A Group of undergraduates & graduates build a sports media organization and a social network by empowering the passionate individuals through innovative management style to endorse university sportsmen and women and to bring the sports to the next level.
Moraspirit is more than a website is a social network in itself dedicated towards leveraging University level sports to the highest of standards through up-to-date reporting of sporting events and news and its undying commitment in rendering appropriate recognition and resources to improve the available infrastructure and create world class sportsmen and sportswomen in Sri Lanka
The organization which acts on non-profit basis currently has about 40 employees. In summary, Moraspirit support sportsmen and women and organize them to promote university sports island wide. Some are paid and work full time but most do voluntary work in part-time basis. Nearly 90% of the staff comprised of undergraduates and 70% of them are actively involved in sports.
As at today the site is the one and only dedicated media site for university sports in Sri Lanka.
Moraspirit aspires to give the due recognition and create a new era of University level sports in Sri Lanka as in developed Nations which even have Universities dedicated to sports, but also to draw the interest of the authorities, fans and private stakeholders towards intelligent University undergraduates with rounded personalities instilled with the invaluable qualities and disciplines nurtured by sports, who would be transgressing to the real world in their next phase in life.
Universities in Sri Lanka have been well founded and popularly characterized by the ethos of academia overshadowing promising sporting talent.
Although many talented sportsmen emerge from universities, limited media publicity was given to university sports as a whole compared to clubs and school circuits
Moraspirit was founded by a few undergraduates and graduates after a brief discussion had over a skype call with a vision to connect the entire sporting community and followers around the world for a common cause. The vision of the organization is to build a vibrant and passionate community of undergraduates inspired by the excellence in sports.
The first team was formed and the basic website design was identified and given to a team of programmers to develop the site.
The website was lunched and more staff were joined for news operation and other tasks
The operating model was developed after many brainstorming sessions and specialist help from the experts around the world. The uniqueness of the operating model is that it revolves around the passion of individuals to sustain the organization.
All tasks were allocated as per the individual brilliance and passion towards the cause on volunteer basis. Instances where there is no person to take over some of required tasks or if there is no expertise, people were hired on part time basis or full time basis.
First time inter university rowing regatta was broadcasted via live feeds over the website claiming first fan base for the site
A structure is formed in three layers.
- Executive Board and Advisors – Executive board involves in all activities at strategic level. Other advisors are involved in need to know basis. Comprised of graduates, senior executives in the corporate world, well wishers
- Pillar Heads - Leadership Committee – Lead by a chief operating officer and comprised of 7 Pillars headed by undergraduates
- 3rd Layer – Operational Team – Comprised of undergraduates and other staff members
All communication to and fro Exec Board / Advisors to lower levels are done by emails and Google shared docs and skype calls. Occasional meetings are held for brainstorming and specific requirements like biannual plan preparation.
All communications within Pillar heads were done via mail, Google docs, calls or meetings
All communications within Pillars were done via mail, calls or meetings
All team members were prompted for extensive discussions more often and brainstorming sessions were held to come up with new ideas all the time.
2010 June - August
Covered entire Inter university games which span over two months becoming the only digital media to do so winning a sizeable fan base and eventually becoming an online community and a social network
The number of staff increased up to 30.
Extended the activities from being a mere website to organize sport festivals and leadership building forums partnered with various institutions and individuals to address topics which have national level importance
Partnered with various companies and individuals to fund the organization activities
Partnered with various institutions (government and non-government) to enhance the connectivity and achieve synergy
Created a strong advisor panel consist of over 50 individuals under each pillar, where in case of difficult situations, concerns were promptly put forward to selected advisors to receive prompt expert advice. Also in long term strategic planning – Out of the Well – expert advice was sought from the advisor panel. Structured email groups were created to share information and seek advise from subject matter experts
With the end of war Sri Lankans required national reconciliation more than any other day. Moraspirit took the lead role by promoting sports in the universities which were situated in war ravaged areas. Articles were published from Jaffna university and Eastern University and given a specific importance
3 Year strategy was drawn from the various brainstorming sessions. The final Strategy included Strategic level vision/mission to operationalize Strategies with proper Goals and tasks. The entire exercise was performed using web technologies like Google docs as physical meetings were improbable due to the decentralized staff base and advisors
Formed a team and launched an exhaustive plan to cover World University Games to be held in Schenzhen, China in August 2011
Finding time to work on a group cause which does not bring appropriate financial or other benefits
All pillars were moving as per the org. goals, except one pillar seem to be lagging behind
Being operated by Undergraduates, strategic level focus was missing in some areas
Since Sri Lanka is a country where there are many communities who still without access to internet, it was difficult to promote sports only through a website
Keeping the momentum and interest among undergraduates
It is operated by sportsmen not trained journalists. So there was a hint of lack of quality of articles published
Use the passion as a true source of inspiration to work on tight deadlines amidst more pressing workload i.e. studies, tournaments etc. The biggest motivation factor was that the staff found out that their work enabled them to bring the much anticipated publicity for their achievements in sports arena
Advisors to take over few roles during intermediary period and use the extensive network to find suitable people to step up the operation
Bring the expertise of advisors from various levels of corporate world and other areas to inject strategic sense and to develop a more focused long term plan
Other media (print/TV) collaboration was seek with expert support
Introducing career development aspects through the large advisor network formed. (Leadership training, Introduction to companies that hire)
Find a team of advisors who are into journalism. Get their views and comments before publishing for some sensitive areas/articles
Hire a few qualified reporters as per requirements
Growth in the fan base and hits rate shows increased awareness for university sports, which was virtually unknown in the past
Being a web based highly active site created quite a stir among the graduates and well wishers. After successful launch many advisors pledged support to bring it up to higher level of achievements
250 hits per article and about 20 – 30 articles per week during Month of June 2011
Currently the moraspirit has over 50 active advisors jointly supporting for the cause
Shared documents like google docs are the best method to have collective information share and interaction when you work with decentralized set of people.
Skype calls and other internet based communication platforms are invaluable in forming a big team and operationalze them for a common goal.
Group emails were created under firstname.lastname@example.org so that none is missed during communication.
Different headings were used for email chains related to each project / task as per the requirement to reduce clutter of information and to focus on each task