What is the biggest challenge facing the sports industry?
To answer this question, Sports Business Daily talked to different stakeholders, who openly stated their biggest challenges in the industry, including marketing. One of the respondents, Ken Johnson, from Hunt Construction Group, said that the industry finds it difficult to get young Millennials to attend a game and become season-ticket holders.
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Other challenges cited by different respondents ranged from venue attractiveness, finding more uses for sports facilities, and aligning their marketing and activity, with the changing needs and interests of the millennial population.
One of the key challenges sports club faces is the lack of a viable and efficient marketing strategy. So, what is the way forward?
To help, we will discuss 3 simple ways to market your sports club and enjoy more engagement and returns.
3 Easy Ways To Market Your Sports Club
One: Effectively Use Social Media
According to Carlos Acebey, president of ACB Sports Marketing and Management, the sports marketing industry needs to embrace social media as part of the implementation stage of the strategic marketing process.
To effectively use social media, a sports club marketer can use two techniques.
Use Social Media Influencers
For a sports club, the best social media influencer to use is an established and largely followed sportsman or athlete. To improve the partnership, you should consider what the influencer stands for, and if it’s a fit, work towards achieving that specific goal, while you promote your business.
For example, Perri Shakes-Drayton, a world 400-metre hurdle champion was instrumental in the Go Run For Fun campaign in 2015, which aimed at encouraging kids to get off their couches, run for fun, to have a more active lifestyle. With such influencers on board, the campaign was indeed a success.
Run A Social Media Campaign Or Challenge
In a bid to increase digital engagement with their fans, and further promote athletics, the British Athletics team on May 16th launched the #REPRESENT campaign. The campaign will also drum up support for the team as they embark on the next Olympic and Paralympic cycle leading through to Tokyo 2020, also increasing awareness.
This is exactly what you need to do with your sports club- identify an area of focus and launch a social media campaign or challenge. You can also opt to reward the winner with a gym membership for a period of time.
Two: Referral Marketing
A sports club can use this referral marketing in different ways. For example, you could offer free weekly aerobics sessions for anyone who would refer paying subscribers for the club. Through a client referral program, your team of clients will work as your mobile marketing avenues, who get rewarded for bringing in new clients. One of the easiest ways is a free training session for each client they bring.
Keri McCartney, the owner of a personal training studio, reported that co-marketing was partly responsible for an increase in clients at her training studio. She needed to look for a local company, and collaborate on promotional efforts, and co-promote each other.
In her case, Keri formed a partnership with the Subway restaurant, advertising her studio in the restaurant locations, while the restaurant was advertised in her studio.
There are two other great ways you could run your reward program.
Run A Clearly Stipulated Reward Program
In Keri’s case, for example, she used a point system, and the rewards were commensurate with the points accrued. For example, 10 points would earn a client a $5 gift card to the subway (Do you see how deep co-marketing can go?).
In your case, you need to design a clear guideline on how to accrue points as well, so that your clients can know what to do to earn points. Make sure that you use part of the profit gained after a client has transacted with you to reward them. For example, if a single client earns you a profit of $100 for every four visits, you could choose a $10 gift card as a reward for the 5th visit.
Offer Promotional Items To Your Clients
Promotional items such as branded T-shirts, flash drives to store their Zumba moves, and sports gear, are an excellent way to market your sports club. They give results in two main ways.
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Your clients will remain loyal. As reported by PPAI, despite 55% of consumers have already done business with a company before receiving a promotional product, business increased once promotional products were introduced.
Consumers are also willing to change their brand just for the sake of receiving a branded gift. So, prospects could change sports clubs, ditching your competitors, for you, for the reason that they received promotional products.
To run a successful sports club, invest in social media marketing, co-market with other businesses, for referral purposes, and create a reward program to keep your clients loyal to your business.