Back in 2002, a 16-year-old tennis superstar Rafael Nadal led Spain to defeat the US in the international Junior Davis Cup, helping launch the young tennis prodigy into his long career of sports stardom. Nearly twenty years later, the next generation of young tennis stars are now being discovered, with the help of no-code tools like Bubble.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the world governing body of tennis founded in 1903 with more than 87 million players and 210 member nations, was able to use no-code tools to identify promising young players from underrepresented nations and increase tennis participation around the world.
In collaboration with the English sport technology company ClubSpark, the French no-code agency Cube helped ITF design and develop a global data collection platform to capture tennis activity delivered worldwide using Bubble’s no-code platform to build a viable product within a few weeks.
We dive deeper into the technology they built and how no-code helped the organization support their young tennis talents.
Why the ITF chose to build with no-code
The ITF's mission is to grow the sport of tennis worldwide, promote the game at all levels and ages, and set the standards for the rules of the game. The ITF’s Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) is their national age 14-and-under youth development program for an ITF member National Association. The JTI is a key part of the National Association’s player development pathway.
The Junior Tennis Initiative has more than 310,000 young players (49% boys and 51% girls), nearly 6,000 coaches and school teachers in participation across thousands of schools and clubs, and hundreds of championship players across age brackets.
The JTI provides grassroots opportunities to identify the most talented players in a local nation, providing support for tennis coaches, school educators and administrative organizers. But tracking every promising young tennis player from every country required better tools to analyze and track player performance.
Prior to their no-code Bubble app, the ITF asked their National Coordinators to track player session data by laboriously calling or emailing thousands of coaches and recording data on simple spreadsheets.
The Cube team was able to work with the ITF to build a full analytics and administrative dashboard that offered multi-tiered admin accounts for everyone from Development Officers to National Coordinators, allowing them to view their country’s data, monitor the most important KPIs, and compare countries in terms of operational performance. The app is to be used by more than 130 countries, with thousands of tennis coaches, schools, and coordinators.
Combining its lean product approach and technical expertise, the Cube team used the Bubble platform for its ability to quickly create a production-ready web application for ITF’s youth tennis program.
“No-code tools were ideal in order to meet the federation's tight roll-out deadlines,” said the Cube team. “Also, the Low-Code approach embodied by Bubble's technology convinced the ITF by ensuring better long-term maintainability and allowing the team to make the app evolve and scale fast.”
How the ITF’s no-code app works
Even in the scope of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the team wanted to go further than just duplicating the excel spreadsheet into a digital platform. They needed to figure out the easiest way to collect and display relevant data to different members of the ITF organization, from the Global Admins, to Development Officers and National Coordinators.
They built a central analytical dashboard, allowing users to monitor the five most important KPIs and to compare countries in terms of operational performance. JTI stakeholders could see KPIs sorted by country and date to perform a global performance benchmark. The built-in data and workflows capabilities of Bubble eased the development process.
What's more, coaches would now enter and edit stats about their players through a digital form in the app, rather than relying on the National Coordinators to fill in spreadsheets.
"Our development team created an optimized data architecture on Bubble to handle the required data volume," said Cube team leader Thomas Groc. "The more the data about players that is updated, the better and more accurate, so [the app] must be able to update data anytime the data providers want."
The flexibility of the Bubble visual platform allows the Cube development team to implement elaborate statistics calculations thanks to built-in dynamic data and mathematical operators.
Displaying the data with a sleek and clean branded design was also extremely important, as well as minimizing repeat data entry tasks. The team held several workshops to build mood boards and create a welcoming and pleasant platform.
How permissions and privacy rules work in no-code web apps
Lastly, security and privacy were two essential aspects of the ITF’s project. Thanks to the built-in Privacy Rules feature of Bubble, the Cube team implemented a strong roles management system inside the app.
The different types of user roles in the app included:
- Global Admins, who oversee ITF's worldwide development
- Development officers, who are responsible for the development of the JTI activities within their specific regional scope. Development Officers work to help focus the ITF’s strategy to meet National Associations’ needs.
- National coordinators: over 130 people around the world who manage the nationwide tennis operations and the local coaches and educators in their country.
- Deliverers/Data providers: thousands of tennis coaches, school educators and administrative organizers who provide the key data about their young players.
In terms of privacy, National Coordinators can only access their country’s data, while Development Officers can visualize regional data (e.g. North America) and the Global Administrator can configure all application data. Also, each stakeholder can grant access to other lower levels, while also reporting to the upper level.
Modernizing Tennis with No-Code Tech
Startup founders and entrepreneurs are increasingly using no-code tools like Bubble to get new products to market faster with lean teams. But even larger companies and organizations can benefit from the rapid validation and iteration that no-code offers.
The ITF’s old process of having their National tennis coordinators gather data into spreadsheets was both time-intensive and unreliable, leading to lost information and missed opportunities for young tennis stars around the world.
With the new JTI dashboard built on Bubble the ITF’s program can make sure tennis coaches around the world can track their star player’s performance and make sure the top tennis players get the recognition and opportunities they deserve to foster their careers.
Founded in 2019, Cube is a Low-Code Agency based in Paris, specialized in Bubble technology. Cube empowers visionary founders and companies to create meaningful products with Low-Code. Their team uses the full potential of visual programming capabilities with state-of-the-art Bubble technology to materialize viable products within a few weeks and limit the technical risk.
Bubble is the most powerful no-code platform. Bubble offers a point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 1 million users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise hundreds of millions in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs, united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.