Developing A Sports Facility Marketing Strategy
Last month, we looked at creating the vision for your sports facility business plan. Now that you have the foundation, it’s time to consider how you’ll promote your sports facility to your customers and community – also known as your marketing strategy.
Summarize Your Brand
Think about how you want others to perceive your sports facility and write a few descriptive sentences. Consider which colors you want to use to help establish your brand. We suggest getting a professional logo to use on your website, ads and apparel – if you don’t have one yet, you can get an affordable, quality logo with an online service such as LogoBee or 99 Designs.
DNA Sports Center’s brand identity will be energetic, athletic and professional. It should appeal to both kids and adults. Brand colors will be dark red, gray and black.
Establish Price Points
Why is pricing here in the marketing section? Because it can be a great marketing tool.
Firstly, research what people are paying for similar services in your area. It is likely that your sports facility offers unique services in comparison to your competitors, and your differentiators will help as you consider your pricing.
Do you want to establish yourself as an exclusive, luxury service or as an affordable service for families? Consider your brand image as you establish the pricing for all your services, including rentals, lessons and group instruction. Decide whether you want to give discounts to valued clients or sell packages of services at discounted rates to encourage sales.
(When we get to the financial analysis step of the business plan, we’ll see if you can be profitable at the prices you want to charge.)
Young athletes around the Cincinnati area are looking for an accredited, professional program for sports fundamentals, as evidenced by the high number of similar programs within 40 minutes of our facility location. However, competing programs don’t have the legitimacy and professional branding that a Parisi Speed School provides. There are also no speed and agility programs within the immediate Milford area. DNA Sports Center will charge between $100 and $300 per month for unlimited access to speed and agility training, which reflects the exclusive, semi-private nature of our training.
Adding additional details about the packages that you will have available will help you define your offering.
List Your Other Marketing Tools
Below are some marketing methods you should consider. Each of them can be an effective tactic in making your facility known to the community.
- Sales Staff – Sales reps with established connections in the community can be your strongest marketing asset. If you plan to hire any, briefly describe their position/s and include how much you’ll will pay them. For example: DNA Sports Center will employ a sales rep that will be paid a __ base salary plus __% commission for all new memberships he or she sells to the facility. This employee is expected to generate __ leads/memberships per week/month.
- Email marketing – Costs for a professional program start around $30/month and increase based on the number of contacts in your database. Your facility management and scheduling software should have basic email marketing components, too. (eSoft Planner comes standard with a basic e-mail marketing system.)
- Website – Get some estimates on a search-engine-friendly web site. Blogging or updating a news section on your sports facility’s web site is a good way to get noticed. Decide who will be in charge of updating the website, and how often.
- Social Media – Create a social presence and start making connections. Just like a website, social media is only effective if you keep it current and relevant. You’ll need to decide who will be responsible for it and how often you’ll post.
- Advertising and Sponsorships – You know your community. What are the influential media or organizations in the area that will be noticed by your customers? Research and include the costs to advertise with these organizations in your budget. If you’re having a grand opening event, you can work with local media to make sure it’s covered. And don’t forget digital advertising to ensure you show up in local searches for facilities like yours.
Create a 12-Month Marketing Plan
This is a big one. Sports facilities are very seasonally dependent. As a result, for each month of the first year, you should list the major marketing initiatives you will use for each of your chosen marketing tools above. Remember that you need to anticipate your customers’ needs in advance of each season.
Marketing initiatives include:
- What your clients will want to buy that month
- Programs, classes or events will provide the optimal revenue for your facility
- Special events and promotions you can run to reach your goals.
With your sports facility marketing strategy and expenses established, you can move on to the next step of your business plan, which is to detail the operations at your facility.
The expert team at eSoft Planner has worked with thousands of sports facility owners just like you. We know what it takes to succeed. Our implementation team excels at helping you use the tools to make your dream a success. We love to hear about your plans, and we want to be a partner in your vision.