All sport and recreation organisations undertake marketing, although they are often unaware that they are actually doing so. Informal marketing is what happens in the process of running your club, things like word of mouth, helpful committee members and the standards of your facilities. All of these things often happen naturally but it is important to compliment the informal marketing activities with some more formal activities in order to maximise the promotion of your club.
Here are some tips to assist your club with marketing and promotion for the upcoming season:
Develop an Action Plan
- Establish a budget for promotional activity and give someone in the club responsibility for marketing and promotion.
- Decide on a standard look for your promotional material. You should stick with the same fonts, logo and general appearance all marketing material.
- A general rule to follow when producing promotional material is to always talk in terms of benefits, rather than just features (example below).
- If you do not already have someone, find an individual with the technical skills to run your club website, Facebook page and twitter account.
- Keep a log of all promotional items; for example, a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings or records of the results of promotions you run.
|Club open day||Quick and effective way to try before you commit, and find out if you like the sport.||Past success (i.e. testimonial from a member who joined the club in this way).|
|Accredited and vetted coaches||Young people will learn valuable skills in a safe, secure sports environment.||Coaches’ qualifications.|
Different strokes for different folks
You will need to take different approaches to attract different groups of new members to the club. Groups such as:
- Beginners or first timers;
- Those returning to the sport,
- Experienced sportspeople; and
- People who are interested in various levels of competition.
If you are trying to recruit into youth teams, you may find it more effective to target the young people’s parents and the young people themselves separately. To promote effectively, you will need to clearly identify the group that each specific campaign is targeted at, and tailor it to that group.
Don’t forget your current members
Many sporting clubs make the mistake of spending a lot of time and money on recruiting new members and forget about retaining current members.
- Work on improving the basic product or services the club or provides,
- Encourage positive and helpful attitudes in your volunteers,
- Ensure the facilities at your club are of the highest possible standards.