Tennis Industry magazine

 

Club Marketing: Something Old, Something New

Boost your club business by combining traditional marketing methods with modern strategies.

By Bruce Knittle

In the tennis business, the facilities that flourish employ marketing tactics that combine proven traditional methods with modern strategies. This combination helps clubs stay on top of trends while not forsaking their traditional audiences. These tips may help your club as you reach out to potential members.

Marketing Within the Club

Tennis facilities need members, and one of the best ways to bring in new members is to seek referrals from your existing base. By reaching out to your current members online, this strategy is greatly enhanced. As an incentive, consider offering discounts to both current members who bring in prospects, and to those prospects themselves.

Open Houses

When individuals and families visit your facility, the chances of them becoming members grows exponentially. Consider holding open houses at various times of the year and offering discounts for those who join. Post short videos and use targeted ads on social-media platforms such as Facebook with news about an open house.

Advertising

In the old days, advertising was about newspapers and magazines, with occasional radio ads and local TV spots. Today, you need an internet presence — and you need to be visible on search engines. Again, consider advertising on social-media platforms. (See “Social Dynamics” on page 26 for more.)

You need to advertise your programs to current members, potential members and the community, so use all media available to you — traditional newspapers, social media and email blasts, to name just a few. Many programs from the USTA, TIA and other tennis organizations include customizable web banners and other marketing templates to make this task much easier. Stay up to date with the latest trends.

Events

Marketing is a priority when hosting tournaments, round-robins and other tennis events. Again, use all the tools and resources available, including simple fliers, word of mouth and mailings. But also use the online versions of these: e-newsletters, email blasts and postings on social media.

Partnerships

Clubs can lower expenses, expand their markets and pool resources if they partner with other tennis clubs, health facilities and related businesses. Partnering provides cross-promotional opportunities, and each facility can benefit from the shared cause.

Partnering with other businesses will similarly bring new opportunities — in essence, you will become sponsors of each other. Your respective websites should mention each others’ business, as should your social media channels.

Whichever marketing techniques you choose to utilize, make sure to integrate conventional marketing with modern, technologically-driven methods to give your facility the largest advantage possible for growth.

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About the Author

Bruce Knittle is president of the sports consulting firm Knittle Sports Solutions. A former sports camp owner, he also was a college head coach and directed sports programs for many years. He can be reached at bknittle@optonline.net.

 

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