Do you need more club membership and volunteers? Whether you are a player, spectator or sponsor, being involved in grassroots sport is not only a great excuse to get out of the house, but also an exciting way to be involved with your community. Grassroots sporting clubs are always on the search for new members and participants and provide an enjoyable experience for people to do what they love with like-minded individuals and groups, all working towards a common goal.
Every sports club prides themselves on gaining, and retaining members, and these are both crucial in ensuring the long term success and survival of your respective club.
Today, we will be diving into some strategies which your club can use to encourage and motivate new individuals and families to join.
Advertising and Social Media Promotion
In order to attract people, you need to market yourself as a club that people would want to join. Consistent posting on Social Media platforms, such as: Instagram and Facebook gives your club exposure. Posts surrounding recruitment of new members will more likely appeal to potential members, as it demonstrates that your club cares about welcoming new people into your club ecosystem. Regular posts with eye-catching editing will capture audience attention and generate online engagement, boosting the visibility of your club.
Participating in Community Events
Many local towns have markets, fairs, and shows throughout the year. As a club, this is a great opportunity to gain exposure, not only in your local community, but potentially from beyond town borders, as people visiting these events may come from neighbouring towns and afar. Even if it is as simple as setting up a stall at a local event, this demonstrates that you are willing to participate in and help the community, which encourages people to jump on board and help your club.
Another effective way to promote your club to your community is to develop partnerships with other businesses and surrounding clubs. This could include; providing resources which your partners could use and helping each other out at respective events and functions. These activities all portray to communities that your club prioritises others, and is somewhere they’d want to be involved in.
Promote yourself all year long, not just throughout the season
As stated previously, work doesn’t end when the season does. The offseason is the most important time to gain new members, so your squad, and club as a whole is strengthened for the next season. It is also the easiest time to put in extra work as there are no match days to worry about, meaning you can purely focus on gaining and retaining members and players for the next season and beyond.
Marketing your club all year round provides consistent exposure in your community and on social media. Make your online presence known by developing as many social media pages as you can, consistently post on them and make your name heard.
The power of social media enables you to post a variety of content, from recruitment, to event information, to simply comedic or relatable posts. Treating your social platforms like this will also give you a larger variety of followers, and potentially bring in more members.
Simplify your sign-up process
Making your club website easy to find and process makes it more likely to attract members. Your website should also be filled with information that will appeal to potential members, such as; an in depth write up on your clubs history, a mission statement, the sports and teams that you field, as well as; player profiles, statistics and contact information of committee members.
A website which is constantly updated will make your club easier to discover, and in turn, search engines will more likely boost your club’s website visibility when people search up your type of sports club, and are based within a certain radius of your area.
Keep your members engaged!
The key to any club gaining new members is retaining current members and keeping them satisfied by what your club is offering. Listening to your current members feedback and suggestions is pivotal in retaining them for future seasons, while adding new members in the process. If people feel like they belong and are a part of the club, they will most likely remain as part of the club and return the loyalty that the club has shown them. By keeping your members satisfied, they likely will also be intrigued to participate and help out wherever possible, establishing a cycle which will keep the club successful for many years to come.
Once people join the club and recognise a sense of community and belonging, they will also feel inclined to bring friends, which creates new members through word-of-mouth promotion.
Incentivise your memberships
People love to be rewarded for their efforts. Offerings such as commission for member signups or discounts on certain membership deals, is a great way to improve not only numbers, but the amount of people willing to put money into the club. These deals also do not have to be just for new members, it may also interest current members and sponsors in upgrading their membership. Apart from the usual benefits that membership gives (free access to home games, discount on club merch etc.), it can, and should offer a lot more to the paying party. Most clubs have a lot to give their members, and rewarding their loyalty and participation wherever possible needs to be a priority.
Attracting new members may seem hard, but with these suggestions and by implementing these methods, you will gain new members and participants quicker than you could have ever anticipated. Just remember, the sooner you start and the more depth you put into your work, the better results you’ll find!