Survey Finds Youth Sports Parents Overwhelmingly Support Strict Controls on Sharing of Data

2014-07-24T13:12:03+00:00 July 24th, 2014|Sports Management, SportsSignup Updates|

SportsSignup is proud to announce the results of a survey we sent to over 300,000 parents, coaches and sports administrators regarding the use of personal information used during registration.

More than 96 percent of youth sports parents and coaches responding to the survey said protecting the privacy of personal information submitted during registration was at least as important as keeping costs low, and 99 percent said it was never OK to share personal information for commercial purposes without express permission, according to the survey results.

We conducted this voluntary online survey of pur North American newsletter subscribers, which garnered over 850 responses. The results confirmed that customer and member views are aligned with our privacy policy, which states, “All member data collected during registration is confidential and should never be provided to an outside entity, even if in exchange for money or services, and never without the explicit consent of each member.”

“The results of this survey show overwhelmingly that people signing up for sports programs and events have a clear expectation that their information will be protected by the organization entrusted with it,” said Jodi Murphy, our Director of Marketing and author of the survey. “It’s important that youth sports leagues and event organizers understand what their members and customers expect when it comes to protecting personal, private information.”

Some other sports software services and youth sports organizations have decided, on behalf of their members, to allow full access to member information without their explicit consent — including names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and birthdates — to sponsors and third parties in exchange for discounted services or other benefits. “Our customers made it very clear how strongly they disapprove of such tactics, even if it were to mean reduced registration costs,” Ms. Murphy said. “Our survey results show that sports families value their information and their privacy, and are not willing to compromise that for the purpose of saving money for themselves or for their organization.”

Jeff Martin, a youth sports administrator with GCAA in Clayton, North Carolina, has turned down offers for “free” services because of privacy concerns. “I was approached by a company offering all of their registration and website services for free, and I asked them – how can it be free? Their answer was ‘we want your membership data’. And my answer was simple: ‘No way.’ When our families complete their registration forms, we are entrusted with their private information, and we have a responsibility to protect it,” said Mr. Martin.

The strongest consensus was in response to the question, “Under what circumstances can information collected about you or your family during registration be used for commercial purposes unrelated to registration (for example, market research, email/phone/direct mail campaigns, loyalty programs, for other products/services etc.),” with 99 percent saying it is never okay, or it is okay with my explicit permission, and just one percent saying it is okay to use without explicit permission.

In a question about email communications, 92.5 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their email address “should only be used for communicating about the sports program they registered for, and for no other purpose.”

Respondents were offered an opportunity to submit additional comments. Among the responses were, “I paid to participate. I should not be subject to spam mail or unwanted solicitation phone calls for things I do not want,” and “Privacy is the most important aspect of this question. I will not do business with organizations that share this information.”