Top tips to grow your membership programme

Top tips to grow your membership programme

Membership recruitment is a tough game. It doesn't matter if you are trying to increase fans of your sports team, members of your PTA association or members of your networking group or business club. It's a tough old slog. And it is continuous. There is a shelf life on any single member of any organisation. They can leave the membership fold (and regularly do) for any number of reasons. Monetary changes, new interests, moving away, retirement etc. If you do not have a continuous strategy for growth and to replace the members who move on your membership programme will get stale and cease to exist very quickly. On paper it seems like a great arm to your business. Most sports teams have membership organisations that help to boost and generate recurrent and consistent income as do many charities and businesses. It's a simple way of generating income and support. In many business models the investment is small but the membership numbers are high...
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Professional sports, cyber bullies and why enough is enough.

Professional sports, cyber bullies and why enough is enough.

Bullying, in it's traditional form, has been going on since the beginning of time. That was when your bully had to face you. To say what he or she thought to your face in front of an audience and back up his attacks. Probably to physically assault you too. These days bullies can do their bullying from the comfort of their bedroom, lounge, office desk. They can do their bullying without ever having to face their victim or show their face. They can literally be nameless and faceless and they can say whatever they like. They can say things they would almost definitely never say to your face too. Sadly Cyber bullying is on the rise and  over 34 percent of students acknowledge that they have experienced cyberbullying (cyberbullying.org). This said all schools and most youth organisations have a cyber bullying policy with clear guidelines and consequences. The same, sadly, cannot be said in professional sports.  The online abuse levelled at professional sports stars,...
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The importance of looking after your sponsors in sport.

The importance of looking after your sponsors in sport.

One thing we hear when meeting with clients on a regular basis is that they struggle to retain sponsors after more than one season unless they are on a multiple year contract. Why can I not retain my sponsors?  Usually they put it down to budget or similar. We often hear 'well times are hard for businesses and marketing spend is always the first thing to go'. Now, this is, undoubtedly true. Marketing is a luxury but the main reason many businesses will pull sponsorship spend is because they are getting no return on their investment. Marketing is a competitive market and there are a LOT of ways you can market and promote your brand. The opportunities for digital advertising (using platforms such as Facebook or Google ads) are relatively inexpensive and, if done properly, can provide you with a quick and tangible return on your investment. Pay X, promote Z and make Y. It's simple maths really. Yet, within sport, many clubs think...
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How to use social media to market your sports team – Part One Facebook

How to use social media to market your sports team – Part One Facebook

One question that comes up a lot is how to effectively use social media to market your sports team. Social media is such a broad term but each channel is very, very different. Different levels of engagement in different ways, different ways to communicate, different audiences etc. Lumping them all into one article is definitely not helpful. The platform chosen for part one of series is the giant that is Facebook. So, strap in...here we go! There's no getting away from it. Facebook is HUGE. An absolute giant with 2.2 BILLION active users per month. 2.2 billion!  That's a lot of people to potentially put your team in front of. It isn't, however, as simple as merely posting your information and getting 2.2 million people engaging. Sorry about that. Many people make the mistake that just posting content on your page equals people seeing your page.  Essentially, due to Facebook's algorithms, unless you regularly engage with the page or you have paid to promote and boost posts,...
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Fan Engagement – Do you have a game plan?

Fan Engagement – Do you have a game plan?

Sports fans are incredible. They're loyal, vocal, supportive and invaluable. Yet so often they can be taken for granted. The word 'Fan', as we all know, comes from the word FANATIC. Collins English dictionary defines FANATIC as: 'a person who is extremely interested in something, to a degree that some people find unreasonable' A sports fan is 100% connected with the sport they follow. There is a huge emotional connection and this is something which is, actually, incredibly hard to break. Often, this is why good engagement with supporters is not always a high priority. The thinking that these people will be there during thick and thin makes them perhaps less of a priority. Your fans should be your number one priority when you work in sport. You cannot guarantee the result of the game they've come to see. Once the team's out there that's out of your hands (Unless you're the coach or a player of course!) but what you CAN control is the experience for a fan. Before, during AND after a...
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Turn your social media followers in ticket buyers

