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Growing Your Youth Sports Organization
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Growing Your Youth Sports Organization

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Many sports organizations are looking for guidance on how to raise awareness in their communities about pre-season registration, as well as how to get more overall involvement from parents and fans. …

Many sports organizations are looking for guidance on how to raise awareness in their communities about pre-season registration, as well as how to get more overall involvement from parents and fans. Youth sports marketing can be tricky. This presentation explains how effective marketing and positive media coverage for your team or league can result in increased participation, bigger sponsorships, and an enhanced reputation for your league.

This content was provided by Active Network Sports, leader in youth sports activities and technology: www.activesports.com. To download this presentation with speaker commentary and to get access to all Active Network Sports webinars, visit http://info.activesports.com/forms/webinar-download.

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  • 1. Marketing and PR 101 Tips & advice for your sports organization Megan Lavine Corporate Communications Manager Vanessa Allen Senior Marketing Manager November 16, 2011sports
  • 2. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Today’s format:  Presentation time: ~ 40 min  Q&A to follow • How to submit a question? • Click on the “Q&A” tab on the top right-hand side of your screen and type it into the text windowsports
  • 3. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Marketing & PR 101: What we’ll cover  What are Marketing & Public Relations?  What’s the difference?  Why do I need Marketing and PR?  Marketing & PR tools  To kick-off your season  During your season  End of your season  Q&Asports
  • 4. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What is marketing?sports
  • 5. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What is marketing? In everyday language, it’s just “getting the word out” - • Building awareness about what you’re doing and • Convincing others they should buy it, participate in it, or support it For a team sports organization, it’s the combination of activities that serve to drive the results you want from your participants and community – whether that’s getting players, volunteers, donations, sponsors or more.sports
  • 6. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What is marketing? Effective marketing boils down to: 1. Get the right product… 2. to the right person… 3. at the right time… 4. for the right price. How you do this is #5 on the list…sports
  • 7. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What is marketing? What to consider in your marketing plan: • Think in terms of a campaign of synchronized efforts • Multi-channel, reach your “customer” in different ways • Cohesive visuals • Consistent messages Marketing is always designed to get your message direct to your consumersports
  • 8. Public relations is the way in which anorganization communicates and persuadesits audiences.> Inform, Shape, Motivatesports
  • 9. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization In your case, PR is… The actions a sports league or club does to increase awareness and promote goodwill between the organization and the community, volunteers, local government, players, parents, etc.sports
  • 10. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationWhat’s the difference between marketing and PR? Marketing  Brand awareness  Customer engagement  Sales PR  Perception  Reputationsports
  • 11. The value of PR & Marketing to your organization Player participation Local government support Sponsors Community engagement VolunteersMarketing and PR 101
  • 12. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Tools of the trade:sports
  • 13. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Tools of the trade: No matter which or how many marketing tools you deploy, always be sure to answer this question:sports
  • 14. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Tools of the trade: What’s in it for me (WIIFM), defines your product “positioning” • Effective positioning allows you to highlight the unique benefits of your offering so your customer knows immediately “what’s in it for me” • It becomes the platform for all your marketing • Why is this important? • You’re competing for attention • You want to come across as authentic and relevantsports
  • 15. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Where do you start?sports
  • 16. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Vanessa’s Four Questions: 1. How does this product fit within similar options? 2. Why would our customer want to buy it? 3. How does it compare to similar products? 4. Whats the passion about the product? The answers will help you express the WIIFMsports
  • 17. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Vanessa’s 4 questions Example: Pop Warner football & cheer league 1. How does this product fit within similar options? 1 of xx other sports programs locally; 1 of xx other football/cheer programs; offers participation for both boys and girls; offers programs for youth aged xx to xx years old…etc. 2. Why would our customer want to buy it? Parents can trust Pop Warner’s program of developing scholarship as a condition of play, assuring their children will get a well- rounded experience; it’s easier for parents when both sons & daughters can participate in one organization 3. How does it compare to similar products? The only local organization that operates under the auspices of Pop Warner, a nationally-known & trusted organization 4. Whats the "passion" about the product? Pop Warner celebrates both field & classroom successes with special events & recognition; league has [blank] record of success The answers will help you express the WIIFM !sports
  • 18. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Tools of the trade: Branding Once you’ve got your WIIFM positioning, develop your brand to represent it • Meet the Easy and Fit Tests • For any brand, there are four “Easy” tests – Easy to say, Easy to spell, Easy to read, Easy to remember • And four “Fit” tests - Fits the audience, Fits the benefits, Fits the culture, Fits legal requirements • Choose positive attributessports
  • 19. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your marketing toolbox:sports
