That’s fine, not everyone has to be playing in the top leagues. Yet, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve recognition and support.
After all, what is better than having people cheering you on at your games?
Or new players standing in line to try out for a place on the roster?
Better yet, sponsors who want you to wear their name or support you financially?
Unfortunately though, these things don’t materialize out of thin air. They require time, effort and putting yourself out there.
The good news, however, is that there are many ways to promote your sports team and technology made them affordable, sometimes even free.
So, in order to get your team the fame, support and fans it deserves, in this article we will take a look at different marketing ideas for sports teams on and off the web.
Online Promotion for Sports Teams
If anyone hears your team’s name or wants to find out more about you, what is the first thing they will do? That’s right, hit up Google.
In times where everyone has a smartphone, the Internet is usually the first place people will go to find information on anything.
Therefore, it is crucial that you make good use of available marketing channels on the net.
1. Use WordPress
for a Free, Professional Website
In most cases, your team’s website will be the first stop for any information seekers, be it new fans, new players or members of the press.
It is probably also the first thing that potential sponsors will look at. For those reasons, it is important that you make a good first impression.
If you already have a website, you might want to check out our tips on how to improve your sports team’s website design.
In case you don’t have a web presence yet, don’t worry. Today it is quite easy to create a website, even if you are not a web designer or developer.
With WordPress virtually anyone can create a professional-looking website in literally minutes.
The WordPress platform already powers 25% of the Internet — literally millions of websites, including this one — with no end in sight.
One of the main reason behind its success is the fact that WordPress is open source and therefore completely free to use.
In addition to that, thousands of free, high-quality themes make it easy to completely change any site’s design at the touch of a button.
Plus, the platform’s functionality can be extended almost indefinitely via the plugins in the WordPress directory which range from SEO solutions to photo galleries and contact forms to anything imaginable.
It’s beyond this article to show you exactly how to build a site with WordPress (even though I promise it is really simple!), however, you can use the following resources to get started:
- WordPress Codex – Getting Started With WordPress
- Tyler Moore – How to Make a WordPress Website 2015 (video)
2. Set up Your Team Website with an All-in-one Solution
If you do feel overwhelmed at the prospect of designing your own website, we might be able to help.
Here at ThemeBoy, we try to create turnkey solutions for anyone wanting to set up a professional website for their team, club, or league.
For example, we have put together SportsPress Pro, a plugin that allows you to easily add team and player profiles, league tables, upcoming matches and more to any WordPress site.
If you would like to give it a spin, you can download the free version of Sportspress from the WordPress directory.
You might also want to check out our WordPress themes for sports team websites including the free Rookie theme.
Should you need help, feel free to head on over to the community forum or check out the ThemeBoy helpdesk for additional resources.
Ok, now let’s look at additional marketing ideas for your sports team.
3. Build an Email Newsletter
Although a relatively old technology (in Internet years), email continues to be an important marketing channel.
Providers like MailChimp allow you to easily set up and manage professional email newsletters including list management, email template builders and more.
Plus, up to 2000 subscribers the service is completely free to use.
Email is a great tool to keep players, fans and volunteers informed about upcoming events, games and everything else that is going on.
It is also an effective channel to stay in touch with your most loyal fans, send them bonus material, thank you notes, exclusive content and other things that make them feel appreciated.
How do you know your closest fans are on the list?
Well, think about your own Internet usage. Do you give out your email address freely and without any afterthought or only to things you trust and are interested in?
Hopefully your answer was the latter.
Other people are the same. If they opt to sign up to your email list, this is a huge indicator of trust and interest and you should treat those people with the respect they deserve.
4. Be Present on Social Media
Social media is ubiquitous. Today, almost everyone is a member of at least one platform.
I mean, I’m friends with my mom on Facebook. That should really say it all.
Besides their wide reach, what’s great about social networks is that pretty much all of them are free to use. As a consequence they present an inexpensive way for team promotion.
Social media platforms allow fans to have a direct connection to their favorite team, interact with players and club members as well as receive important news and updates.
Sound good? Then let’s go over some of the biggest networks and how you can use them for your sports team’s marketing.
Note: You don’t have to present on all social networks. In fact you probably shouldn’t, unless you have the resources to take care of all platforms properly. A good idea is to concentrate on one network and really master it before slowly branching out to others.
(That being said, feel free to open accounts on every platform from the start in order to save your user name.)
Facebook is by far the biggest social network out there. That means there is plenty of opportunity to create conversations around your club, promote events and publish news.
By establishing a dedicated Facebook team page you give fans and followers a way of interacting with you.
The platform also makes it easy for existing followers to like and share anything you post to your page, thereby increasing the reach of your content.
However, what can you share with your followers? Here are a few ideas:
- Game results, images and videos from competitions
- Questions, trivia and polls
- Behind-the-scenes updates
- Video messages from players
- Team or sports-related contests and giveaways
For professional looking visuals, check out Buffer’s 23 tools and resources for creating images for social media.
If you have upcoming competitions or other happenings, you can use Facebook events. They allow you to set up an event page with all necessary information, invite people to join and have them invite others.
This is an awesome to spread the news and raise awareness!
Plus, if it makes sense for your team, you can now even sell tickets, memberships, merchandise and more directly from Facebook. Apps like Ecwid make it possible.
This microblogging platform is another great candidate for team promotion. However, unlike Facebook, this platform is much more about immediacy.
Twitter users are on the lookout for events and news that are happening right now. That makes the network the perfect tool to post live updates from games and competitions.
That way you can let the fans who didn’t make it know what is happening and make them feel involved no matter if they are at work or home on the couch.
When you use Twitter for your marketing, be sure to take advantage of hashtags. Attaching them to your messages will get them in front of anyone interested in the same topic as you. You can use Hashtagify.me to find hashtags related to your sport.
Apart from that, Twitter is also a great tool for networking. It allows you to join conversations and connect to others, like local journalists and news outlets.
By following them and tweeting at them, you might get some to pick up your stories and news items. Worth a try in any case.
I’m sure I don’t have to explain YouTube to you. Chances are you already used it today to watch a cat video like millions of other people.
The video platform is another good opportunity for marketing sports teams.
Signing up to a YouTube account allows you share practice videos, club events, game highlights, goals, player interviews and other interesting tidbits.
For example, have you seen this goal celebration from an Icelandic football club?