Ultimate Guide to Increasing League Registrations
Great! So you've decided to start a sports league either within your own sports complex or you've gotten the permits to use different sports complexes to run your league out of.
(If you haven't done that yet you may want to check out this article: about how to start a league from scratch.)
So now the question is how do you maximize your league registrations?
Well you've come to the right place, this article is for those that just started a league either for adults or youth and want to hear what the latest trends and strategies are to increase registrations.
Before we do get into the meat of this article it's important to say there are slight difference between marketing and selling an adult league in comparison to a youth league. We'll be discussing those differences at the end of this article but for the most part they are quite similar.
Step 1: The marketing strategy
For starters the marketing strategy should be one-two punch. You need to break up your strategy first into how you'll be getting people to register and then the second strategy (which is often times forgotten) how do you keep players coming back. It's always easier (and cheaper) to register an existing player than find a new one.
With that being said, how does one actually setup a "marketing strategy" great question! This should is going to be a fluid process that will change over time as you figure out what is working and what is not, the goal is to come up with a framework that allows you to continuously and easily adjust your marketing strategies.
For that we prescribe the "funnel framework" which breaks down registrations (or any type of selling) for that matter into a few stage:
- Aware: you may be the new league in the block or the biggest league in the city either way we need an extremely effective way of getting people aware of who you are and what you're offering
- Interested: Once you've gotten someone aware the question then become how are you getting them interested
- Decision: After they're interested what is the next step and how are you getting them to take it
- Action: The last step for the registration strategy but the first step of the retention strategy is how do you actually get them to take the action of buying or paying for their registration
- Retain: When your league is all set and done how do you plan on get the players that registered last season to keep registering for future seasons.
- Refer: This is arguably when the most growth comes but how do you get your players to start referring other players
And that's it. All we have to do is write up some of our assumptions on what these steps are and we've already taken the first step to increasing league registrations just by having the clarity in the journey a player is taking before they become a part of your organization.
With that being said there are some best practices at each stage, which we will be going through together now. I encourage you to click this link where you will find a template to structure your own league marketing strategy and then we can fill it up together as you're going through this article.
Step 2: How to generate awareness
Whether the promotion strategy is for youth sports events, adult games, athletes competitions, or leagues, the marketing strategy is always the same: Grassroot Sports Marketing. This strategy gives the promoter the ability to draw the public’s attention, from the lowest to the highest position of people in the community.
Growing your league is a two-part strategy. The first, focuses on how to increase the number of registrations your league is getting. On the other hand, the second part of the strategy deals with how many players the league will accept and retain after each year. This article is all about how you can increase the number of registrations you’ve been getting in your league and how to boost your league’s level of awareness through strategic planning.
If you’re interested in learning how to maximize your player retention, stick to the end of this article. This article’s contents are not just a product of random curated research but rather a playbook of effectively tried out solutions.
We are an organization with versatile knowledge of the field and extensive experience in planning a sports league. We are committed to making things easier for you so you can create awareness, market your league, and get everyone in your area talking about it.
Social media has remained one of the most important tools in helping business owners locate, connect with, and discuss with both their customers and potential customers. Social media is a great space to collect surveys, request feedback from the customers and learn how to offer better services. This makes it easier to create a two-way information and communication channel for swift interaction.
Sports leagues can also make use of these awesome tools. Word of mouth is great, but access to millions of people looking to register for sports leagues is even better. That’s what social media gives you.
As of January 2020, Social Media users rose to 3.80 billion, with Facebook having the highest population of social media users, ranking over 2.32 billion active users every month, Twitter ranking with 330 million users every month, Instagram with 1 billion users every month, YouTube with 2 billion users every month. With 90.4% user rate from people of ages 24-39, 77.5% for the age range of 40-55,48.2% for ages 56-74 and a larger irregular internet consumption from children and young adults of the Gen Z age bracket, 1997- early 2010. Youths aged 23 years and below spend at least 3 hours on the internet every day, with 73% of them on Instagram, 63% on Snapchat, and 62% on YouTube and a whopping figure of 45.1 million used in 2018.
As the relevance of social media keeps rising, endless opportunities keep unfolding for business owners. This has grown the usage of social media as a marketing tool to 73% as of 2019. Brands set up accounts, run ads, and strategically push their content to target groups. By targeting groups of pickup players or getting local sports facilities to share your content, you can reach new players that want to register for leagues like yours. Depending on what persona you’re targeting, you can choose Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok to promote your league.
Here’s an article on the best social media for common league personas and which groups on each platform to reach out to.
Make sure to leverage existing players as well. Players love seeing themselves featured on your page and are likely to share posts featuring themselves within their networks. Deciding on which platform works for you is beneficial, although you can decide to host your brands on multiple social media platforms.
