SportID: Making employees move

It is difficult to name a sport Marti Soosaar, the manager of SportID, has not tried himself. No wonder his mission is to promote active lifestyle and engage people in sports and physical activity.

Marti Soosaar has experimented with different sports from athletics, running, cycling, swimming, ice-hockey and roller-skating to triathlon, decathlon and many others. He emphasizes the benefits of having healthy and active employees: a great number of companies provide training compensation for their employees. From the perspective of the enterprise, this may not be the most effective solution as there is no overview whether the compensation is realised by the employee or someone else. In addition, people prefer to go to different fitness clubs. Thus, a medium-size company may associate with, let us say, ten sports service providers, while big companies might have even hundred different sports service providers.

At this point, SportID might solve the problem for the companies. SportID is a unique sports cost management platform that liberates the employer from negotioating with different service providers. The platform contains a net of service providers and the entrepreneur is guaranteed to have a convenient solution.

The companies are motivated to join, as the solution is time-saving and easy-to-use: gathering piles of receipts from the companys`s employees and, later, organizing of the receipts is annoying and time-consuming for the accountant. The employees, in turn, do not have to collect their receipts or wait for the compensation.

“This approach is also convenient for the sports club as it facilitates the price negotiations and leaves the discretion regarding the selling price of their service,” explains Soosaar.

“Another solution being developed at the moment is the integration of training diary to SportID platform. The purpose of SportID training diary is to motivate all employees: you can list all of your trainings and, at the end of the week, the system compiles a chart that reflects the results of the collective,” he explains.

Although SportID does not have competitors in the field of sports costs management, there are several other sports diaries on the market. Soosaar emphasizes that they want to distinguish from others by offering personal solutions for each company.

Looking towards the foreign markets

“Our business idea grew out of a sports seminar held in cooperation with several Estonian companies. A lot of employers acclaimed that they find it difficult to manage sport compensations, but they would agree to outsource the service. We began to develop our idea and in 2015, we managed to get our first clients. At first, we operated under the NGO Estonian Federation for Company Sport but we had limited opportunities for developing or moving to foreign markets, thus, we established a new company,” says Soosaar.

Today, more than 200 companies have joined SportID platform and they are connected to even more than 300 sports service providers across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “We have clients from multiple fields of activity, for example, security companies or retail trade and state agencies. It is interesting to note that financial institutions and IT companies are the most enthusiastic members of the platform.

The fact that SportID service won “The Estonian best e-service in 2015” people`s choice award indicates its popularity.

Soosaar plans to expand to foreign markets. As several Estonian companies have employees in Latvia and Lithuania, SportID already has some partners in the Baltic countries. Soosaar believes that in the future, SportID will become a global net of companies, sports service providers and sporty employees. Statistics shows that people`s health indicators have worsened. “The companies suffer from the increasing costs of poor health. People seek for new solutions and acknowledge that they are responsible for their health condition. We can provide solutions for both the employers and the employees,” says Soosaar.

Marti Soosaar considers his best achievements during his sports career to be the world champion title in icosathlon in 2013 and 2015 in M35 age group; in addition, he has won Estonian championship in relay races twice. Let us wait for the next accomplishments: how many people and countries can he engage in sports?