Sports play a large part in the lives of many people. It is one of those things that brings people together to celebrate and enjoy. In fact, for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, there were 2.1 billion viewers worldwide.
In France, 39% of the TV watching population tuned in to watch the 2014 Olympics, almost 50% in Austria, and 76% in the United Kingdom. Yet, the European Commission reports that 60% of citizens in the European Union either never or rarely play sports.
In Canada, 33.4 million people tuned into the Sochi Olympics, that's 96% of the TV watching population. Yet, as of 2010, only 7.2 million people reported participating in sport.
There is a disconnect between watching sports and participating in sports. It is now falling to sports facilities to find new ways to get people interested in recreationally playing sports. Here are three ways to help you engage people and find new players.
Hold an open house
Going to a sports facility can be intimidating if you don't know how the facility operates, if you don't know anyone there, or if you are unsure of your physical abilities. By holding an open house you are giving potential players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with your facility in a casual, informal way.
The best way to advertise your open house is to post about it on social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of all internet users are on social media. This is a huge audience that you need to reach. By posting about your open house on social media you will generate excitement and raise the attendance at the open house.
Host special events
At your open house, tell people about any special events you may be hosting. Whether it is a basketball tournament, swim race, or any other event, special events are exciting for spectators and participants. Watching an event would be an effective way for a new client to become integrated into the sports facility's culture and atmosphere.
Make sure that people who did not attend your open house know about special events as well. Again, post on social media to generate excitement. For clients at your facility, you likely have contact information from them. Contact them personally to tell them about special events. You can do this via email, SMS, or any other communication tool your client prefers. By contacting them through their preferred mode of communication you ensure they are receiving your messages.
Promote "bring-a-friend" promotions for current clients
Chances are that your current clients have friends that do not use your sports facility. Get those people into your facility by offering current clients a promotion that allows them to bring a friend in for free. Offering free admission to a first time user is a great way to get them in the door plus they get to go with a friend. But, don't forget to reward your current client, too. If their friend signs up for a membership to your facility, give them a prize package or a deal on a special class.
The best way to advertise promotions for current clients is through your newsletter. By putting this offer in your newsletter you limit the people who receive it to those who already have a membership with you. This gives your clients the sense of scoring a special VIP deal and rewards them for being a member of your sports facility.
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