Pro tip: To reach a targeted audience, you can use paid advertisements. We know those can seem pretty complicated, so reach out, and we’ll help you get started.
If you want to attract a large crowd to register for your league, then you have to be ready to give back to the community. Focus on making your league a part of the community. You can decide to join a non-profit organization and fight for a cause you believe in. There are tons of nonprofits looking to hold charity games. By hosting these, you can find new players to register for your league.
The community will find it easier to join you if you are spreading love to them. You can easily win the mind of the masses by doing great things for local non-profits. Look Beyond your football, baseball, or soccer team. Look further into the community and think of ways to donate while organizing sports.Some teams have promoted their brands by starting a campaign for a school or charity in their neighbourhood. This has greatly helped them as a promotional strategy for their overall brand.
Social events and campaigns are structured to build and influence communities by integrating into them. You can also use PR to bring more awareness to your campaign. From mounting billboards for media publicity to spreading information through social media you can reach your expected target audience and increase league registration.
You have to be strategic with your campaign as a campaign without a strategy comes back without a result.Just as you incorporate product, price, and promotion, don’t forget to include policy.You can add fun events like a street carnival, park fun, outdoor movie show. At these events, you should make sure that your sponsors and organizers dish out promotional offers to the audience in attendance. You can also include skill competitions, talent exhibitions, and games for families in attendance.
Pro Tip: To reach productive results through your campaigns, set out events that will capture your target audience. Understand the age bracket you will expect in your league and launch humanitarian projects that will influence them.
Partners for success
Incorporating a partnership to your league marketing scheme offers you more visibility, exposure, and sponsorship. You stand more chances of being displayed on your partner’s platform, as well as yours. That is a dual marketing route.
A dual marketing route gives you an edge, and helps you get seen by your sponsor’s fans, and drives your stories to more potential clients.Leveraging partnership works as an amazing tool that helps you drive more registrations to the league and is a smart way to explore new grounds.This helps you retain ownership of the field, access more support from partners/sponsors, bring more promotion, as well as increase collaboration on the project.
Partnership marketing is a strategic tool used by brands that wish to remain competitive in the global market.The goal of partners is to bring together two different brands, create a strong alliance, gain more exposure, push more awareness, and draw more customers. A growing league firm can decide to partner with a beverage firm or a media firm. Whichever firm you choose, the level of unification is all that matters.Both Brands can choose to use joint sales, in-store merchandise, and media campaigns to offer strategic value to the audience.
Partnerships with local businesses willing to sponsor your league not only helps you get better funding but also helps both of you get exposure.Their customers are more likely active people and are good targets. Partnership marketing helps you explore new grounds, push new motions to a larger audience, gives you more selling points and distribution space. Further, it increases your league’s reach and target audience, enlarges your marketing scope, broadens the league’s purpose, allowing you to launch in different ways.By engaging in an effective partnership, you will attract more clients to register for your sports league.
Hold tryouts in the fall
When it comes to promoting your league, date matters. You want to host tryouts at a time when players are thinking about the upcoming season. Fall is a widely accepted sporting period because of the fair weather condition during that period.
Fall, which runs through September 22, 2020, to December 21, 2020, sets an opening season for different sports like football, field hockey, soccer, Golf, Cross country, Tennis, Volleyball, Waterpool, among a host of others.Sports events hosted during the spring are usually posed with challenges from the rain. A Heavy downpour or rainstorm will greatly affect attendance and turn up for the league. Setting your league during the spring can result in minimal registration, as bad weather can be a major discouragement for potential players. No one wants to catch the flu, freeze, or have to wait out thunderstorms while playing sports.
Strategically drafting a game plan taking weather into consideration is a good way to structure your league.You can come up with an outreach strategy and have team captains get in touch with potential new players earlier in the year (as early as July) to help get the most number of people to your tryouts. Also, league launches are best before the beginning of a tournament. This creates room to showcase your league to the community and demonstrate how prepared you are to host sports events. Having tryouts and registrations during early fall will allow you to capture the most players and grow your league.
Step 3: How to get them interested
While starting off our first league, one of the strategic roles we took to garnering massive registration was to set up a CMS software.
We launched software geared at sports league management, content creation, optimization, modification, with the essence of pushing through with ECM (Enterprise Content Management) and WCM (Web Content Management). We chose to use a CMS software as our cyber platform to push digital awareness because of its ability to collaborate on many websites and support multiple users. It also had the provision to retain and record information, including texts, audio, embedded graphics, visuals, and maps for effective communication and interaction with users.
The benefit of owning a Website/app can not be overlooked when it comes to digital marketing. No matter the brand-whether sports facilities, leagues, and activities hosting a website is as important as SEO optimization.
Having a website/app gives you a platform to be seen, heard, and felt. Qualified teams have easy access to meeting you. They can ask as many questions as they have. But to make this all happen, your website should be ranking high on a search engine.
