Membership is absolutely critical for the ongoing sustainability of any sporting club. For most clubs it is a main source of revenue and it provides an opportunity for people in the community to really feel like they belong to that club. This sense of belonging will ensure that these people will continue to support the club by attending on the day of competition, as well as attending the different fundraising functions and events the club holds.
You may make sure all your players and coaches are members but there are normally many more groups of potential members in your community that your club can create memberships to attract. Selling memberships is still the most simple and effective way of generating revenue at your club.
Benefits of a Club Membership
There are so many reasons people join clubs beyond simply participating in the sport, including:
- Access to club facilities, equipment, and coaching
- Facilitating interaction,friendships and competition with like minded people
- Strong sense of personal pride, inclusion and belonging
- The opportunity to social and make friends
- General enjoyment and fun
- A real sense of achievement (be it competition and winning, or personal improvement over time)
What stops people from becoming club members
It is important to understand that there are many reasons stopping people from joining clubs. The Market Segmentation into Sports Participation – Participation commissioned by the Australian Sports Commission identified the following challenges to be overcome by clubs:
- Lack of time due to other changing life styles and priorities (most common barrier)
- Inflexibility of club schedule and fixtures
- Lack of information about what participation options are available.
- Financial constraints
- Perceived pressure to undertake non sport activities such as fundraising or club administration
- The perception that clubs are “cliquey, exclusive, single minded and often highly judgmental of non-participants or those with a lower level of ability at sport”