We’ll share our top tips for marketing your sports club and explain how a sports booking system can help you generate more sales.
- Optimise your website
- Write a blog
- Be active on social media
- Send email newsletters
- Hand out leaflets
- Get local media coverage
- Get involved in the community
- Offer free taster sessions
- Connect with local businesses
- Make it easy to join
1. Optimise your website
Having a sleek, functional website is essential for every business and brand these days. As people consider your sports club and compare it against others, turning to your website will be one of the first things they do.
Is your offering clear as soon as you land on the homepage? Is it easy for visitors to find the information they need? And most importantly, can people book a session or sign up to your club with ease?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then you’re on the right track. Your website should provide a great user experience and fulfil people's needs quickly. If someone is confused about your services or can’t navigate your site with ease, they will simply abandon it and choose a competitor.
As a sports club, your site won’t need a huge amount of pages. The core ones you should include are a page for each service, about the club, news and blog, and contact information. Try to include multimedia like videos and images to make the details easier to digest too.
2. Write a blog
It’s handy to include a blog section on your website so that you can communicate your expertise whilst promoting your sports club and services. Some blog topic ideas include:
- Nutrition tips
- How to use weights safely
- Top sports equipment for your sports niche
- Rules for your sport
- Motivation and wellbeing tips
- Best exercises for quick results
- Analysis of matches
- Case studies of players
- List of the best sports people to follow
Share your latest blog on social media too to gain more engagement. If you go into great detail and produce original content, your blog may even rank high on search engines, resulting in a high number of page views. And the more people that read and engage with your blog, the more people will be aware of your sports club!
58.4% of the world’s population uses social media for an average of 2 hours 27 minutes a day. Your sports club needs to be active in the same areas as your audience, so if you haven’t already, get social media profiles set up! As a minimum, you should have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube account. Social media is free to use and can help you build club awareness and strong connections with sports enthusiasts in the community.
Facebook is the best platform for interacting with your community and your content is likely to be discovered and shared. When existing followers like your posts, your reach increases to all of their friends and followers. Create content that is designed to be liked and shared, and your audience will grow in no time.
The use of Facebook groups allows you to open a constant channel of communication with your members. Being available to answer questions about the club or the latest fixtures will show off the approachable and friendly nature of the club; leading to loyal members.
On Facebook, sports clubs should be posting:
- Match results
- Photos and videos of matches, including a highlights video
- Competitions and giveaways
- Latest updates - for example, if a match is cancelled due to the weather
- Promotions of the different training sessions offered
If your club runs charity fundraising events, you can set up a Facebook events page. Populate the page with all the details including the cause and fundraising target, the link to donate, and then invite people to join and spread the word!
With Twitter, your sports club is more likely to be seen by those outside your local area. Content on Twitter has a greater focus on immediacy, so use this platform to share commentary of live matches.
Follow other sports clubs and rival teams on Twitter and tag them in posts about your latest fixture. Use popular hashtags too to expand your reach. As more accounts take notice and your Twitter following grows, your sports club may attract the attention of news outlets and journalists.
Twitter is also a great place to share your clubs’ opinions on topics in the sporting space, although try to avoid being too controversial! You could share your thoughts on VAR, the latest signing for a premier league club and more. These types of posts will show off your sporting expertise and your club will become more credible.
Instagram is the fourth most popular social network worldwide behind Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp, so it’s important you get a slice of this market. Instagram is used to post photos and videos to the grid and more personal stories that last for 24 hours - your sports club should be taking advantage of all of these features.
Instagram videos get over 2 times more engagement than Instagram photos. Make sure to post reels of your training sessions, members taking part in challenges like the crossbar challenge as well as interviews with coaches post-match.
Take photos of your sports team before a match and tag the location, both when the game is home and away. Posts with a location tag get 79% more engagement, and more engaged users are likely to follow you.
You may want to master the first three platforms and grow a following before you branch into YouTube. High-quality YouTube videos can take up more time and resources so it’s not for everyone.
Look to the big sports clubs for more inspiration, but some video ideas to get you started include:
- Match highlights
- Training tips from the coaches
- Player and coach interviews
- Behind the scenes of events
- Collaborations with special guests from other clubs
Remember to promote your YouTube channel and videos on your other social media platforms; you could even embed some on your website.
Include a link to your booking page in your bio
The final touch to your social media page should be a link to your booking portal. After doing all you can to market your sports club, you need to make it easy for people to become a member!
With BookingLive, you can embed a booking widget in your profile and share a live booking link in your social posts. Bring this convenience to your customers and they’ll be more likely to join your sports club.
Sending email newsletters is often perceived to be a more taxing job than a quick Facebook post. However, a well-rounded marketing strategy will include email marketing campaigns. And with the help of BookingLive, they don’t take long to create.
The most effective email strategies include subscriber segmentation, message personalisation and email automation. Let’s break each one down and explain how BookingLive can help.
