Amateur sports teams and clubs are a staple feature in any community. From junior soccer leagues to adult baseball teams; every weekend, adults and kids come together to take part in competitive games and enjoy some friendly camaraderie. But a sports team, amateur or professional, won’t survive unless it has new players coming in at grass roots level. To make this happen, sports teams need a marketing strategy. If you are new to marketing, here are some tips to get you started.
No matter how small your sports team or club is, you need to create a recognizable brand. Without a brand, people won’t know who you are or recognize your players. Brand recognition is essential, especially for digital marketing.
Your team needs a branded kit with a recognizable logo. You don’t need a graphic designer to create a team logo – there are online applications that let you create DIY sports logos. Check out popular team logos for inspiration and to see what works (and what doesn’t).
If your budget won’t stretch to a new team kit, ask local businesses if they would be willing to sponsor the team in return for advertising opportunities. Most local businesses are happy to sponsor community groups and events, as they benefit from brand exposure.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth advertising is very useful. Instruct team members to talk about their activities with friends and family. Encourage them to introduce new members who might be interested in taking part, especially younger siblings if it’s a junior team. The more people you can bring up the ranks, the better.
Create posters and flyers and distribute them in the local community. Stores, schools, etc., are all excellent places to pin up posters and flyers. Think about where your target audience hangs out and concentrate on these areas.
Social Media and Digital Marketing
Do not underestimate the power of social media and digital advertising. Begin by creating a Facebook page for your team and posting regular content, including photos. Encourage your team members to like the page and interact with it. Select other social networks that fit in with your brand and create a social presence. Twitter is useful, especially for posting event updates and highlights. Use visual social media sites like Instagram and YouTube for photos and video content.
It is a good idea to delegate social media to one person. This helps ensure content is consistent and posted on the same schedule.
It is also sensible to create a website for the team. Fill it with useful content, such as training days/nights and other important information. Include team photos, league results, and a blog where you can keep members and other interested parties updated on recent news and events.
Harvest email addresses for members, their families, and other interested parties. Send out monthly email newsletters to keep people apprised of what’s happening. Encourage them to forward on the newsletter to anyone they think might be interested in joining the team.
Take any opportunity to market your sports team as well as sports logos and don’t be afraid of approaching local news outlets and asking them to run a feature. That’s what the media is for!