There are many benefits in engaging with your local community and for that reason outreach is fast becoming an essential component in becoming a sustainable 21st century club.
Being entrenched in your local area not only increases your clubs exposure to potential sponsors but also your ability to attract new players.
We would encourage clubs to contemplate creating a stand-alone position on their executive to deal with this important area of club development and to design a strategy that embraces every opportunity available for your club to grow.
Soccer Support understands that this is no simple task, so we have compiled a list of 30 of our favorite and most cost effective outreach activities that can help get your club on the road to new and successful partnerships that will reap huge rewards. We know clubs aren’t awash with cash so it’s important your plans are modest yet can have big returns.
In no particular order;
- Have a club open day
- Have an investors evening, inviting local business to hear about you club & sponsorship options
- Record a weekly podcast inviting local groups to promote what they do
- Invite local non-profits to run your bbq’s on game days.
- Organize a meeting with local media
- Create memberships for non-playing supporters
- Partner with a local charity and fundraise for them at official events
- Give out prizes donated from local businesses each week for man of the match
- Recruit a street team to go out in the community to disseminate club info and cultivate local relationships
- Give birthday cards/vouchers etc out to junior players on their special day
- Have a club alumni (ex-players) event
- Have a volunteers appreciation luncheon
- Focus on your social media presence and local interactions
- Broadcast games live through U-Stream
- Give out free tickets to games
- Rent promotional/booth space at local community events
- Write a club specific blog highlighting upcoming fixtures and achievements
- Reward loyalty – club honor boards for playing 50 games for the club etc
- If a junior only club, link with a senior club to continue pathways for juniors
- Have bursaries for junior players which can’t afford registrations fees
- Sponsorship boards – sell plaques to local businesses and showcase them in clubhouses
- Organize a trivia night and open it up to the local community
- Sell club merchandise
- Become affiliated to local chamber of commerce and head to networking events
- Host soccer clinics for local disadvantaged kids
- Have multi-tiered sponsorship options. Sponsor game ball, match day programs etc. Don’t limit your ability to attract new supporters
- Send ‘wish you were here’ postcards to local businesses. Get cards for free from Vistaprint etc
- Have a themed event such as playing in pink socks to raise awareness for breast cancer
- Link with your local pro teams to organize game day visits, be ballboys/girls and mascots
- Name your new mascot competition – gets people of all ages talking about your club
What events has your club organized that have created stronger relationships with your local community? Any successes or failures that other clubs can learn from?
Share your ideas online with the hashtag #GrowTheGame to help strengthen soccer from the grassroots up.
Soccer Support also offers attractive membership packages to grassroots clubs across the country with a primary focus on modernizing clubs for the 21st century.By working directly with its members, Soccer Support helps create new revenue streams, an increased exposure to sponsors and players, sustainability measures and most importantly future planning, in what is a saturated and extremely competitive market.
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