BookingLive integrates with MailChimp, a system that is used to design and send emails to your segmented audience. Before you can segment your audience, you need to collect their email addresses! To do this, offer an incentive for people to subscribe to your newsletters such as a discount on their first training session or a valuable product like a football boot cleaning tool. Make it easy to subscribe by placing the links on your website and social media bios.
Now you can segment your audience. For a sports club, you could segment by age, skill level, and interests. Take a look at the data and decide on which metrics work best for your audience. You don’t want to create too many segments as it can get confusing and you’ll have too many versions of your email to send out.
Once you have your segments, you can send personalised messages. For example, you could send targeted emails with content relevant to members that play in a defensive position versus more attacking positions. Or your newsletter may use more technical terminology for those subscribers that are more advanced versus beginners. Sending the right messages to the right people means they’re more likely to open and engage with your email.
With the MailChimp integration, the contact's name will automatically be added to the email content. This adds a personal touch and the receiver won’t feel part of a big mailing list.
Email automation saves you time, reduces costs, and eliminates potential errors. Whether you want to send out your monthly newsletter or booking confirmation emails, the MailChimp integration with your booking system is the answer. The integration means that all booking confirmations go straight into your mailing list.
Automated reports are also produced in the BookingLive system. This allows you to track performance and see which emails are a hit and which ones could be improved to boost engagement.
5. Hand out leaflets
Automation can be exciting and definitely take the load off your marketing efforts, although good old fashioned forms of advertising can still be effective. Designing bold flyers and posting them through letterboxes, in public buildings like the library and leisure centre, and on community notice boards will help your sports club get noticed among those that aren’t as active online.
Your flyer should include the following information:
- Name of your sports club
- Website address
- Contact details
- Social media handles
- Types of sports sessions on offer
- Who can take part in the sessions
- Price range and any discounted packages/deals
Keep the design bold but simple. You want to entice people in whilst directing them to your website for further information since this is where they can place a booking with you.
6. Get local media coverage
As you establish your sports club in the community, don’t forget to build relationships with journalists. There are always free spots in newspapers and local radio that need filling, and if you already have connections in the area, it will be easier to get your story heard.
Start building rapport early, even before you have a story to tell. This will make the relationships more authentic and you’re more likely to land coverage when the time is right.
When it comes to presenting your story, take the time to plan ahead and cover every detail. Structured press releases are great as you can send them out to many contacts at once. Being prepared will make the journalist's life easier, and you’ll be seen as a credible source - and may even gain coverage again and again.
7. Get involved in the community
Become a pillar of the community by hosting events that involve people of all backgrounds - from those getting into the sport to seasoned professionals. The events don’t always have to centre around sports either. Volunteer in a care home, support other charities, start campaigns that help the environment and make your community a greener place. When your club attends these events, make sure you wear your sports uniform so you’re recognisable and to reinforce your brand.
Getting involved and supporting the lives of people in your community benefits both the people and your sports club. If you take part in big initiatives, you may also get mentioned in the media - meaning awareness of your club and credibility will soar.
8. Offer free taster sessions
Some people are naturally more sporty than others. Those that are new to the sport may not want to commit to a membership or pay for a set number of sessions before they’ve tried your activities first. Offering free taster sessions is a great way to market your sports club and attract a new audience.
You could host the taster sessions once a month to begin with to determine the level of interest. Or you could offer the first session for free to attract new members that are interested in a specific class to go over rules and training drills.
9. Connect with local businesses
A great way to grow your sports club is to gain sponsorships from local businesses. They will help to promote your club and these partnerships boost the credibility of your services.
To connect with local businesses, engage with them on social media and invite them to a private session. This will allow people to get a real feel for your services and help them understand how to promote your sports club.
As you become more established on social media and grow a presence in the community this will become easier, as businesses will start to approach you.
10. Make it easy to join
You’ve marketed your sports club and people are ready to become members, now you need to make it easy for them to join. After spending your time and resources on generating new business, you don’t want to lose out at the final hurdle. An online booking system will make it simple for people to book their session; they can book 24/7 on any device.
People need convenience and ringing the sports coach to make a booking can be a hassle for both parties. With no set processes in place, some members may pay for their session over the phone whilst others promise to pay on the day. This extra admin can quickly become muddled and cause unnecessary stress.
A sports booking system from BookingLive allows you to offer a clear, user friendly booking journey. When you market your sports club on your website and social media, you can embed a ‘book now’ widget so booking is only a small click away. People can join your sports club and schedule their next session in five simple steps. Every available time slot is presented and updated in real time to avoid double bookings and help you manage the capacity of your sports team.
Now, you’re all set to go ahead and market your sports club! If you’re interested in using an online booking system to reduce your admin, save you time and generate more revenue, contact us today.
If you’re a small sports club that takes less than 25 bookings per month, you can try our free booking system. As your club grows and you schedule more sessions, move up our tiered pricing plans to unlock extra features.