We’re a sports marketing agency. Sports marketing is the process of getting someone who wants to play sport to know what’s available and link them with a chance to try it. But it’s not always done right. Let me explain how sports marketing is normally done with a story.
Arthur is a great friend of mine. He’s played rugby since he was young. He’s 27, 6 foot tall, well built and loves to drink. The ideal club rugby player.
Arthur grew up playing rugby in Kenya (side note: Kenyans love rugby – if you to go the international 7s match then the Kenyans make up half the audience – who knew?).
When he was 18 he went to university in the States. Again he played rugby – this time for the University team.
Later he moved to London to work as an investment banker (so ladies – he’s tall, very dark, handsome and rich too). Of course, when he came to London he wanted to play rugby here too. But where to play? I pointed him to the Go Play Rugby website, a sports marketing website where there’s a list of clubs. Did he go to one of these clubs? No. Why not? He didn’t know anyone there.
Who would want to go to a club where they didn’t know anyone. Where’s the fun in that?
Eventually he made friends with a guy at work who played rugby. So he went with him to play at that club. Now I don’t know if you’ve been to London, but it turns out it’s really big. Arthur lives in North West London. The club was in South London – 1 1/2 hours travel.
So – what have we learnt? Arthur wants to play rugby badly enough to travel for 1 1/2 hours. Each way. But not enough to turn up when he doesn’t know anyone. And eventually he gave up on that – 3 hours travelling to go to rugby practice is a real pain in the backside.s
Now. Is Arthur a retiring young man? Does he suffer from chronic shyness? Is he afraid of strangers? No, no and no. He’s as outgoing, charming and affable a bloke as you could hope to meet. This is just how normal people feel about joining sports clubs.
And what’s so frustrating is that on GoPlayRugby.com he’d filled in the form so someone would contact him. But no-one ever did.
This is why our sports marketing addresses this barrier. People receive personalised communication about places where they can play. They then receive a phone call to find them the ideal club, group or class. We then let the club know that they’ll be coming. This introduction process means that 70% of people we talk to go to that club. This is what works. You can do it too.
To get him to join a club needed someone to get in touch with Arthur and welcome him down. It wouldn’t have taken a lot. An email, a letter, a phone call or a text. Anything from a local club saying “this is when we train, come and join us” would have been enough.
And what kind of story doesn’t have a happy ending. Arthur is now playing rugby at a local club in Chalk Farm.