Mad Men and Women: Promotion & Advertising Ideas
It’s tournament time for youth baseball and softball leagues around the U.S. marking the end of another season. Soon, it will be time to start planning for 2013 (heavy sigh…) Before another season sneaks up on us, we would like to offer a few ideas and resource information about a variety of topics that you might find helpful in the operation of your organization. Some will be obvious and commonly used, but we think everything is worth sharing as a refresher or for those who are new to the team.
To kick things off, let’s start at the very beginning: promotion and advertising.
No matter what methods of promotion and advertising you use, fine-tune the message. Emphasize your organization’s accomplishments, number of kids served, retention rate, number of years in operation, what’s new and improved in the program, what’s new and improved at the facility, why it’s good for kids, why it’s good for parents, why it’s such a great program. Brag a little bit.
The Ever Popular School Flyer
Almost every organization we talk to provides flyers to local schools. Who has better access to kids and parents than schools, right? Don’t forget to give a few flyers to your Board members and volunteers to post around town on community bulletin boards in grocery stores, “big box” stores, coffee shops, restaurants, the post office, apartment complexes, churches, etc.
Support Local Business
Local businesses may have more to offer than just financial contributions. A business might be willing to provide space, coupons and freebies for a special registration day to drive foot traffic into its locations. Kick around a few ideas with your sponsors. Where are the popular places that families go on the weekends? This also might be a good way to attract new sponsors that may want to help your program but cannot offer a cash donation.
While we are on the topic of sponsors, ask your sponsors to include your organization in its existing advertising efforts in the newspaper, radio or on TV (i.e. “Proud Sponsor of …” or “Register today for our favorite league, …!”)
On the Radio (and TV)
Many local radio and TV stations announce community happenings. Don’t forget to provide your registration information in advance. Take the time now to create a database of all local media outlets and contact info for community announcements. Email a brief press release. Keep it simple with the who, what, where, when and how.
Bring A Friend
Offer a discount or small gift to past players who bring a friend who hasn’t played before. Give brand new players and parents a bit of recognition (i.e. a button, sticker or patch) to welcome them into the league and make them feel special.
The New Word-of-Mouth
We all are becoming more Internet and social media savvy (whether we like it or not.) Include email addresses in your player and parent database. Create a Facebook page and Twitter account to help inform your families of registration periods, schedules, practices, clinics, etc. Encourage them to pass along the info to other families. Existing players and parents are the best promoters!
Actively Seeking… Partners
Other non-profits and youth service organizations often look for new ways to engage children with sports and recreation. These organizations might include churches, public housing complexes, Boys & Girls Clubs, after-school programs, etc. Make a list of organizations in your community and schedule a brief phone call or coffee meeting during the off-season. Talk about how your organizations might help each other. What do they need that your organization can help with? Invite these organizations to form a team for your league or invite their membership to a free clinic during the winter months.
Make it easier by sharing a few of these tasks with Board members and volunteers. Promoting the program is a team effort!
What other methods of promotion and advertising work for your organization? Please share!
Check back here for more ideas and info in the coming months.