2021 LuxLife Travel & Tourism Awards - Best Sport Team Travel Management Specialists – USA
Link to formal award
Founded with a vision to make travel easier and more affordable for sports teams and universities, Lucid Travel is an online platform that brings together the best travel deals for groups of all sizes. We take a closer look at Lucid and their journey so far.
Lucid Travel is a sports travel brand providing solutions for tournament directors, sports teams, and university clubs that make travel easier. Bringing together the vast market of travel vendors into one accessible location, Lucid simplifies booking and managing travel services, providing access to hotel lodgings, car and bus rentals, and group flight bookings at affordable prices and with engaging customer service.
Founded in 2017 by three college friends, Ben Knosby, Nick Karagiannis, and Troy Miller, Lucid was initially conceived with a vision to create college spring break packages. However, following a survey of nearly 100 university club programs, the team made the decision to transition to university sports instead. Although at times a challenging pivot, Lucid has since seen 300% growth each year, continuing to engage with its customers to discover how to deliver the best travel service for them.
Today, Lucid is the premier choice in travel service solutions for teams, whether they be a youth soccer team of eleven plus the coach, or a university of 40,000 students. Its primary products are for three target audiences: tournament directors looking to set up discounted lodging for their events whilst optimizing revenue; university clubs and staff that benefit from Lucid’s customized booking engine, which takes their unique policies and procedures into account; and sports teams, which can rely on Lucid for all their travel needs, from booking team room blocks to checking travel reservations.
Partnering with major brands behind team scheduling and tournament registration systems like GotSoccer, Active Network and League Apps has enabled Lucid to create unique user experiences that are engaging and easy to use, thanks to end-to-end integrations. Customers are able to benefit from the unparalleled rates that Lucid sources from over forty different travel vendors. Acquiring hotel direct rates, online travel agency rates and private discounts through Lucid’s connections and conglomerate networks, Lucid is able to offer great deals on every reservation, without the need for a travel agent.
Moreover, with automated reminders, notifications and reporting as part of its cutting-edge software technology, the Lucid platform has achieved the perfect balance of human-to-human connection to help facilitate an elevated experience. By putting the customer at the center of innovation, Lucid has been able to curate an online platform designed for people – it is for that reason that the team invests more heavily in product development and customer service than in sales and marketing. The priority is on building great user experiences and delighting customers.
The team that Ben, Nick and Troy work with has been put together with that mission in mind. Whilst anyone can be trained on the technical skills required for a role, an individual’s integrity, character, and customer centric mentality cannot be taught. As such, Lucid hires great characters who align with the firm’s values of Radical Transparency, Being Authentic, Being Curious and Taking Ownership. From there, Lucid trains its team to promote customer service, giving each new candidate the chance to work with Lucid customers and products before they enter their specific role. Once a part of the team, Lucid’s employees are kept engaged, empowered and fulfilled, which translates into an organization that is constantly growing and thriving.
Yet with 80% of Lucid’s revenue being generated from university clients in 2019, the arrival of Covid-19 and the resulting global lockdowns hit the company hard, with over $1 million worth of hotel reservations cancelled in March 2020. Moreover, the launch of the tournament director specific product in December 2019 that had been initiated with a view to slowly growing that market was suddenly curtailed, with the business requiring a complete transformation to deal with the drop of its university product to zero.
However, a year on and the shift of focus onto the tournament director service has proven to be a successful move for the team, leading to successful integration partnerships and opening a new world of opportunities for the innovative team at Lucid, in a market saturated with traditional travel agencies.Thus, Lucid is looking forward to this year as one of inflection, focused on building deeper integrations with its partners to seamlessly blend the travel and sports industries.
Moreover, with optimism about the return to normalcy for university students in the Fall 2021 semester, Lucid is soon to announce some major news. Keep an eye on the Lucid social media pages to be the first in the know!