Community Sporting Group in Teams

Occasional Contributor

Hope this is the correct group.

I'm interested in getting some support during Covid19 in keeping my team, 140 junior football referees together whilst the crisis has enforced suspension of the season and the weekly meetings we have as a team(no mass gatherings).  I've created and currently beta testing a free Teams site, but it's limited (no ability to schedule meetings / calendar, no whiteboard, no guest accounts, no emailing channels, limited management /app support).  The $6.90 per user / month cost is prohibitive to our organisation ($16,590 for 200 users) if we upgrade to the Office 365 Business Essentials.  We are effectively trying to keep engagement with our members by enabling a remote work environment, providing education / chat / quizzes and keeping them informed / positive during these tough times for everyone.  The juniors will be familiar with this already, as Teams in Education is fairly prevalent or may soon be if the schools close here too.
Is there anything Microsoft could do for sporting groups like us - we service 23 clubs, 6500 players (mostly juniors) in a regional area of Queensland. Thanks 

4 Replies
I'm sorry I can't offer a solution, I find myself in a similar situation. I needed the ability to record video meetings with my players, so subscribed to Business Essentials. Unfortunately, while the meetings recorded smoothly and uploaded as soon as they ended, as my players had to register as guests they could not see the videos. They can't do anything on there really. I'm better off going back to the free version and maybe integrating Zoom than sticking with paid Teams (although it's slightly cheaper for me). I'm sure there's a real market to tailor something for clubs and associations, at the moment there's too big a gap between free and paid. I feel your pain.
Unfortunately, you have limitation for free version and I do understand your concern with licensing. It would be best to check with your local Microsoft representative and see if they have any special option.
I also heard some governments partnered with Microsoft to provide free services to their members but they are mainly in healthcare.
Hi, did you ever get anywhere with this? We are a local refereeing society in England are have been using Teams Free throughout lockdown like yourself. We are restricted by the same limitations as you were, just wondering what you ended up doing? Would be great to be able to sign our members up to this to keep active and interested.
Hey StHRLRS,
I did actually get a Microsoft representative to help / speak on the phone about the particulars of being a community football group (Referees). The solution was to leverage the not for profit status that the league we referee for/within. The idea was that once the NFP status was confirmed by Microsoft, this reduced the cost per head to $2.00 AUD per month but with 200 refereeing members, still $4800 per year from the leagues refereeing development budget. As such it wasn't approved by the budget holders and I've since left the role. As such, the group is still working (poorly) in Facebook as their communication platform and I can't help but think Microsoft needs to review how they approach community sporting groups who have a similar need with a view to it being free but fully functional and would serve to get young people seeing the value of Teams and perhaps generate life long users. I find the development of Teams has made it even more valuable since my original post, almost a year ago, but unfortunately their perspective seems to be on driving profits, not supporting the greater community.