It would help if you got a web developer’s services to give your website an excellent feel, font, looks, and interface. An SEO expert will also do good to your website to ensure your site is visible online on Search Engine.
Worried about your league registration website? Contact us and find out how you can get a free website redesign from our team of experts!
Volleyball, softball, Kickball, or soccer tryouts are usually an exciting event that doesn’t just get your players hyped but creates an avenue for you to build relationships with potential players and peak their interest. Tryouts are a great time to engage with more players and get them excited about registering with your league.
Every talented budding player always looks for tryouts to exhibit their skills and increase their chances of getting enrolled in the team. It serves as a big-time sports recruitment strategy.
Aside from its benefit to individual players, every team owner or council will want to participate too. It allows their teams to showcase themselves and get more visibility.
How you strategize your tryouts is so important to avoiding boring games that no one wants to attend. You can add cool prizes to tryouts to up the competition, or you can include everyone in the fun by entering all players in a raffle during tryouts.
Nevertheless, before setting out to plan how your tryouts will look, you need to make sure they are well promoted. The larger the turnouts are, the more the chances of getting league registrations.You can start this by promoting your tryouts on your website or blog, clearly analyzing the benefits, structure, entails, and benefits attached to the tryouts. You can go as far as sending emails to your email subscribers, telling them to bring along their family and friends for a free tryout session. This will give you a glimpse of people who are interested in the sport.
You can also make use of your social media in promoting the tryouts. As tryouts are going on, always keep your social media busy with pictures from the event.
Share pictures of training sessions, matches, and happenings around the field. This doesn’t just help you keep hold of milestone memories but also shows the community what is happening on the field.
Step 4: How to help your players decide
Streamline the onboarding process
Getting enough players on each team while keeping players and captains happy with their teammate choices can be a lengthy and messy process if you don’t have the appropriate software.
The procedure used in collating and documentation of a league, its registration and reports goes a long way in keeping accountability and clarity. It also reduces the risk of having poor recruitment events.
Before the use of league management software and registration software, the go-to solution was messy excel sheets and hours of back and forth communications. By using CMS software to streamline this process, you can make it easier than ever for players to sign up for the teams they want to be in and make sure the logistics of each team are planned smoothly.
The use of a CMS software makes it easier for indexing, search, information retrieval, content management, and optimization. This goes a long way in organizing all information and data placed online for easy access by users worldwide. It also enables functions that permit searchers to scroll through your content by using filters like dates, keywords, titles, headings, and author tags.
You can also incorporate the use of SEO to increase visibility, templates and customization, plug-ins, admin panels, and file managers to construct your website in a way that will not just attract clients to your website but will ensure to convert each click to a registered player.
There are numerous CMS software available in cyberspace. It all depends on your preference, how much you target your audience, and the software’s stability.
We know this can all sound a bit overwhelming, but if it's something you're interested in, contact us and we’ll get you set up!
Make registrations digital
Registration Forms are a means of collating details of interested customers. This works as a means of converting random visitors to participants of the league. The process which follows these registrations most times determines customer signings.
Registration is meant to be as easy as possible to access, simple to understand, and with a clear and direct message. Your ability to monitor and strategize signups gives you a better idea of how to get players registered and where you should launch your league for more awareness.
One of the easiest ways of setting up a registration form is by going digital. Toss away the traditional “Pen and Paper” pattern and embrace the use of gadgets and innovative technologies.Paper registrations for leagues take time for players to fill out and can quickly get messy to handle on your end. We think it’s time to leave that behind. Using online registrations can make the process of registering for your league faster and more organized. Remember, the easier you make it for people to register for your league, the more likely they will be to register and refer other people to do so too. This is why having good league management software is so important. Setting up an online digital firm will yield more fruits if it is properly structured, supervised, and optimized.You will realize that it’s best to use digital registration at the time of tryouts. Ditch the paper!
To get your customers to sign your digital form, you must have a functional website, informative and properly rank on Google, to ensure massive CTR impressions.Always try as much as possible to reply to all registration requests. You can also engage the services of sales organizations to help you convert your leads to trusted clients and generate massive sales for you.
Finally, you can also purchase Google ads to promote your brand, but the most important thing is always to remain visible. Make the form outline a few important questions. Bulky forms might be a turnoff for your customers.
Step 5: Retention game plan
Step 6: Referral engine
Getting good online league registration software might sound like a hectic task because of all the decision making involved. After working with leagues big and small, we understand your concern, and are ready to help you get started. There are a lot of benefits in online sports league registration, and we are structured to make sure that you have no trouble planning, launching, marketing, and of course registering players for your league.
Let’s work together to not only up registrations this season, but create a league that every sports player in your community will want to join. League registrations are just one part of how we can save you time in organizing your favourite sports. Get in touch with our expert team to build a custom plan for your league today.