In part I of this series, I discussed the need for branding your sports program. No one knows your program’s story better than you. So why not you be the one to tell your story? If you don’t tell it, someone else will.
My next question: Are you – high school AD, middle school coach, small college SID – effectively marketing your athletic program? You might be thinking, “Who, me? Marketing? That’s just for big time college athletics and the pros.” NO! It’s for you, too!!
Like any other marketer, we must be actively promoting our product, regularly sending out positive messages, and effectively distributing our services to our students, their parents, our alumni, and the community. That, in a nutshell, is sports marketing.
Here are three ways marketing can play a vital role in your athletic program:
- It can nurture your relationship with students and parents
Students and parents – they are your primary target market, right? After all, without these people, you have no school. Even looking at this from purely a marketing standpoint, this group would be your #1 priority. In business, it costs less to strengthen your relationship with current buyers than to get new customers. Work to strengthen your relationship with your current customers – your students and their parents.
- It can connect your program to alumni
You already have a relationship with these people. Strengthen it! A school’s alumni base can be an invaluable asset to your institution. They potentially could send their children to your school, make donations, or spread positive messages in the community about your school. Don’t overlook this important group!
- It can help promote your school
We all want students, right? People from the community are often more likely to come for a sporting event on campus than for any other kind of school function. If done well, you have the capability to influence new students to your school through athletics.
You may be thinking, “I’m sold. I need to brand and market my sports program better. Any suggestions?” Check back for the conclusion, Part III: Suggestions for Branding and Marketing Your Sports Program.