It is essential for the success of any club that club members and the wider community know what is happening at the club. This information will generate involvement that can lead to increased membership numbers and interest from potential sponsors.
It is crucial that local clubs setup a marketing group whose main function is to develop strategies of marketing and promotion. Any club members with experience in these areas should be sought out and seconded to the marketing group as success in this area will help the club take tremendous strides towards success.
Marketing and promotion tools fall into 5 main categories:
- Electronic and online
Electronic and Online
This has been the biggest growth area in marketing and promotion tools – why? because may of the tools are free or low cost and provide a great way to promote functions, events, fundraisers and sponsors.
Electronic and online tools include:
- Electronic newsletters
- Club Website
- Social media – facebook, twitter, youtube
- Electronic flyers (pdf)
Printed marketing and promotion collateral usually involves greater cost than the electronic forms but used sparingly and for targeted events or sponsors, they can provide great visibility for the club. Printed marketing and promotion tools include
- Posters, flyers
- Blackboards, chalkboards
Whilst media is generally beyond the budgets of most local clubs, there are many media outlets that provide free or low-cost promotion solutions. Local newspaper and radio stations offer community service announcements and access to very cheap advertising.
Merchandise items number in their thousands – hats, stubbie holders, mugs, scarves, beanies…and the list goes on. Utilising merchandise to promote an event or get the club brand out in the community is a great way to market and promote.
Kids’ days, or Lady’s lunch day or any other themed day, perhaps past players’ day are all match day events that can draw further interest and crowds to matches. The theme and process of the day can actually further develop the market for your club by drawing crowds outside normal members. Within Baseball clubs it is quite common to have a giveaway to draw crowd members on certain days. Perhaps for your local club it means that you offer a discount on drinks, food or a sponsors product, whatever it is, it all helps to market and promote your club, especially if the giveaway is promoted to the wider community.
Keys to successful Marketing and Promotion
Take the humble newsletter for example. To make it a successful marketing and promotion tool it needs to be informative and fun, include club news, achievements, comings and goings; it needs to be produced by someone with graphic art skills, writing and editing skills, with lots of colour and photos. It needs to be emailed to all club members, left in the club canteen, pigeon holes; it needs to be printed and letter-dropped as well as left in local business offices and waiting rooms.
If these factors can be achieved, the club will have members eagerly awaiting each issue thus building relationship and engagement. The newsletter will be easily accessible at the club and in the wider community and local business’ reader piles (ie doctors’ waiting room, fish and chip shops, cafes, etc) thus generating interest from readers outside the club who may go on to become members or sponsors.
Every time your club evaluates a marketing tool, develop the marketing and promotion strategy or sits down to think about a way to promote a specific fundraiser or club event – they must take the following into account:
- Desired result. (Increased membership, increased awareness, increase ticket sales for an event, increased visits to website, likes on facebook.)
- Cost (are their skills available within the club to make the promotion successful or will you have to pay for skilled labour? Does your club have the equipment required? Can sponsors be called upon to reduce production costs? Does the club have a strong volunteer roster to contribute free labour?)
- Return (Is the cost and effort warranted for the potential return? It may cost money to advertise in the local newspaper but that advertisement may bring an extra 200 people to your event ensuring a healthy return to the club. A flyer promoting a Trivia night can be sent by email and that costs nothing but how many people actually read the email? It may take 100 volunteers to run a club Christmas Carols but the club only break even?)
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