Identifying stakeholders is the first step in any club’s marketing and promotion planning. Different stakeholders will require different marketing and promotion strategies – which we will examine in further detail further on in this module – but at the core of all these strategies should be the creation of the sense of belonging.
Australia has three levels of government, and it is important to consider all three when marketing and promoting your club. Often clubs focus on dealing with one level of government but neglect others.
Councils are one of the most important of the club stakeholders. And councils are broken up into different departments – officers that manage recreation facilities, officers that oversee food safety, officers that manage compliance to traffic by-laws and so on. In fact, many of the compliance issues clubs face are overseen by councils so it is important to work closely with your local council representatives and foster their sense of belonging in your club.
State and Federal Governments
State and Federal governments are important as they are providers of funds and can help clubs undertake major projects. How many clubs invite the state or federal minister for sport, or their sitting member to club functions? Once again, clubs should strive to involve state and federal levels of government to foster a sense of belonging.
Peak Sporting Bodies
Peak Sporting Bodies are those responsible for managing a sport and include government agencies as well as sporting organisations at the national and state levels. The framework of how all these organisations interact with each other is quite complex as can be seen from figure 2.2 below.
As far as local community, clubs are concerned; their first port of call when help is required should always be their state organisation, association or federation. It is important for clubs to involve these bodies in club activities as that raises the profile of the club and may put the club to the front of the queue should the association look to distribute funding.
A clubs community consists of:
- Local organisations like RSL, Lions etc
- Local businesses
The community is one of the most important stakeholders in your club. From a marketing and promotion perspective, it is imperative to create a sense of belonging within the community to your club as the residents will be the club’s future members, volunteers, players, sponsors and administrators.
The digital age has completely transformed the media sector with lots of new technologies providing platforms aside from the traditional print, tv and radio mediums to deliver content.
Nowadays sports content can be delivered through mobile devices such as phones and laptops so it is available at people’s fingertips when they want it. A new generation of tools such as Social Media, apps and widgets deliver ready-to-consume content.
Local clubs need to be aware of the media landscape and all the tools they have at their disposal to create effective marketing and promotion strategies. We will take a closer look at media platforms and tools further along in this module.
Local clubs often overlook the media as a stakeholder in their club and a tool for marketing and promotion often as a result of a perception that media outlets are not interested in local clubs. Most communities are serviced by community radio and newspapers and these outlets are always looking for local content. If your club fosters a relationship with media outlets then the likelihood is that the media outlet will promote your club by publishing club news.
Active social media including regular facebook posts and tweets also goes a long way to raising the profile of your club and as a result enticing sponsors who are looking for active and engaged sports communities. We will investigate in detail, how to use social media for marketing and promoting your club further on in this module.
Sponsors are key stakeholders of your club. As well as providing funds, sponsors can be used to promote the club through their networks.
Suppliers include anyone who provides a good or service to your club. They can be equipment suppliers, caterers, food and beverage, I.T, medical, banking and facilities managers.
Many clubs treat suppliers simply as that and neglect the power of suppliers when it comes to marketing and promotion. For example, clubs can exchange club notices on supplier websites as part of a contract to award the supplier business.
Again, building a sense of belonging with your suppliers, sponsors or any of the stakeholders is key to marketing and promotion. Suppliers who feel part of the club via involvement as a parent or player are more likely to consider the well-being of the club and spread its message.
In the modern grassroots sporting landscape there exists many player development organisations that are privately funded or funded by a state or national sporting organisation. These include high-performance academies, zone and representative teams. Clubs should seek to partner with or have a strong working relationship with recognised operators in this sector as these organisations provide the pathway to elite level sport and there is no better way to promote your club than to have a player(s) make it to the highest levels of competition.
There is a growing raft of legislation that clubs need to be aware of including food safety and liquor licensing as well as working with children accreditation and compliance under incorporations act.
Rather than see this as an onerous task, clubs should endeavour to include the custodians and administrators of these laws such as local council in club business to ensure compliance and market and promote the club as a responsible community citizen.
The club itself has internal stakeholders including:
- Past players
- Family and friends
Fostering a sense of belonging amongst this group of stakeholders should be an integral part of any club’s marketing and promotions strategy. Once this group of stakeholders feel they belong, they will attend matchdays and club functions, they will volunteer, they will tell their friends about the club, and hopefully, they will identify with the club in one form or another.
Keep in mind, the most powerful result of any marketing and promotion campaign is when a stakeholder identifies with your club – “I’m XYZ’s merchandise supplier”, “I’m a blue and yellow forever”, “We played XYZ last week, gee they got great facilities.”
Further Marketing & Promotions Information
a) Understanding the DNA of a Sports Fan
b) Identifying your Stakeholders
c) The Importance of Databases
d) Communication Processes for Marketing & Promotion
e) Communication Processes in Detail
f) Digital Communication
i) The Power of Pictures
j) Video Sharing
k) Updating all your Social Media at once
Successful Marketing and Promotions for clubs