Attracting members to your club/association is not always easy.
You are competing against other sports and leisure activities for people’s time and money.
Softball has an advantage over many other activities because softball is a sport with wide appeal and a sport that you can participate in, for life.
There are many versions
softball which make it suitable for life long participation – including peanut league or T ball (with children barely old enough to hold a bat) through to master’s competitions. And of course we can’t forget that umpiring, scoring, coaching and managing are all ways people can become involved in the game and your club/association if they don’t want to take the diamond to play.
The initiatives you put in place to retain your existing members can help you attract some new members too.
If you’re current members are happy with what your club/association has to offer they will become your best advocates. Word of mouth is a very powerful and cost effective marketing tool.
Just keep in mind that some of the initiatives that appeal to your existing members might not attract new members who have different needs and expectations.
Some simple ideas to attract new members
- Host a “Give Softball a Go” day. Softball NZ has created some resources to make this easy on you….click on the logo on the right to find out further information about this initiative
- Set up a softball pitching machine at the local school fete, community market, street fair, school open day or a local event to let people experience the fun of Softball.
- Promote your club/association via posters in other local sports clubs, sports shops or public spaces such as the local library, community center and the local regional sports trusts
- Promote you club as a family friendly environment and ensure you have the practices in place to create this
- Organise a business house league that plays a very modified and short version of softball (30 mins, fast and fun) to attract and tempt non softballers into the game
- Organise a charity event, in lines with the above point, and ensure that you get a wide range of media coverage, to promote your club, gain further coverage and show that you are a family and community minded club
- Encourage current members to actively refer friends & family by offering incentives such as membership discounts or prizes donated by a sponsors
- Getting involved with local schools (create a school to club link)
- Building reciprocal relationships with other sports that play in Softball’s off-season (try to recruit their players)
- Running a competition through your local newspaper or local school newsletters, where the winner receives a free Club membership
- Organising Family and Friends Days and encouraging each member to bring along guests for a day of Softball competition
Building relationships with your local journalists and the sports trusts by sending them invitations to your events and providing them with media release on newsworthy stories, as well as event results