Healthy membership levels leads to a vibrant club. The reasons why sports clubs need a robust membership base is very simple, members are the most passionate people about your club and the most likely to contribute, funds, time and effort to ensure success.
With more people joining, it becomes the lifeblood of cashflow. In local environemnts it also serves as a database of supporters & volunteers that can be called on to help with special projects.
The more members, the less pressure on members to be involved in too many activities, and a broader range of skills becomes available, which better equips a club to respond to changes. These changes can include decreasing numbers of players, juniors or increasing numbers, event efforts, club function and office bearer roles. Plus the ever growing need of sponsorship is covered via an increased database of commercial providers. These contact can give way to the rise of new activities for the health and wellbeing of the club.
Investing time and energy in club development and building membership can only help a club’s long-term viability, yet knowing where to start can be daunting.
Flexibility to Members’ needs
Different payment types, varying package sizes. Options and add ons within each add appeal and reward for the commitment from members. If your club has declining membership, it might be time to listen to what members and potential members want and start providing it. One way to achieve this is through a survey of current and potential members. It may mean changing how and when a games are played, adjusting what suits players to get them more involved and to maximize crowds.
Trial days and shorter run memberships allows your club to provide a quick taste of your sport. These can be held in conjunction with local schools and community groups in an effort to further expand your market reach. The need to be promoted widely is important, with representation and a presence this can reduce barriers and make it easier for new members to come down to the clubrooms. The club then needs to ensure that current members and fans are welcoming and encouraging to include and make sure new members feel welcome where appropriate.
Your club should have a strong community presence so people are aware of what you have to offer. You can raise awareness via your fundraisers, writing articles for local newspapers or running clinics at schools.
Since club members will only keep coming back if they are enjoying what they are doing, it is important this is the case.
Any club serious about building membership will need to have enough volunteers to cope with the increased workload. You should have plans in place to recruit volunteers, assign their roles, ensure they are not overloaded and to recognise and reward their input.
Market research should form the basis of all marketing activities to your members. It helps if you get to know who your members (and non-members) are – and why a person would want to become a member or attend an activity. It also helps you understand the environment you’re operating in and about your competitors.
Your club should have an existing membership database. An analysis of this will reveal some basics about your customer and will also identify where new members are coming from. Also look for large groups of customers who have similar characteristics, live in the same geographic region or attend the same school, university or other institutions.