ZenSports: The Future of Amateur Sports ~ Catherine Fiorilla

Have you ever found yourself wondering if there were any leagues or tournaments going on in the area? Did you ever miss an event because you didn’t have cash for the entry fee and the director couldn’t take a credit card? Maybe you were out of town and looking for a pickup game or just another person to play a friendly match? In this age of technology why isn’t this easier to do? Mark Thomas, CEO of ZenSports, thought the same way and decided to develop a solution. On July 13 the new ZenSports app launches for iOS and Android. Part meetup, part social media, and part tournament management program ZenSports offers solutions to make it easier for amateur players to enjoy the sports they love with other players.

Mark has been working long hours to get the app ready for launch but was able to set aside some time with Sneaky Pete Mafia to tell the readers about the new ZenSports app

SPM: We really appreciate you taking the time from your hectic schedule to talk to us. Can you tell us a little about your background?Mark: I studied finance and investing in college and founded several HR and recruiting startups. For the past 13 years I worked in real estate investing. I founded a company called Reesio that made software to automate paperwork for brokers and realtors; basically a dashboard for managing the transaction process. In 2015 Reesio was bought out by Realtor.com. I stayed on at Realtor.com for about a year to run the transaction management division. In October 2016 I left to found ZenSports.SPM: How did you come up with the idea for ZenSports and why did you pick pool for the beta test? Mark: I wanted to create an app that would make it easy for amateur players to find matches, leagues, pickup games, social sporting events, and tournaments near them. I also wanted them to be able to pay the registration fees by credit card using their phones. We needed to test the feasibility of this in a small market so in February 2017 we launched the app in the San Francisco Bay area where the company is located and focused only on pool. I picked pool because for about 8 years my main recreational activity was pool and I knew a lot of people in the pool community.SPM: How was the app received in the test market? What did you decide to change in the full release based on the beta test results?Mark: It was well received. After 6 weeks we had about 1100 users and had processed thousands of tournament and league payments. Tournament directors were a little slower to adopt the system so we decided for the next version to focus more on the players and the social aspect of sports. Players will be able to message each other and follow news feeds in an environment focused on sports and free of politics and