The Winter season for high school athletics is kicking off this month. What are you doing to make this year more successful than the last?
Think of your athletic program as an integral part of your local community. Your role as an athletic director or coach is to help keep your community up to date and involved in what you are doing so they feel invested in the success of your program.
If you’re like most athletic directors and coaches, you took the job for the love of the game and mentoring the athletes, not for the scheduling headache or marketing and P.R. challenges. If you’re new to your job, or just need a refresher to get your creative juices flowing, here are some marketing ideas that will benefit your program:
- Help build the foundation of well oiled fundraising machine
- Establish long term relationships with your alums and their extended family
- Get your program involved in the community so the community is more invested in your program too!
The most valuable thing that you can learn from this post is that your most valuable long term asset is your database of alumni and their parents, your community and your fans.
If you’re thinking that your alums are only headed to college and aren’t going to be making big bucks any time soon, that might be a little short-sighted. When your athletes go off to college, their parents and fans who have been cheering them on for the last 4 years are still a great source of support for your athletic community. In fact, they remember first-hand, how hard it is to fundraise and keep the program running smoothly. Staying in touch is the key to building your community.
Step 1: Make A Database of Your Contacts
There are numerous ways to make a team and alumni database. You can create a simple group people can subscribe to, or you can create an excel sheet to track your contacts. If you are using Winito athletics, you’ll have everything organized by sport and by season automatically, so you’re all set.
Step 2: Stay In Touch
Each week, send your alumni and their parents notifications about game scores and any important community activities you need to share. They’ll appreciate you for staying in touch and will be more open when you reach out for fundraising each season.
The nice thing about using Winito Athletics to power your team website is that all your fans and alumni will already be getting game reminders and recent scores emails on a daily basis and each time your fans or alumni visit your site, it will be an opportunity for them to donate money to your program with just a few clicks on their mouse.
Step 3: Reach Out
One a month, reach out to your local community to help make an impact on the lives of people in your community. If you and your team are going to be practicing anyway, why not hold a practice or a scrimmage on the lawn of the local children’s hospital or senior center. You could run a joint fundraiser with the children’s hospital so that the proceeds are split between the hospital and your sports team and you can ask that the senior home hold a box for donations for your program. To get involved with the community and help train the next generation of athletes, you can run an athlete mentoring session to fundraise too.
Please share your success stories. We’re always looking to share best practices from coaches.