Ninja Zone is a children’s training program that combines martial arts with freestyle movements, gymnastics, and obstacle courses. More than 100,000 kids across four continents have enrolled in Ninja Sports training.
Currently, there are 325 Ninja Zone Clubs in the world. But new clubs are constantly being added to the list. Depending on the size of the location, there are anywhere from 2-15 coaches to teach the children. Some clubs have thousands of “ninjas” in training.
The Ninja Zone curriculum is centered on fit bodies and minds. It focuses on character development as well. Kids work at their own pace to build skills and confidence during the early development stages of their lives. This unique training program gives the Ninja Zone staff an opportunity to have a positive impact on thousands of children across the globe.
The Director of Ecommerce and Branding at Ninja Zone, Tyler Allen, says he got involved with the company because of their mission to create a new sport. “As a kid, I was always creating my own sports and games with my friends. So to be able to do this on a larger scale worldwide is really awesome.”
As a business, Ninja Zone operates as a licensing company. They license the Ninja Sports training program to gyms, and those clubs provide opportunities to kids. The licensees gain access to lesson plans, training videos, and marketing materials through the Ninja HQ website.
While Ninja Zone has always been able to communicate with club owners and gym directors through the website, getting engagement from coaches was a challenge.
Coaches are not sitting behind a desk all day. They are out on the gym floor being hands-on with the young ninjas in training. The inability for coaches to access training information during class was a problem. Ninja Zone needed to find a way to engage with coaches without tying them to a desk or computer. This was the inspiration for building a mobile app.
The Ninja Zone app was built so coaches could have all Ninja HQ materials at their fingertips. The app allows them to access training information while they are out on the floor coaching the children. Not only does this make things easier for the coaches, but it ultimately improves the quality of the training sessions.
“We thought that we could reach coaches better through an app. And so far, I think it’s done the job,” explained Tyler.
Improving engagement with coaches is just the beginning for the Ninja Zone app. While the app is still in its early stages, it already has more than 400 users, which is more than one coach per location. That type of penetration rate is astonishing. The app was a success from the start. “Right when we released it, there was a lot of positive feedback from clubs and coaches,” Tyler continued saying.
Prior to the app launch, Ninja Zone corporate would rarely hear from coaches directly, but the app has changed things.
In one instance, Tyler explained that he released lesson plans a day later than normal. “We got emails from coaches asking where the new lessons were on the app. So they just have more expectations from us and that’s a good thing.”
These messages reinforced that the coaches were actually using the app. They were excited to get the most up to date information on their mobile devices.
When asked about the app building experience, Tyler said, “The process was refreshing.”
Tyler explained that Ninja Zone has worked with lots of tech companies in the past. He compared those previous experiences to building a house—things tend to go over budget and run past the deadline. But this was not the case when building the Ninja Zone app.
“That’s why I say it’s refreshing. When everything actually wrapped up and we were done on time and on budget, it was kind of a surprise.”
Ninja Zone’s first priority was building the foundation for the app. But moving forward, they are working on getting more daily engagement from coaches by adding features like push notifications to the app.
Ninja Zone also sees an opportunity to use geofencing technology with its app for trade shows and regional events. Fortunately, implementing new features to the Ninja Zone app is a simple process.
Tyler explained that being able to update the app on their own was one of the reasons why they chose to create the app using BuildFire’s platform. “Any time we have to make edits it’s very, very easy.”
Every feature and function of the app is made with the big picture in mind.
“We feel that if we have more engagement from the coaches, they’re getting the most up to date information. If we can help our clubs, then that helps Ninja Zone’s own brand overall. So it’s really about retention in the long run.”