Turn your social media followers in ticket buyers

The digital age is here and is only going to get bigger. So many sports teams these days are hopping on to social media platforms because they think it's something they 'should be doing'. Don't get me wrong - It is. All clubs should be on social media and all clubs should be working on communicating with their fan base. It is really important and really powerful when used properly. The interesting thing however, is the fact that many clubs have a vast number of followers on social media that doesn't represent the number of fans that come to their games every single week. Why is that? Of course there will always people that follow you because they are local and they want to keep abreast of what you're doing but they're not that interested in coming to games. They'll be people following you who are fans of other clubs to catch up on news and info. They'll be people following you who...
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Would your sports team like a bigger fanbase?

Would your sports team like a bigger fanbase?

Do you have enough bums on seats at your sports game? Well, do you? It's a simple enough question but I am always really surprised to hear many people I talk to saying they're happy with their crowds. Even though they aren't always at capacity. They're 'busy enough' is usually the answer I get. Busy enough and they don't have the time to put any more effort into growing those numbers. Usually this means that they're at decent capacity at every game without having to do anything. People come to their games REGARDLESS of what they do. Because they're a fan and they're invested. They'll come whether you're top of the league or the bottom. Whether you drop a league or get promoted. Whether it's a freezing cold Sunday or a surprisingly warm day for the time of year. The thing is you shouldn't just rely on this steady crowd. These dyed in the wool supporters as even they will have  shelf life as their...
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Why should I hire a sports marketing consultant?

Why should I hire a sports marketing consultant?

One thing I often hear when I am out and about networking and meeting people is that they don't want or need to hire a sports marketing consultant. If pushed as to WHY I'm often given answers such as 'it's a luxury we can't afford' or 'we're doing okay as we are' or 'we just don't have the budget for that'. I know what a lot of people are thinking when they hear the word 'consultant' It comes under the same category as 'coach' in some people's minds. Some see consultants as a flouncy title for someone to come in and tell you how to do something you already know how to do and then charge you for it. And, essentially, that is true. Most consultants are in that position because they have unprecedented experience in their field. They have done it all and they KNOW what works. They're not feeling their way in the dark or trying lots of different initiatives to...
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Why aren’t all small businesses embracing digital marketing?

Why aren’t all small businesses embracing digital marketing?

I come across a lot of small businesses on the networking circuit. And they all say a very similar thing. They don't really use digital channels in their marketing. But why? Digital marketing is usually free or, at least, pretty inexpensive. It can put you in front of your target audience in seconds. It can chop down your print budget (and therefore your carbon footprint) and it can create engagement. It's a brilliant marketing tool. Yet, in a survey of over 1000 small businesses  71.6% said their company website is their primary marketing channel with only 43.3% saying they utilise Digital advertising and social media. (source Infusionsoft) That's not that many people utilising and maximising digital marketing. Especially as many very BIG companies ALSO are not really utilising these channels. Big companies. Potentially your competition. Not doing what you could be doing. That's a massive opportunity right there. So why don't they? Usually, the people I chat too, say it's due to confusion and lack of knowledge. In...
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Is your fanbase happy? Have you checked?

Is your fanbase happy? Have you checked?

You run a sports team so (hopefully!) you have a fanbase. It doesn't matter if your fanbase is 200 people per game or 20,000 people per game they are still stakeholders for your team. And they matter. It's a bit like the 'new customers only' phrase which is banded about in the T&Cs of companies marketing. The new customers get everything. On a stick. All wrapped up with a big bow. And covered in chocolate. You get the picture. Your marketing team will obviously be keen to up the numbers of bums on seats and the number of people invested in your club. And that's great. It is such an important job as fans do have a shelf life as things change. They get older, they change jobs, they have children. And they move away from the club. Sometimes for a long time sometimes for the short term but you should always be aiming to backfill those people with brand new folk (new...
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