Earlier this week the grassroots of sport witnessed a transformation in the look and feel of the way that many clubs go about their business.
It may not have had the national impact of a win at the Aviva or a departure of a manager but the branding switch over from My Club Finances to Clubforce will likely touch on many more at an individual level, and with longer lasting effect than either of the headline grabbers.
My Club Finances has been around for a decade and provides the backbone in terms of how thousands of volunteer run clubs run themselves. What started out with founder Warren Healy launching a simple online fundraising tool has grown into one of the most comprehensive data management tools that exist across the spectrum of Irish society.
It is less than a year since the introduction of GDPR and the greater level of awareness of data security that brought about. It has also been a year of major investment and growth on the part of the new Clubforce and the new branding, which went live across all the thousands of clubs on the system over the early days of the week is a representation of what has gone on under the hood.
The personal data, often relating to family and containing all the elements of our online existence, is a valuable commodity. Understanding the different dynamic involved in a club can make a huge difference to the kind of services it offers, beyond the fielding of teams, and makes an individual sport stronger by knowing and having access to live up to date and self-managed data on those who play and on those who manage how they play.
The change of look is the start of the beginning of a new shift in terms of how clubs use that data to provide better service to their members and build an even bigger place within their community.
The days of lists of members written on sheets of paper are long gone. The passing of crumpled notes to a coach as part of membership fees similarly gone the way of history.
Managing the new obligations on data protection would be way beyond the capacity in time and knowledge for most club volunteers which is why the provision of a cloud-based enterprise like Clubforce is so important.