Clubs need to be competitive on and off the field, so promoting, or marketing, your club is essential.
Similarly, the retention of members is as important as attracting new
members, and keeping the ones you have ensures the clubs future.
Marketing can be defined as a process by which individuals and groups
obtain what they want through creating, offering and exchanging
products of value with others. Importantly, it is an essential part of a
clubs operation and must be planned.
All sport and recreation clubs undertake marketing, although they are
often unaware that they are actually doing so. Creating and maintaining
a clubs website and/or Facebook page; placing information about
membership registrations in the local newspaper; offering a discount on
court hire prices to induce greater use of the courts; or redecorating
the club facilities are all examples of formal marketing activities.
An example of informal marketing involves a person enquiring about
joining a surf life saving club and the secretary being particularly
helpful with providing the membership information over the phone. A
mother of a prospective junior tennis club member watching a coach
conduct a lesson with the children looking bored and not enjoying the
session is a less positive example of informal marketing.
The above examples of marketing indicate that different individuals
within your sport and recreation club conduct marketing activities. It
is particularly useful to appoint an individual or small team as
marketing officers to oversee the development and implementation of the
clubs marketing strategies.
Word of mouth is an important marketing tool. Having people in the
community speaking positively and enthusiastically about the clubs
activities is invaluable.
The marketing mix or marketing tools a club can use can be classified into seven categories:
A promotional plan does not need to
be particularly difficult to develop or the strategies costly to
implement. There are many different ways to develop a plan.
A club needs to put a small working group together to develop the
approach and the plan. The work is not difficult and the working group
does not need to spend a lot of time on the task. The group needs to be
made up of three to four club members that come from different age
groups and different areas of the club e.g. a committee person, a player
under 25 and a coach.
A simple plan for a small club would contain some basic elements including:
Make sure strategies are put in place to see if the club has met its
objectives. Some activities are easy to monitor, such as a membership
drive, others will not be able to be evaluated until after the event.
Collect copies of press clippings or media coverage, records of
attendances at functions or competitions, social media hits and any
feedback your group receives whether it’s positive or negative.
Importantly – many State Sporting Associations (SSAs) have online opportunities to advertise and promote affiliated clubs. Contact your club's SSA and explore these opportunities.
Marketing objective: To recruit 20 junior members by 10 December.
Cost of strategies
Arrange date and time of Free Junior Club Open Day
Arrange activities/games at open day:
Sausages $25, buns $12, sauce $5
Develop a flyer advertising open day
Coloured paper $5, photocopying costs $10
Place flyer on local community notice boards including
local shopping centres, library, swimming pool and on the clubs website
and other social media vehicles e.g. Facebook page etc.
Contact principals of local primary schools to place information in the school newsletter
Place information in the club newspaper offering a free prize for those who bring a friend who is not a member to the open day
Write an article and provide a photo for the local
newspaper focusing on a local junior who joined up at an open day and is
now representing the state
Consider signage – banner to be placed on the club signage company fence on main street
Signage company donated banner and $70 for sign writing
Conduct the Free Junior Club Open Day
Follow up those who attended but did not join up on the day
Actual memberships gained:
22 new members each @ $100 recruited = $2,200
Net profit for club $2,200 – $230.00 = $1970.00
A detailed plan for a larger club or association would need to include further information such as the following:
Focusing on the marketing tool of promotion, and one aspect that many people lack confidence in, is working with the media.
Develop a relationship with the local media outlets by approaching
them and letting them know who you are how you can bring readers to
In this, many media outlets have online capacity to capture details
of your club’s operations such as results of competitions and use these
details in their publications. The club needs to discuss how they can
access these opportunities with the media outlet.
Your club can communicate with the media through an invitation
alerting the media to a forthcoming event, such as the opening of new
clubrooms or a media release about an event which is to take place or
has taken place, such as a family day.
When producing a media release:
A good media release will answer six questions concerning the event:
Many clubs make the mistake of spending a lot of time and money on
conducting promotions to recruit new members and possibly forget about
retaining current members. Developing promotional strategies to improve
the basic product or services the club/group provides, the attitudes of
volunteers or staff towards members or customers and the standard of
facilities may be less expensive and more effective in the long-term.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.