  • 20. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your marketing toolbox: Online & offline marketing choices: • Why online? Your community is online today. • Proactively establish an online presence and join the conversation! • Additional benefits: online tools are continually in development, upgrades don’t require download, not limited to one computer • Why offline? Shelf-life. • Online content may live forever, but it doesn’t lie around the house. • Used together they reinforce your message • Create a multi-channel campaign and so you can reach your “customer” in different ways, always with consistent branding and messagessports
  • 21. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your Marketing toolbox: Tools of the Trade • Websites Your home base for an online presence • Online calendars & listings Expands your reach online, links back to your website and to sign up • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ Extends your reach to other sites than many visit • Blogs Thought leadership, search engine results, expanded online presence • Emails Quick, easy, inexpensive. Proactive outreach, keeps you “top of mind” with regular contacts.sports
  • 22. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your Marketing toolbox: • Partnerships National governing bodies, business sponsors, community alliances. Add to your exposure, trade ad space, add links to & from your site • Print Materials Flyers, brochures, ads & more. Repurpose for online posts • Direct Mail Could be a “prospect” mailer to a targeted list; include with partner mail, such as receipts, bills, and catalogs. • Signs and Displays Posters, banners, and tabletop displays can all drive website traffic.sports
  • 23. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your Marketing toolbox: • Advertising, online and offline Clear call-to-action, contact info and/or links to your website • Incentives Convey a sense of urgency, reward “good behavior!” • Testimonials Add credibility to your marketing with “customer” recommendations. • Note: this can also help your PR program • Ask parents and players to recommend your program and get permission to feature them in your advertising & onlinesports
  • 24. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Your Marketing toolbox: Resources • eMarketing Center: Free online resources for Active customers, including templates, our “button generator,” best-practices articles and advice http://emarketing.activenetwork.com • Webinars: • Building & Maintaining Effective Websites • Recruit, Manage and Keep Your Volunteers • Fundraising 2.0 How to use online tools for effective fundraising • How to use Twitter to Increase Awareness and Participation • Facebook Tips and Tools to Increase Awareness and Participation • Social Media 101 http://www.activesports.com/resources-overview/archived-webinars.htmsports
  • 25. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization How can I use PR to drive awareness and participation?sports
  • 26. Media Relations Social Media Public Relations Crisis Communications Public Affairs Community Relationssports
  • 27. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Some tools of the trade… • Media lists • Press releases • Media alerts • Direct media outreach (pitching) • Media kits • Photos and graphicssports
  • 28. The Media Newspapers Blogs TV stations Radiosports
  • 29. TimelinessLocalImpactHigh profileControversyNoveltyStats & Trendssports
  • 30. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What is media relations? Media relations is the act of developing a relationship with a reporter to ultimately get them to write about your organization in a positive manner.sports
  • 31. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationBe prepared• Develop a Media Kit • Fact sheet • Recent press releases • Team backgrounder • Hi-resolution photos, logos • Bios• Team & game statistics• Game day notessports
  • 32. Best practices when working with the mediasports
  • 33. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization While pitching Do • Know the outlet and reporter • Be brief, be simple, be responsive • Know what you want to convey Don’t • Blast emails! • Hype the truth • Use slang or jargonsports
  • 34. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationInterviewingDo Don’t Watch body language  Speak off the record Stay on message and use  Reveal confidential info short sound bites  Criticize your Say your organization name competitors often  Speak on behalf of Wear a company logo, and others dark, solid colors if doing a  Get defensive TV interview.  Say “no comment” Be honestsports
  • 35. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationFollowing UpDo – Be courteous and positive – Respect their deadlines – Thank them for a great articleDon’t – Harass – Ask to review the article – Ask reporter to send along hitsports
  • 36. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Interview Check-List Ask yourself, did you?  Accomplish your objectives  Tell your story convincingly  Maintain credibility  Engage the reporter  Follow up in a timely mannersports
  • 37. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationsports
  • 38. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Championing your great media hits Post to your blog Broadcast via your social media channels Feature on your website Send to your National Include in your Governing Body or team newsletter regional chaptersports
  • 39. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Crisis Management  ID your crisis team and spokesperson  Plan out worst case scenarios  Prepare talking points or statement  Be transparent and honest  Convey resolutions  Recognize the broader issues  Seek outside counsel if neededsports
  • 40. PRE-SEASONsports
  • 41. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Pre-season: Step 1: Set-up the foundation Establish your online presence with a website • Brand & customize • Add sponsor and NGB logos • Get folks excited about participating: • Update with pictures, recap from previous season, videos – even a video welcome message from board members • Give a sense of your league activity to appeal to new players/parents • Provide links to participate and/or donate • Add calendar, important dates • Add contact information, e.g. media contacts Resources: www.eteamz.comsports
  • 42. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization • Clear call to action: Register now • Incorporate social media links • Incentives encourage early commitmentsports
  • 43. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization • Clear call to action: Register now • Eteamz Facebook integration for quick social media linkssports
  • 44. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationAdd your program to onlinedirectories & calendars –make it easy to find you!sports
