share that we have achieved our Bronze Award from Diversity Mark. An organization committed to empowering organizations who are navigating the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) landscape in the workplace.
This accreditation will see Kairos take the relevant steps in transforming workplace culture and attitudes for the benefit of all employees, future employees, stakeholders and clients of our platform. Through committing to building a more diverse and inclusive workspace, Kairos seeks to attract and retain a deeper pool of talent that will in turn help our team to thrive all while contributing to the local economy.
A special thanks to Nuala and Emma of the Diversity Mark team who helped guide and direct us over the course of our application process as a company totally new to this environment. They commented, “Diversity Mark are delighted that Kairos have been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. The independent assessment panel noted Kairos’s understanding of the key role diversity and inclusion can play in their business and it was refreshing to see such commitment so early on. Congratulations to the whole team on this robust achievement.”
Having achieved this accreditation, our next task is to work on the actions from our application which will see us evaluate our current internal structures in the hope of evolving Kairos as an inclusive, diverse and equal employer not only in Northern Irish but across our growing global workforce.
Kairos COO, Gareth Quinn on the achievement, “We’re delighted to receive our Bronze Diversity Mark accreditation. We wanted to commit to this journey early as a company so as to help shape and define our culture, enabling us to compete at our best globally. We work with elite sports teams across the world and our customers represent a rich diversity across staff and athletes and it is important that the Kairos team has diversity throughout the team so as to be able to continue to evolve what has become the world’s leading communication and operations platform for elite sports teams.
Through creating a safe, supportive and inclusive workplace environment for our current employees, we can pursue a Diversity & Inclusion strategy that aligns with our local and global goals, helping to consolidate our position as a distinctive and meaningful place to work.”
Newcastle United to use Kairos
The upcoming 2022-23 season brings a new opportunity for Kairos to evolve all aspects of Newcastle United’s elite communications & management system as they prepare for another season competing in the top flight of English football.
Kairos will be welcomed as the official supplier of the club’s organizational & management needs, covering all aspects of staff & player administration as well as the smooth sharing and communication of schedules, events, facilities and any other relevant information necessary to the successful day-to-day running of the club.
Dan Hodges, Head of Performance:
“The Kairos platform will allow all staff and players at Newcastle United to stay connected and communicate effectively in an easy manner, which will help with planning on a number of areas such as travel and training schedules, general updates and events.
Kairos have a proven track record of working with a number of clubs and the mobile app is a welcomed addition to streamlining our communications at all levels from academy personnel, throughout to first team players.”
What can Newcastle’s Premier League staff & players gain from Kairos in these circumstances?
Through consistent use of Kairos’ new dashboard feature to share all key information with first team players and academy parents alike, stakeholders will have access to the right information, at the right place and time. With real time updates from your mobile – teams will have more time for other elements critical to their overall performance.
Indeed, cultural excellence is a frequently used term in the elite sporting environment but through the clarity, accountability and excellence achieved from daily use of the Kairos platform, we know the team culture will grow resultantly. We believe there’s a few components that will allow teams to stay present this upcoming season. Staff can request deadlines for certain events, documents or surveys, meaning the everyday, granular activities are guaranteed to be complete.
Hear from Conor Branson, Sales Director at Kairos on the announcement, “’We’re delighted to be working with Newcastle United. It’s a really exciting time for the club and we’re looking forward to playing a part in that journey with both the first team and the academy.”
We wish Newcastle United the best of luck in the upcoming season, and cannot wait to see how the side benefits from using the Kairos platform!
3 elements that make Kairos more effective than WhatsApp for elite sports
The rapid evolution of sports technology over the last decade has seen a new era of accessibility for teams at amateur levels right through to international champions. This revolution has ushered in GPS tracking, dietary monitoring, every kind of data gathering you can imagine. In fact, the abundance of data available can often be overwhelming.
Communicating effectively is crucial in elite performance environments. One app that has occupied the forefront of instant messaging for 13 years now is Whatsapp. However, it just wasn’t built for the demands and nuances experienced daily in elite sport.
More and more teams are moving away from tools that are unfit for purpose, to tools that are designed to enhance communication in those key moments leading to game-day.
Check out why we think Kairos delivers that much needed extra edge below!
- Professional 💻
Built from the experience of professional athletes, our platform is designed and built for elite sport. It’s not a platform that has useful features for sport, it’s a platform where every element was designed to support an efficient high performance environment. Every team that uses the platform can adapt it, making it completely unique to them and their goals.
The platform exists as the day-to-day single interface between staff and players. Every message that’s sent means it gets where it’s meant to go, and only there. Staff can also manage quantitative and qualitative surveys, store and share critical files like videos and PDFs, set private appointments with players and manage personal information that’s accessible at the touch of a button.
The result? Everything staff and players need is in one place. A professional application means your club messages and data won’t be sitting alongside group or personal chats.
Your club platform, built for you.
- Privacy 🔒
We recognise that when using tools like WhatsApp, the ability to forward sensitive messages, videos or attachments to other contacts is all too easy. The lack of audit trail means that information is easily lost which can create fragmentation across teams, particularly when young people are involved.
A lack of control and oversight over who sees what, and who sends what to whom means that information is easily lost.
Kairos brings assurance.
We use encrypted cloud technology so all your information is secure and protected. Kairos is ISO 27001 certified, meaning that every possible action has been taken to make sure that the highest standards are met.
If necessary, you can track messages and have a clear audit trail of communication. You can even control who views, accesses or changes your documents helping your players and staff have one source of truth meaning those with academies or youth teams have greater ownership.
- Productivity 📈
Kairos grants the team selected admin full control over what matters. As a result, your operations are run by you, for you.
No more scrolling through various different groups to find critical information – everyone now has access to the information they need – and nothing else.
All departments can now collaborate on schedules, allowing the player to see their own personalised version…whether that’s from training to appearances, to booking treatment slots with the physio. Everything is in one place for the player. The Kairos platform allows you to change any plans made previously and can alert all relevant stakeholders instantly in the process – whether it’s ahead of time or real-time.
We understand that elite sport is characterized by decisive moments, high demand, and the need to be agile. Kairos is designed to help staff and athletes prepare for these moments by creating a unified communication and operations platform to enhance the preparation stages for players and staff – meaning a clearer, more confident and assured team – ready to perform.
To find out how other teams like English Premier League team, Brentford FC, have moved away from WhatsApp in favour of the Kairos platform, read more here 👉 https://bit.ly/3PNI217
One club, one platform…
Welcome to the world’s best communications and operations platform for elite sports teams. If you would like to enhance your team or club’s performance, communications & day-to-day operations with Kairos, feel free to get in touch.