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Sprocket Sports Publishes Benchmark Report on Player Retention in Youth Soccer Clubs

Sprocket Sports, a leading technology platform for youth sports clubs, today published a report titled “Player Retention in Youth Soccer Clubs: Why It Matters and How to Improve It.” The report is the first data-based study of its kind to present national benchmarks for player retention in youth soccer clubs in the US.

The benchmarks have been presented by Sprocket Sports to be used as a common metric by which clubs across the country can measure relative progress and success.

To calculate the benchmarks, Sprocket Sports aggregated retention data from clubs across the country. The findings are particularly significant because the data is not self-reported from soccer clubs. Instead, Sprocket Sports aggregated proprietary data from its player registration database of large and medium-sized “travel” soccer clubs across the US with a median size of approximately 500 players. Rec clubs and elite teams such as MLS Next are excluded from this 2023 data set.

“At Sprocket, our mission is to help youth sports clubs thrive in a very competitive marketplace,” says Rich Gallun, CEO of Sprocket Sports. “Given the critical importance of player retention as a club metric, we are excited to present this first-ever benchmarking report. Not only does it help clubs to better understand the importance of accurately measuring and tracking retention, but it also provides useful tips and best practices to improve retention. While our first report is for soccer clubs, Sprocket Sports looks forward to future studies on other sports including ice hockey, lacrosse and volleyball.”

Key Findings:

Current Benchmarks

As of November 2023, for the younger ages U8-U13, the overall national benchmark came in at 74% for the Girls and 78% for the Boys. These benchmarks were relatively consistent throughout these age groups, ranging from 70% to 83%. For the older ages U14-U17, the overall benchmarks were lower, at 66% for the Girls and 62% for the Boys.

Why Retention Matters

While there are other metrics to measure club “success” – such as number of championships or college players – player retention was identified as one of the most critical success factors by leading clubs and industry experts in interviews conducted by Sprocket Sports.

How to Improve Retention

Interviews with clubs across the country conducted by Sprocket Sports as well as parent survey data from Satori, a non-profit soccer analytics consultancy, point to two key factors that result in higher rates of retention and, ultimately, improved performance as a club: player enjoyment and player development. The Sprocket Sports report includes best practices for clubs and coaches to drive enjoyment and development.

For a copy of the complete report, please download here or email efrutkin@sprocketsports.com.

About Sprocket Sports

Sprocket Sports is a modern, all-in-one management and marketing platform designed specifically for youth sports clubs. Its comprehensive technology helps clubs reduce operating expenses, increase revenues, build their brand and engage with families. In addition to player registration and payments, Sprocket Sports offers websites, marketing and communication modules, administrative tools, dashboards, mobile apps, and more. Learn more at sprocketsports.com.

Susan Blinkhorn