Are you Making this Marketing Mistake at your Sports Facility?

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Marketing your business can be challenging. As the youth sports training industry grows, so do the number of businesses with similar offerings.

Sending emails, posting to social media, and printing flyers are great. But, in today’s digital world, these have become commonplace. So, what are some things you can do to really set your business apart from other training facilities?

By “thinking outside the box” and coming up with a unique sports facility marketing strategy, you can set yourself apart from the competition. We’ve outlined 6 innovative ways to market your sports training facility, from hosting community events to influencer marketing.

Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to revamp your marketing strategy, here are a few ideas to help your business stand out from the crowd.


The problem with relying solely on “mainstream” marketing channels

While email marketing and social media are essential to growing your business, relying only on these more “mainstream” techniques will only take your business so far. Nearly every business has a website or social media profile. So, these alone will not set your business apart.

Relying solely on email marketing, for example, will limit your reach, as you can only get your programs into the hands of those who have, most likely, trained with your business before. Likewise, it can be hard to generate interest in your facility on social media without leveraging the connections of your athletes and coaches.

Again, social media and email are critical channels when it comes to marketing your business and building your brand. But, by being creative and experimenting with some unconventional marketing ideas, you can reach new athletes, build stronger relationships, and achieve more sustainable growth.

Here are 6 creative sports facility marketing ideas that can help you get started.


6 Creative Sports Facility Marketing Ideas


1. Host a community event

While this doesn’t necessarily market your specific training programs, hosting a community event is one way to indirectly market your sports facility. Not only does it provide an opportunity to showcase your staff, facility, and athletes, but it also helps you attract potential customers who may not have otherwise considered your business. And, as an added bonus, it helps to build positive relationships and brand awareness within your community.


Sports Facility Community Event Ideas:

  • Host a facility open house, where you invite the community to tour your facility, test out the equipment, meet your staff, and ultimately sign up for training.
  • Organize a local 5k road race that starts/ ends at your facility
  • Organize a used equipment drive, where people can donate gently used items or outgrown equipment.
  • Host a panel discussion event on a specific topic, such as college recruiting, where you invite athletes and their parents to learn more about the college recruitment process


2. Influencer Marketing

Social media is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere. But, what some brands have found successful is leveraging content creators and influencers to talk about their products. Influencer marketing has the potential to create a sense of exclusivity and prestige around your brand.

Likewise, you can partner with local athletes or coaches in your area to help promote your facility and its offerings. For example, turning your coaches into local celebrities (much like Peloton invests in their talent), you will be able to tap into your coaching staff. By working with your coaches and trainers, you’ll be able to expand your reach as well as build credibility for the facility. And additionally, you can help them build their personal brands.


Influencer Marketing Ideas for Sports Facilities:

  • Encourage your coaches and trainers to share information about the facility on their personal social media accounts, and tag the facility in their bio or relevant posts.
  • Host clinics or workshops led by your coaches, which can be promoted through their personal social media channels and networks.
  • Collaborate on content that helps them showcase their expertise and the facility offerings (like blog posts, videos, or podcasts).


3. Start a Podcast

From your time as a player to your successes as a coach, you are a walking encyclopedia of information and experience. Another idea you may consider is starting a blog or a podcast to share this knowledge. By providing valuable and relevant content through a podcast, you can help your youth athletes improve their skills and reach their goals, while also promoting your training programs.


Podcast Ideas for Sports Coaches and Facility Owners:

  • Interview current or former athletes about their journey to success and how they overcame adversity.
  • Share tips and advice on training for youth athletes, from different exercises or drills that are important, to how to improve mental preparation.
  • Discuss how to become goal oriented, and how to set goals in your training, as well as how to stay motivated to achieve those goals.
  • Connect with college coaches to talk about what they look for in recruits, how to be successful in college, how to navigate the recruiting process, etc.
  • Share advice or tips for parents and other coaches to help them best support their youth athletes and encourage them to reach their full potential.


4. Start a Blog

If podcasts aren’t really your thing, you may be inspired when putting pen to paper. Another way to share your experiences is in the form of a blog. You can utilize this space to share your story, introduce your staff members, share success stories of the athlete you’ve trained, and more. This will help you build credibility and establish yourself as an expert in your field. And, when new athletes visit your website to learn more about your training and offerings, they can make informed decisions about which programs or coaches might be the best fit for them.


Content Ideas for Sports Facilities:

  • Create an athlete spotlight series, sharing success stories of athletes that have had success or really improved over their time training with your business
    • Bonus: this will also encourage athletes to share the story with their friends/ teammates, increasing word-of-mouth and your reach.
  • Interview your coaches and staff members about their experiences or their approach to training
  • Share some of your research findings or results you’ve seen from training athletes. For example, Anthony Ruggiero has found great athlete success through group training.


5. Partner with Local Businesses

Another unconventional way to market your business is to strengthen your relationships with your local community through the form of partnerships. A partnership is a great way to increase your exposure, as you are able to connect with athletes or potential clients who may not have considered training at your facility. Partnering with other businesses can also help you gain credibility in your community, and build your reputation. Likewise, you can collaborate with other sports performance related companies like sports psychologists or dietitians to help athletes develop their whole selves.


Partnerships Ideas for Sports Training Facilities:

  • Partner with a physical therapy clinic to offer physical therapy or rehabilitation programs for athletes who may be dealing with an injury or issue.
  • Partner with a dietitian or nutritionist to consult as it relates to making healthy choices or how to fuel your body for competitions, practices, etc.
  • Partner with a local school. Similar to partnering with a club team, you can work with the local schools in your area to provide training programs or clinics for their athletes. Not only will you be able to reach more athletes, but you can also build relationships and credibility with other sports coaches in the area.
  • Host a crossover event with another local sports training facility – MacRoc Soccer Academy and SAGA Sports, for example, hosted a combined “Kicks & Flips” Camp, where athletes could sign up for a single event and experience both soccer and gymnastics training, play with equipment, and learn about the sports.


6. Partner with Local Sports Teams

Partnering with a local sports team, club team, or league can be a great way to increase your exposure and build brand awareness. By getting connected with a team, you will be able to get in contact with athletes who may not yet be in your database. For example, you may go from working with 2 or 3 athletes from a specific club team to working with 6 or 7. You can also offer training programs or clinics that are tailored to the needs of that team, thus building trust and positioning yourself as a leader in the industry.


Ideas for Sports Team Partnerships:

  • Allow a team to host practices at your facility.
  • Offer individual athletes of a specific club or team a discount on private lessons or training.
  • Collaborate with a coach of a team to join your staff or lead a special event or clinic.


Spend More Time on your Sports Facility Marketing

If you are looking for a way to automate your business processes such as scheduling or collecting payments, so that you’re able to spend more time working with your clients and getting in front of new athletes, schedule a demo of Upper Hand’s sports scheduling software today!


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