How to Attract More of the Clients You Want with Athlete Personas

youth sports registration

Marketing a sports business to the people you want isn’t always easy; maybe you offer multiple sports training, serve different ages, or see various groups come to your sessions. Creating a customer persona can be immensely helpful if you’re operating a sports business and facing uncertainty about your target market. This guide will explore the importance of having a customer athlete persona, provide steps to create one, and offer some tips to use for your business.


Why should I create an athlete persona?

A customer persona (also called a buyer persona, user persona, or client persona) is a character that represents your target client. Think of this “person” as your dream athlete or ideal client. What age or skill level are they? Which types of training are they looking for? What barriers are they running into when it comes to being successful?

Your persona is created based on data and research and can help you solidify your messaging. Maybe you serve mainly high school athletes or a specific sport; you may have a few different personas depending on who you serve. Reflected through your business’s current and past customers, a persona includes geographical information (age, income, number of household members), wants, barriers, and more.

Developing an athlete persona offers several advantages. It positions you toward finding the best-fit athletes for your programs, aids in identifying the specific needs of your target clientele, and aligns the messaging of your business more effectively. When you can keep a consistent image across your brand, you will attract customers who align with that message.

How to identify my athlete persona

One way to determine your ideal customer is to notice trends in your business. Consider this example: if your middle school boys’ basketball camps consistently fill up, while high school boys’ basketball camps always have open slots, it indicates that there may be more demand and interest among middle school players. This suggests that the target audience for middle school aged kids might be more engaged. So, you may look to build an athlete persona around the aspiring middle-school-aged basketball player seeking skill development and fun experiences to get better.

Based on this scenario, let’s say you call your customer persona “Basketball Bret.” Bret is a 12-year-old male who wants to improve his basketball skills so he can play for the school team. He practices in his neighborhood and doesn’t have anyone to teach him.

By understanding your target market, you can devise strategies to attract more clients that have these characteristics, wants, and needs.

  • Keep this persona in mind when sending emails for upcoming camps. Highlight the fun atmosphere and the programming that will help middle school athletes improve their basketball skills.
  • Highlight your Basketball Brets on social media so that other middle schoolers can visualize themselves getting better. If you’re trying to target middle schoolers, but are only posting college players on your Instagram, middle school-aged kids or their parents may not feel like your business is right for them.
  • Tailor your current programming, or consider adding or adjusting new programs to cater to this ideal client.
    • Offer additional camps to support the demand, or open up some private or group training slots to turn one-off campers into repeat clients.


Related: How to Use Data to Better Understand your Clients


How to build an athlete persona

Creating a customer persona mainly requires research and data. In your case, think about which sessions or clinics always sell out, and determine which client group constitutes the majority of your business. Perhaps 6th-grade girls’ soccer sessions are the most popular; you may create an athlete persona, Soccer Susie. Additionally, you can send out surveys to gain insight into your customers’ preferences. If you want to collect more geographic data, try listing persona-related questions on your athlete registration form.

Communicate with staff members for additional perspectives on your customers. Client-facing positions like trainers or front desk staff interact with athletes often. Ask these employees if they have heard any requests or complaints. Collect information and pay attention to trends in your customers. This information will help you in the “goals” and “barriers” section of the customer persona.

Creating the athlete persona

Consolidate all of this information into a single document, where you can make note of things like age, skill level, goals, and barriers. Consider incorporating the following details/ answers:

  • Goals: What does this athlete want? What are they looking for?
  • Challenges/ Pain Points: What’s in the way of them reaching their goals? And, what might keep them from training with your business?
  • How can you help? What can you offer to help them reach their goals? How can you help them overcome their challenges?
  • What would define success? What would success look like for this client? What results would they see?
  • What would failure look like? How would failure look for your customers? What would happen if they didn’t take action?
  • Why you? What benefits, programs, expertise, etc. can you provide that makes your business the best fit for this client?


Ready to get started?

In conclusion, crafting an athlete persona enables your sports business to tailor strategies and offerings to better meet the needs of your ideal customers. Understanding your ideal client, identifying your target audience, and customizing your approach can significantly enhance engagement and bring more of your dream athletes.

Share Article
Want more tips and resources delivered right to your inbox?
Related Content
5 Reasons to Build a Website with WebKit by Upper Hand

As an owner or manager of a sports academy, you need a hassle-free and convenient solution to your business troubles. This is where WebKit comes in. With its user-friendly features and efficient functionality, WebKit by Upper Hand offers sports facilities an easy and convenient way to establish a professional online presence. Let’s explore five reasons why the newest addition to Upper Hand, WebKit, can be the ideal solution to your website needs.

Read More »
How to Hire the Right People for Your Sports Facility

In the competitive landscape of sports facilities, the team behind the scenes plays a pivotal role in defining success, shaping young athletes, and fostering a positive community. Combining strategic insights with tangible action plans, this comprehensive guide offers sports business owners a roadmap to assembling a dream team for your sports facility.

Read More »