Archive for

Calling all Sports Entrepreneurs – The World Seeks Your Knowledge!

All too often the word “Entrepreneur” is thrown around quite loosely and can be associated with anyone who starts their own business. I have often being called an entrepreneur due to the fact that I have created and built several online web sites, written and published my own eBooks and built a successful online business.

However, like many sports fans, athletes and coaches, I just wanted to share my knowledge and expertise with fellow tennis coaches around the world. An Entrepreneur I am not, more like a keen sports fan who had something to share and found a way via the power of the internet to successfully do this.

Could you become a sports entrepreneur? Well, if you have a passion for sports, some experience in your chosen sport and feel that you have something to share with other sports fans then there may just be a market out there waiting for your help. You could share your coaching tips and advice, proven training methods, new ways to practice a certain skill, new drills for your sport, a new fitness program, “How to” tips and so much more.

You will find “experts” on the web proclaiming that they have the secret to running faster, jumping higher, being mentally stronger, getting stronger and bigger and so on.

So what are the ways that you can share your knowledge with the world and make some money as well? Below are some ideas that cost very little money to do and some are even Free!

(1) Write your own eBook:

An eBook is simply a PDF or electronic book that you can write in a word document, convert for free to a PDF eBook, then sell it online and get to keep all of the profits without sharing them with a greedy publisher! You could write an eBook about how to lose weight, how to improve your speed, how to improve your mental toughness, how to coach soccer, an ebook with hundreds of drills for your sport, an ebook comprised of interviews with famous athletes or coaches and so on! I have already found ebooks with these exact topics covered so you will need to find your own niche. Clickbank is the most popular site to sell and promote eBooks.

(2) Build a member based website.

There is no better way to build a loyal customer base and share your knowledge than via a subscription based web site. A member based web site is basically comprised of articles, ebooks, videos, interviews and related resources that focus on a specific topic. Global Sports Coaching is an example of a tennis member based web site.

(3) Create your very own DVD or CD.

With today’s technology it is very simple to create your own video. All you need is a video camera (your own or borrow one) and then convert or save that footage to a DVD. I have seen DVD’s and CD’s on how to run faster, on teaching tennis, baseball coaching, stretching exercises, how to throw free throws in basketball, football plays and so on. YouTube is a prime example of how popular videos are.

(4) Write your own blog!

There are many free blogging software programs out there such as WordPress or Blogger that allow you to create your own blog. You can then write articles, share your knowledge, promote your other products etc. How do you make money from a blog? Well, the most common ways are by placing Google AdSense or affiliate programs in your blog. These are free to do. There are bloggers out there who have made a small fortune from their blogs.

(5) Sign up for Affiliate programs and make money by promoting someone else’s products.

You don’t have to make any cold calls or sell their products directly. You just simply have to place an affiliate link on your site, send them to the affiliate’s web site and if the viewer buys a product you will receive a commission for it. There are affiliate programs such as Commission Junction, Linkshare, ShareaSale and Commission Monster that can provide you with links to many of the best affiliate programs. Once again these programs are free to sign-up for.

(6) Create your own product

. Have you created your own product, sports coaching aid, some new fitness equipment, piece of sports equipment, or training aid that can improve an athlete’s game? Then all you need to do is test your product, price it, promote it and sell it via your web site, on eBay or via an affiliate program.

(7) Become a Guest Speaker.

Many clubs, businesses and sporting corporations seek experts in their field to go and speak to their employees. It could be to motivate them, share your knowledge with them, advise or be a coach to them, or just to share some funny stories with them that you may have accumulated throughout your sporting career.

(8) Write your own newsletter full of free tips and advice, articles and resources for a specific topic.

You can also write product reviews that contain an affiliate link from which you can make money from. If your newsletter grows then you may attract businesses who will want to advertise in your newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to build your own list of customers from which you can then sell or promote your own products.

There are many more great ways to use your sporting knowledge and experience to make a living from. Choose something that you believe in and make sure that what you are selling is worth the price you are asking for it. Your reputation is very important, especially on the internet. Just remember that many ideas involve the internet as this is a way to reach a global market. Anyone with a computer in any country is a potential customer!

As the often used saying goes “You too can Profit from Your Passion.”

3 Ways to Increase Youth Sports Registration

An online sports registration system can make a league coordinator’s job much easier when it comes to handling, processing and organization their registration process, but it doesn’t do them much good if parents and athletes aren’t using it to sign up! While most sports parents will gladly accept a new way to make the registration process easier, old habits die hard. If you’ve recently implemented an online sports registration system but are having a hard time getting people to use it, here are 3 tips to help make it more popular and spread the word!

