/ 2022

Building Sports Communities Around Courts


Co-founded by The Athletic’s former Head of Product, Rec is modernizing how people play sports in their cities. By partnering with local Parks & Rec departments and institutions, it enables people to access sports facilities, pick up new hobbies and connect with their community.

Rec is on track to becoming a multi-sport platform connecting people around courts, including Rec’s own. It enables finding instructors, discovering new classes, booking courts for private lessons and creating entire sports communities. Its overall mission is to take the perks of private clubs (instructors, classes, community) and make them accessible for everyone, everywhere.

App annimation

What we did


After delivering a web platform for Rec’s launch to expand its waitlist within California, we’re now building out the full website.

— Design and development of Rec website 
— Setup and integration of custom admin panel 
— Ongoing support and post-launch optimization



Foolproof booking system

Pivoting to find the perfect market fit

We first introduced private reservations via the website, which acted as a fundamental market-fit test. With zero marketing, all slots for every court on the platform were quickly booked up. After progressing with development, we then switched the reservation system to a B2B administrative platform to expand the focus from location and court reservations — enabling organizations and cities to support and manage complex multi-week class programming, facilities and instructions.

MVP with a custom admin panel

Our pickleball-focused MVP targeted reservations, booking, onboarding and user profiles. The goal was to allow users to browse and find three types of classes: private court reservations, programmed classes and open play. On the backend, we also tailor-made an admin panel from scratch that ensured the Rec team could add, modify and manage the schedule of each court — ensuring smooth business operation.

Merging inclusive design with a mighty tech stack

To stick to Rec’s key goal of being “for everyone, anywhere” — regardless of age, location or digital experience — we kept the UX/UI simple. As a result, senior citizens were able to book private lessons on the website without any help. From the engineering side, we utilized integrations like the trusty AWS and Pulumi setup, including S3 (infrastructure and deployment), (customer data management), Firebase and Segment (analytics).

Recreation 2.0 across Cali & beyond

Powering one of the world’s biggest park systems

Because Rec was carefully developed to satisfy the requirements for any city, adoption is swift and easy. In early 2024, San Francisco’s park system — one of the largest parks systems in the world — began using Rec to power all of their tennis and pickleball reservations. It is a crucial part of the city’s widespread efforts to incorporate sophisticated solutions into its public spaces.

Replacing a city’s entire recreational software

The rest of California is not far behind San Francisco. Torrance (the 61st biggest city in the US) will be using the platform to replace the entirety of Torrance’s recreation software, while Santa Cruz, the Sacramento Area, Los Angeles County and East Bay are already taking advantage of Rec’s offering as well.

Iterating as we go

Taking a page from The Athletic

Pulling from the dynamic beginnings of building The Athletic MVP together with STRV, Birju founded Rec on a “launching to learn” mentality. He trusted our team to understand user feedback and quickly adapt the product accordingly while simultaneously building out new features. As a result, we swiftly hit milestone after milestone with a live, functional product that told us what it needs — and that brought people together as soon as it possibly could. 

We’ve spent our careers building simple products that can transform our everyday lives (like Google Maps and Uber Eats!), and we’re excited to apply our collective experience to a simple mission: make it easier for people to be active and connect with their community.
Rec team