  • 45. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Go to www.Active.com Click on “Post an Activity” to add your program to the directory – it’s free! • Over 4,000,000 unique visits per month YTD • Over 400,000 searches per month YTD • Plus Active Network affiliates extend our calendar reach by millions of users across a range of websites including ESPN, Southwest.com, Eventful and more: • Generating millions of direct hits to Active.com event pages • Drives thousands of actual transactions to Active events Source: Active Networksports
  • 46. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Explore your local online media outlets for additional opportunities to “get the word out!”sports
  • 47. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Pre-season: • Set-up social media accounts and start blogging If these tools are part of your campaign, start early • Create an information flyer, post online & distribute • Include: website URL, contact names & numbers • Try a QR code that links to website and/or video • Arm your staff/volunteers with copies to distribute, they’re your “ambassadors”sports
  • 48. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Pre-season: Set-up online registration for players & volunteers • WIIFM for your customers: • Seamless: online search leads to online registration • Immediate gratification: no waiting, no lines • WIIFM for you: • Your list of marketing contacts builds itself • Registration info creates segmentation, e.g. parents, volunteers, players, divisions, etc • No data entry, source data easily updated • Most registration systems include email capability, making it a multi-purpose solution • Fundraising & volunteer recruitment can be easily incorporated!sports
  • 49. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Fundraising through online registration If you’re already offering online registration, it’s easy to add donation options to your registration form. “We included an option to give a donation during online registration and we raised $1,000 in contributions. It was all from individual $20 donations. It was really cool.” DeAnna Sohn, Vice President North Raleigh Bulldogs Pop Warnersports
  • 50. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Volunteer sign up via online registration This basketball league includes a statement about why volunteers are needed and how it helps the league, and also specifies what is being asked and offers choices “I also had over 100 new volunteers last year because we asked for volunteers during online registration. That is the coolest thing ever.” DeAnna Sohn, Vice President North Raleigh Bulldogs Pop Warnersports
  • 51. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Set-up online fundraising Campaigns, Team & individual fundraising www.ActiveGiving.comsports
  • 52. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Pre-season: Step 2: Start “getting the word out” • Email campaign: • Heads up! Sign up now…There’s still time…Last chance! • Customize the message for each contact • Add specific requests for volunteers & financial support • Use your testimonials, quotes, endorsements! • Other “traffic-drivers”: • Direct mail • Advertising • Partners • “Open House” or get acquainted events • Signage and displayssports
  • 53. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Media relations: What to do during pre-season • Become familiar with your local media • Read • Research • Target the right reporters • Find them on Twitter • Introduce yourself • Prepare media kit • Write press releasessports
  • 54. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What are some potential news hooks during the pre-season? • Human interest stories • Trends or stats • Team/Org profile • Upcoming events or fundraisers • New sponsors • Registration opensports
  • 55. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationMarketing & PR During Your Seasonsports
  • 56. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization During your season: Continue the momentum you created pre-season: • Communicate: Send regular emails, consider a newsletter format • Recognize your volunteers, e.g. volunteer of the week or month • Profile coaches, staff, board members, players • This will aid you with any media contacts or pitches • And provide new testimonials & recommendations • Regular social media and blog posts • Report on fundraising results • Get feedback & give feedback - create surveys and ask for ideas and opinions • Special events get special marketing promotion – tournaments, championship teams, etc. • Keep schedules, scores & standings up to datesports
  • 57. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationMedia relations:What to do during the season Invite media to events Pitch stories and events Write press releases/alerts Use social media tools Capture high quality photos, videossports
  • 58. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Marketing & PR - End of Your Seasonsports
  • 59. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization At the end of your season: It’s a new reason to promote! • Communicate successes & lessons • Recognize your volunteers, coaches, umps, board members • Reward & give awards • Recap on social media and blog posts • Summarize fundraising results • More fodder for media contacts or pitches • And more testimonials & recommendation “Rinse & repeat”: • Get wrap-up feedback & share it - create surveys and ask for ideas and opinions • Plan final events with special marketing promotions • Update your website with: • Open registration for next season, or create a list of “maybes” • Publish key dates for your next season • Request images, videos, etc – post them onlinesports
  • 60. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organizationMedia relations:What to do in post-season Stay engaged with reporters Update media kit Continue with social media Post – season media hooks: – Post-season features – Trends & stats – Photossports
  • 61. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization What’s next, you ask? • Rinse & repeat! Getting ramped up for your next season will be easier, now you can “tweak” and refine your marketing and PR plans to get better or different results • Your toolbox is full If it’s up to you again, now you’ve got a toolbox that’s filled with what you need for starting up again next season. Or, you’ve got assets you can pass along to a new volunteer, so no one has to reinvent “the wheel”sports
  • 62. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Please submit questions in the “Q&A” section of your toolbar, on the top right of your screen. For more information, visit: www.ActiveSports.com www.eteamz.com www.Active.com www.ActiveNetwork.comsports
  • 63. Marketing and PR 101 | Tips & advice for your sports organization Thank you for attending!To learn how you can spend more time playing sports, instead of playing secretary at a registration table, contact us at ActiveSports@ActiveNetwork.comsports