1. Offer discounts for early online registration
One way to help increase online registration for your youth sports organization is to allow players to register early provided they register online. In addition to being able to register from the comfort of their own home and do it when their schedule permits (no more lost paperwork or last minute scrambling!), you could also incentive the early registration process further by offering an online discount for your early bird athletes. Most online sports registration systems let league coordinators set up various discounts for registrants, including early registration, multi-athlete registration and more. What busy sports parent is going to turn down the chance to ditch the paperwork and save a little money?

2. Let callers know with an updated menu message
Parents are going to call your sports organization with questions about this and that form, how much one league costs versus another, how they can get their kid on a certain team and so forth. Take advantage of that communication and update your call menu to remind parents that they can now register their kids online through a convenient online registration system. This will also help minimize the amount of time your staff needs to spend on the phone handling registration issues/questions. Research indicates that most people need to hear a message 3 times before it really sinks in, so in addition to updating your call menu don’t forget to update flyers, pamphlets, brochures and other materials! If you’ve had your sports registration system in place for even one season, you should have a list of email addresses that you can blast as well and ask your sports parents to forward the message along to their friends.

3. Leverage your organization’s website
If you start training parents, players and coaches to use your organization’s website on a more regular basis, it’s easy to link them over to your registration page. Post game schedules, league rankings, contact information, photos and other important information on your website and let everyone know where to find it. The more comfortable people are with navigating and using your site the more comfortable they will be with your online registration system. Make sure you create noticeable links or buttons on your site for parents and athlete’s to find and follow. This will also help minimize the amount of time your staff has to track down various practice schedules, tournament dates and so forth for parents. They can all be directed to the league website!

Sports Arbitrage Trading – A Practical Minicourse – Part Two

What is sports arbitrage?

Arbitrage is defined by the Compact Oxford English Dictionary as “the simultaneous buying and selling of assets in different markets or in derivative forms, taking advantage of the differing prices.”

Sports-Arbitrage opportunities appear everyday between the large number of worldwide sports bookmakers in existence and this enables traders to place risk-free bets. The trader sets up his bets in such a way that all outcomes are covered and no matter which bet eventually pays out, the receipts are always greater than the total investment.

A pre-season NFL match between Atlanta & Jacksonville gave us the following market-anomaly between William Hill & Gamebookers:

ATLANTA – GAMEBOOKERS: 1.85

JACKSONVILLE – WILLIAM HILL: 2.50

This arbitrage yields a profit of about 6%:

To win £1000 if Atlanta wins, one has to bet £540.50 at Gamebookers (£1000 / 1.85 = £540.50) or, alternatively, (£540.50 x 1.85 = £1000)

To win £1000 if Jacksonville wins, one has to bet £400.00 at William Hill (£1000 / 2.50 = £400.00) or, alternatively, (£400.00 x 2.50 = £1000)

In total, in order to be guaranteed a win of £1000 irrespective of which teams wins, one has to spend £540.50 + £400 = £940.50

Spending £940.50 to Win £1000 means that the risk-free profit on this trade is £59.50

Trading opportunities in sports-arbitrage markets are almost endless and always renewing themselves, event after event.

Understanding Odds

The ‘odds’ are prices set by bookmakers tell you how much you will win if you place a winning bet. They come in 3 formats which all look very different but, in fact, convey exactly the same information i.e how much you will win if you place a winning bet at that price.

The 3 formats are known as :

  • UK Style: these look like fractions eg 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, ½,…”, ¼
  • EU Style: these look like decimals eg 2.00, 3.00, 4.00, 1.50, 1.33, 1.25
  • US Style: these look like integers: eg +100, +200, +300, -200, -300, -400

The Sports Arbitrage Formula

Arbitrage trades are expressed as a percentage.

This percentage is calculated by dividing 1 by each set of odds and then adding them together.

1 / 1.85 = 54.05%

1 / 2.50 = 40.00%

54.05% + 40.00% = 94.05%

This percentage, 94.05%, is the ratio of your Investment to Winnings.

Once you have converted the price of each bet into a percentage, you then take your intended Win amount and multiply it by each percentage to find out how much you should bet on each outcome:

£1000 x 54.05% = £540.50 This is the amount you will bet on Atlanta at 1.85 with Gamebookers

£1000 x 40.00% = £400.00 This is the amount you will bet on Jacksonville at 2.50 with William Hill

In other words, if your winnings are £1000, as used in the example above, the two bets add up to £940.50 i.e 94.05% of the winnings. This effectively means that 5.95% of the winnings is profit. You may hear the arb described as a 94.05% arb or a 5.95% arb. These mean the same thing.

