Whether you’re responsible for running your local golf club, tennis centre or another organisation with a large number of members, you’ll know how important it is to keep people interested. Sports clubs often find their membership swells at certain points of the year, or immediately after special offers and promotions, but how can you keep these people engaged all-year round?
Every club has a certain number of ever-present members, who love to be heavily involved in all the social events and can be relied on to show up every week, rain or shine. These people do not present a problem for organisers – it’s the ones who attend for a few weeks and then disappear for months that you need to worry out.
Experienced chairpeople and club secretaries will know that communication is the key here. By keeping all members in the loop with events at the club, they’re more likely to feel engaged and will keep coming back.
This is why quarterly magazines or newsletters can be a great tool for promoting the club’s activities and keeping members interested. Remember that some of your more senior members may not be regular internet users, so distributing a printed newsletter will make sure they are not left out. Here are a few ideas about what to include in your publication.
You’ll want to keep people up-to-date with the latest happenings. Some members may not have visited the club for a while, so make sure they know about everything that has gone on. If you’ve recently run a competition or hosted a tournament, announce the results and congratulate the winners. The magazine is also the ideal place to reveal recent improvements, such as a new clubhouse or upgrades to equipment, and discuss the club’s plans for the future.
You’re likely to get a particularly good response to your publication if you include one or two free gifts from time to time. Members are more likely to look forward to the newsletter and seek it out if they know an additional freebie is coming with it. Also, fun promotional products such as keyrings will have much greater shelf life than the publication itself and will continue to publicise your club long after the magazine has been read and discarded.
You can also use the magazine to promote your club’s activities and maintain interest by including special offers that are not available elsewhere. If you run a golf or tennis club, why not print some vouchers for a ‘friend plays for half-price’ offer and send them out with the newsletter? You can also use the publication to raise awareness of the club’s next open day. This can be a good way to attract new blood, as well as looking after your existing members.
A letter from the chairperson is a great personal touch and is likely to go down well with members who want to feel engaged with the club’s hierarchy. You could also print letters and observations from other members in the magazine, such as ideas for improvements to the club. This will encourage a strong community feel, in the same way as an internet forum, and is another simple method of making sure your members are engaged with their club.