The importance of club membership
Ever wondered why elite sports clubs work so hard to attract members? It is because 100% of the membership funds can be used by the club. It is because they understand that if they engage with their members, members will join year after year with little prompting. Elite clubs understand if they can attract and retain members then they more easily are able to:
- Attract supporters
- Attract and sell sponsorship
- Sell merchandise
- Attract people to their social occasions and club events
Membership is absolutely critical for the ongoing sustainability of any sporting club. For most clubs it is a main source of revenue and it provides an opportunity for people in the community to really feel like they belong to that club. This sense of belonging will ensure that these people will continue to support the club by attending on the day of competition, as well as attending the different fundraising functions and events the club holds.
Increasing club membership
The strategic plan of most successful elite sporting clubs in Australia will have at least one membership related goal listed in the key objectives.
The key to increasing your membership sales is to allocate responsibility to a club member and set both short and long term membership targets. This person should regularly report to the committee on club membership sales.
The second step is to communicate the membership target to everybody in your club and engage them in the sales process. The reality is that every existing members’ (particularly participants or players) has the potential to sell at least 5 – 10 memberships so actively engage them in your membership sales strategies.
One membership strategy that all local clubs should utilise in order to help boost their membership numbers is to create several different types of membership at different prices available to the community.
This practice is heavily used by professional sporting clubs. However, it is a great concept for local grassroots clubs to adopt and use to potentially attract supports and the wider community to become members.
For example, the Melbourne Storm offers over 20 different types of membership packages all targeting a different group of supporter and creating an opportunity to feel a part of the club.
There are all kinds of possible membership deals that could be made available to people in your community to join your club, attracting those who otherwise wouldn’t become involved.
Promoting Club membership
Professional sport clubs devote copious amounts of time and money to promoting their memberships.
Promoting membership to your club in the local community is something that you previously may not have given much thought to. Or you may have tried unsuccessfully in the past and not considered it since. Instead of just advertising your club in general and your competition days, specifically advertising membership to your club can be hugely effective. This is something that all clubs should actively be doing. There are many ways to effectively promote your club membership:
- Fliers – Creating fliers with information about your membership (types, benefits and prices) and placing them all around the local community.
- Newspaper Ads – A regular membership ad for your club in the local newspaper.
- Social Media – Using tools like Facebook and Twitter to make the public aware of your membership opportunities.
- Banners – The placement of banners and posters around your club advertising membership to people who may have only came into the club for one day to see what it’s like.
- Having a membership stand at preseason and early season games and competitions.
So in the end it is pretty simple. Providing and promoting more than just one type of membership with your club to the community will greatly enhance your club’s chance of attracting new members, therefore generating more revenue at your club, which will help to ensure overall success as a club.
Information obtained from Sports Community