A digital presence is more important than ever for sports organisations. Social media-channels and a good website are fundamentals for engaging and informing fans. A small company from Rovaniemi in Lapland helps over 1500 sports clubs and federations with their online communication. SportaPost has developed an application that allows sports clubs to create high-quality communication material with little effort.
Mikael Kojo, CEO and founder of SportaPost, got the idea for the application from his own hockey hobby by editing the communication material about the match results for the clubs with image processing programs. The SportaPost app, developed from the idea, provides ready-made templates for sports teams to produce quality content on social media. “We are a bit different than most companies in Lapland, because we’re not involved in the tourism sector. There aren’t many businesses in the field of technology or media in Lapland. But Rovaniemi Is a great place for us to work from”, says Kojo.
He started SportaPost in 2017, soon found a partner in software developer Jari-Pekka Hakola, and now the company has over 1500 sports clubs and federations as users. Kojo, who was supposed to be one of the speakers during an Inno4Sports seminar in Lapland in April, explains in what SportaPost is effected by COVID-19. “Since there was no sport for a long time, we had to shift our focus to esports. That was actually our game plan for a long time already. Even though times are hard because of COVID-19, we still have a lot of users. Most of our customers come through word of mouth. We haven’t done any paid marketing so far. One of our goals is to further expand to other countries. We already work together with universities in the US and Canada. At the moment 50 percent of our clients is based in Finland, 30 percent in Sweden and the rest is scattered all over the world.”
Support from investors
Kojo now lives and works in Rovaniemi, but he also lived in other parts of Finland and even in Australia. Even though Kojo wants to expand internationally, he will stay in Lapland himself. “Rovaniemi is a really good place to live and for kids to grow up. There are really good sports facilities and so many outdoor sports you can do. For SportaPost it might have been a bit easier to start the business in Helsinki, or another big city. But I’m happy in Rovaniemi, and we do have some Lappish clients. Business Rovaniemi has also been a great help for us when we started the business, because it was able to direct us to the right places. We also received support from Business Finland for the development of the company. Our first investors we found through the Finnish Business Angels Network. They don’t only support us by investing capital, but also by their expertise, which is crucial for us. And lastly, attending events is very important for us. Events such as SLUSH, which is the world's leading startup and tech event, get us in touch with investors, but also with sports clubs and federations.”
Default solution for social media
Over the past three years SportaPost has grown very quickly. Kojo learned a lot about running a business. His dream for the future is clear. “The main goal for us is to have a stable, profitable business in Lapland and hopefully hire one or two people in the future. I would like SportaPost to be the default solution for sports clubs and federations when they think of their social media presence. Just as you think of Photoshop for photo editing, I would like people to think of SportaPost for high quality communication on social media.”