The same technique is used no matter how many outcomes there are in a trade. For example, in soccer there will usually be 3 bets to place: Home Win, Away Win and Draw. In these cases, the percentages for the 3 bets are calculated as above and the results will tell you how much to stake on each bet.

Remember, though, during your normal trading activities you will not need to make these calculations manually – your software will do it all automatically for you.

If you’re excited by what you have learned so far about sports-arbitrage, that’s an excellent start. However, if you want to be assured of success in your project, you must make certain preparations before diving in:

  • COMPUTER

Minimum Spec: 1Ghz Processor, 1GB RAM 80GB Hardrive, Windows XP

You can also use just about any modern Mac, although you will probably want to run helper software that allows you to use Windows programs on your Mac.

  • INTERNET CONNECTION

Broadband internet is essential – the faster the better. A back-up dial-up account will also be useful both for emergencies and those occasions where you may require a different IP Address

  • SOFTWARE
  1. ArbSurfer Pro (specialised internet browser)
  2. ArbAlarm (arbitrage trade notification)
  3. Microsoft Money or Intuit Quicken (accounting)
  4. An email program (eg Windows Mail)
  5. Skype (instant message & internet phone)
  • ONLINE WALLETS

These are accounts into which you can place deposits and which will act as a “central holding account” for a number of bookmakers. The largest and most widely-used online wallets are currently Neteller and Moneybookers. You should set up accounts with each of them.

  • CAPITAL

The amount of trading capital you require will depend largely upon your goals:

Just starting out: Trading capital £2500 – £5,000

Since all of your bets should be low value at this stage, £5000 is enough to allow you to place funds with 30-40 bookmakers and get the ball rolling. Your profits will be very low but your goal here should be gaining experience. You are bound to make some mistakes so it’s better to lose small stakes which can easily be made up later on. You should be using your ArbAlarm trial at this stage – being able to see when and where live arbs appear is a great shortcut to gaining the significant knowledge.

Expected Monthly Profit: £300 – £400

Part-time trading: Trading capital £10,000 – £15,000

If you have other commitments and plan to trade for a couple of hours during the evenings and perhaps over the weekends, once you are confident in your processes, you are going to need to increase your capital in order to ensure that the time you spend generates a worthwhile extra income. Your stakes will be larger now and it’s going to be important to make sure that the periods during which you are trading are used as effectively as possible and a big part of this will be having funds on account so that you are able to execute your trades with minimum delay.

ArbAlarm will deliver live arbitrage information to your desktop when you need it and this will greatly enhance your trading productivity.

Expected Monthly Profit: £1,000 – £1,500

Full-time trading: Trading capital £25,000 – £30,000

Full-time’ doesn’t actually mean trading 8 hours a day. It really refers to the level of commitment and goals associated with your trading. At this level, you are almost certainly working from home and willing and able to trade 3 to 4 hours each day, and more during certain busy periods of the year. You should be using ArbAlarm consistently and making it pay handsomely each month.

Expected Monthly Profit: £2,500 – £3,500

Professional trading: Trading capital £35,000 – £150,000

At this level, sports-arbitrage and other techniques such as Middles trading are your main occupations. 6-8 hours of trading each day – research and execution – will not be uncommon.

Expected Monthly Profit: £5,000 – £15,000

  • BANKING

Although you can trade from many different places in the world it is easier and cost-effective if you are able to set up bank and credit card accounts in the UK. This is because all UK bookmakers and some non-UK bookmakers allow free deposits and withdrawal from UK debit cards (and some UK credit cards).

If you are not based in the UK, you might want to consider opening a UK bank account the next time you are here and then do all of your trading in British Pounds. If this is not possible, don’t worry too much – all it means is that you will face slightly higher transaction costs at the start of your business. As long as you trade frequently your profits will overshadow your costs considerably.

In any case, you should set up separate accounts (bank and credit card) for your trading form your personal day-to-day accounts. Mixing arbitrage transactions with shopping bills and mortgage payments will lead to complications and possible accounting errors once your trading takes off.

You will need a bank account which will give you easy online access. You want to be able to check your balances and make transfers conveniently and doing all of this online is the most convenient. Telephone-banking is a distant second and you should completely forget about trying to trade whilst using an account with no such facilities.

The best account to get is the one offered by Citibank because with it you get not only a Sterling-based current account but one denominated in Euros and one denominated in US Dollars. Transfers between the different accounts are instant and performed at very good rates of exchange.

If you cannot open an account with Citibank then try First Direct. They also offer US Dollar accounts although transfers between your Sterling and Dollar accounts will not be quite as smooth as with Citibank. However, they have exceptional customer service and very convenient online facilities.

