Make your club family-friendly and sign up more families to your club

By Stuart Wilson
Sports Community
2 July, 2013

Sports clubs are the lifeblood of local communities, so it is no wonder that families have become such a big part of these clubs. All sporting clubs want to be known as a ‘family friendly’ and ‘family oriented’, as the benefits for the club in terms of membership are huge. The community also benefits in terms of reduced strain on medical services and the families benefit most in terms of health and social networking.

Ways to get families at your club

1. Offer discounts

All sporting clubs should, at the very least, offer a family membership package (usually consisting of two adults and two children) at a discounted rate to individual memberships as this represents great value for any family looking to join a sports club and increases the appeal of the club to the family market. For those with larger families, specific membership plans could also be provided to ensure the family is getting value for money (10% discount for each additional sibling for eg.)

2. Promote the club as a way to meet people, get fit and be healthy

Sports club should continually market the fact that sport is beneficial in terms of physical and mental health for families. Being part of a sports club means parents and kids have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle and not to be underestimated are the social benefits – meeting new people, establishing new support groups, new business networks. ‘Sport is fun and healthy’, ‘make friends’, ‘meet new people’, ‘feel better’ – are all phrases that should be put on club newsletters, websites, social media and other marketing collateral.

3. Be family-inclusive

Most clubs have adult-orientated events and fundraisers such as Trivia nights. Clubs should also include family-friendly events like fetes, markets, movie nights and Carols by Candlelight.  Events like these give families opportunities to come to the club together and in the process enhance the club’s brand as family-friendly. (For a list of fundraisers http://www.howtofundraise.com.au )

4. Come along and try

Many families are concerned about the cost of joining a club, especially if the kids decide they are no longer interested after all the registrations are paid.  ‘Come and Try Days’ are where families can come along and participate in the particular sporting activity either for free or a menial fee (gold coin donation). This gives families a taste of the sport and also the culture of the club and as a result, an indication of whether or not membership is something they are willing to pursue further. These ‘Come and Try Days’ should always be accompanied with plenty of information on how to become a member and the benefits members receive.

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