Banks’ requirements for opening accounts vary from time to time so you should check their websites for the latest terms. However, when you apply, don’t mention that you intend to use the accounts to facilitate sports-arbitrage trading.

  • CREDIT CARDS You will also require at least one credit card. For the purposes of trading, only Visa credit cards will do. Mastercard has taken a stance against gaming and you will not be able to use a Mastercard at most bookmakers. The bank you use for your trading account will probably be able to offer you a credit card as well. Take them up on this with as high a credit limit as they will give you. It is useful to have at least one spare credit card but most traders have a collection of 3 or more. You may not use them often but it’s better to have them available than to be left high and dry in the middle of a trading scenario.
  • BOOKMAKERS Before you can begin to trade, you will need to set up accounts with a large number of bookmakers. It is a very good idea to set up your accounts well before you start to trade – attempting to set up accounts as and when you need them will result in a lot of wasted time and opportunities for you later on. In most cases, you will be able to open accounts without depositing any funds. This is advantageous as it allows you to make your preparations even if your trading capital is not yet fully at your disposal. Setting up such a large number of accounts can be a daunting and time-consuming task; using specialised software such as ArbSurfer to open your accounts is the most efficient method possible as the software auto-completes the majority of each form for you. Once you have downloaded and installed the software, you will be taken through a set-up wizard. Follow this through and set up a Profile. After this, you can use the links provided in the software to visit each bookmaker site’s sign-up page and the software will automatically fill out the forms with the data you have provided in your Profile. In some cases, you may be required to type in a verification code or other data not contained within the Profile, and then you simply submit the form. Some of the bookmakers will set up your account with the username and password combination you placed in your Profile. Others will assign random log-in codes for you and email them to you. In any case, whenever you set up a new bookmaker account, take the time to write down the bookmaker’s address and the log-in codes so that you have a record of them. ArbSurfer will remember all of your codes for you and even log you into the sites automatically when you visit them.
  • DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS As you set up your accounts, a question about how to spread your funds amongst them will come to mind. Do you keep the money in the bank and wait for an arb or do you put the money with the bookmakers in anticipation? This usually seems like a catch-22 situation to new traders. If you don’t have your money ready at the bookmakers, then you waste too much time depositing and miss the prices when you need to bet. But if you start putting your money with the bookmakers, it gets spread thinly and you still may get an arb with a bookmaker where you don’t have enough funds… The solution is to combine the approaches intelligently and place funds with bookmakers selectively:
  1. Select the bookmakers you will use. As mentioned previously, good starting points are Bookmaker Reviews and/or the built-in lists of ArbSurfer
  2. Provide the bookmakers with all required documentation in advance. For example, in order to make your first deposit with an Australian bookmaker you will need to send them a fax or scan of your ID and credit card. If you do not do this in advance, the process will seriously hinder your ability to successfully place a bet with them on the first occasion that they are involved in a sports-arbitrage trade. Look through the sites you plan to use and see which ones need more information from you.
  3. Some bookmakers provide Instant-Bet accounts which will debit your card automatically at the time you place a bet. Any accounts which offer Instant-Bet facilities can immediately be taken off your short-list of accounts which require advanced funding.
  4. Look for bookmakers which will accept deposits via your online wallets. Deposits made this way are usually instant – this means that you can keep relatively large central balances in your online wallets ready to be used with any of the bookmakers rather than holding smaller individual balances at the bookmakers themselves.

Following steps 1-4, you will produce two lists – accounts which need advanced funding and accounts which do not.

Like many things which seem complex, sports-arbitrage trading can be simplified by considering & mastering the individual actions that make up the entire process. Avoid the mistake of assuming that it will be better to pick things up as you go along instead of investing some time beforehand to really think about what’s involved.

In most cases, the people who complain on forums that “arbitrage didn’t work for me” or “it’s too risky” or “all of my accounts were limited within weeks” are people who ignored the inherent folly of going live on their trading project without sufficient preparation.

Preparation & Organization are the two aspects of the way you operate which will determine your degree of success.

Before you begin trading, having chosen your bookmaker accounts and decided how they will be funded, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the bookmaker sites. Place a few 10 pence bets at the sites which confuse you. Make sure that you fully understand how to place bets at the sites you will be using. If you place 50 bets of 10 pence each, you will have a thorough understanding of the way the bookmaker sites work and the most it will have cost you is £5 – this small investment will pay dividends later on when you are trading under pressure.

So, now you know what groundwork you have to lay, in my next article we’ll take a look at your options for finding arbitrage trades.