Families are reducing the number of seasons, leagues, or sports their child plays in a given year. There could be a couple of reasons for this, like the cost of playing and the hassle of juggling multiple sports schedules. As a result, sports clubs and leagues need to get creative in order to keep their registration numbers up.
After reading this blog, you will learn 5 new strategies that you can implement today that will help you increase registration for your next season.
“The inflation issue is very real and concerning. People are still buying sports products. But at some point, when people see prices change, they may make discretionary choices and sports come into play. The last thing you want to do is cut your kids, but at some point you have to.”
Luckily for leagues wanting to cut costs, there is an easy solution: switch to a software provider, like TeamLinkt, that doesn’t charge thousands in software & processing fees.
However, increasing registration season after season isn’t as easy. For the majority of clubs & leagues, word of mouth has been the biggest driver of registration growth. The next door neighbor kids are playing in a soccer league so you will register your kid in it as well. However, word of mouth can only get you so far.
Families today have a lot of options on how they want to spend their free time, competition has never been higher. Leagues & Clubs need to test out some new strategies that will help get more registrants.
In order to beat out the competition and get your club or league top of mind with parents, here are 5 tips that you can implement today.
5 tips that will increase registration each season
1. Improve your social media presence
It’s more than likely that you’re already on social media but is your club & league truly maximizing the platform? In order to get the most out of social media, you have to continuously post and share engaging content.
It’s more than just posting an image and some text day after day, you need to experiment & test with different types of media.
Media types such as:
- Short form video (Think Tiktok or Instagram Reels)
- Gifs and Memes
- Athlete testimonials
- How to guides, tips , and checklists (Long form highly valuable content)
The leagues & Clubs that excel are the ones that are keeping their community engaged. To easily do this, use a content planner tool, like Facebook’s post scheduler, and create a backlog of content then schedule the posts to go out every day. Do all that work once a week and then all you have to do is manage and respond to comments.
Boost your posts to make this even more effective
If you don’t have a huge following on social media, it may be hard to get engagement. To help grow your audience, try our “$1 a day approach”:
- Boost each of your posts for a week for $1 a day.
- After 7 days, identify the winners and continue to boost those higher performing posts.
- Create new posts that are similar to what is getting the most engagement
This will help ensure that you top performing social posts are continue to generate good engagement and that you new posts are following the same style of what has proven to work best.
2. Host free clinics & mini camps
Think of these as a “try before you buy” type program. A free clinic or a mini camp allows families to try out your sport, learn a couple new skills, and get familiar with you and your league members.
You can also use this opportunity to answer any questions that parents or athletes may have about the league. By offering these programs, you can introduce new people to your sport and potentially recruit them as future members of your league.
Here are a few examples of mini camps:
- Football Mini Camp: A one or two-day camp focused on teaching basic football skills, such as throwing, catching, and tackling. The camp could also include drills and scrimmages to give participants a feel for the game.
- Basketball Skills Camp: A camp designed to help young players improve their ball handling, shooting, and other fundamental basketball skills. The camp could include drills, skills challenges, and small-sided games.
- Soccer Skills Clinic: A clinic focused on teaching young soccer players basic dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. The clinic could include drills, skills challenges, and small-sided games.
- Baseball/Softball Hitting Camp: A camp focused on teaching young players proper hitting technique and helping them develop their power and accuracy at the plate. The camp could include drills, batting practice, and live pitching.
3. Offer registration promos & offer
Offering discounts on league registration can be an easy way to increase the amount of participants you get each year. This can help encourage parents to sign their kids up early and can also help you plan ahead for the season.
Some examples of discounts you can offer would be:
- Early bird discounts: This can be a discount for those who register for a league before a certain deadline. This can encourage people to sign up sooner rather than later.
- Discounts for teams: This can be a discount for teams that register a certain number of players. This can encourage teams to recruit more players and increase overall registration numbers.
- Discounts for families: This can be a discount for families that register multiple children in the same league. This can encourage families to sign up all of their children at once, rather than just one or two.
- Discounts for referrals: This can be a discount for players who refer a friend to the league. This can encourage players to spread the word about the league and bring in new players.
- Discounts for military families: This can be a discount for military families as a way to show appreciation for their service. This can also make the league more accessible to military families who may have limited income.
- Discounts for low-income families: This can be a discount for families who cannot afford the full registration fee. This can make the league more accessible to families who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
BONUS PRO TIP: Lowering your fees in general will get you more registrants and more revenue over all. This is how it worked for one of you customers:
“I believe any extra funds that come into my organization can help with the experience that I can provide to the kids & participants. I can use the extra funds to purchase higher-quality equipment and better uniforms so that the experience is better for the kids. We are also able to lower fees for the entire program. Sometimes less is more – I lowered fees by 20% when I took over but increased the registration amounts by 46%. Extra funds also allow you to train coaches better, when I took over I sent 19 coaches to get properly certified for the age level they are coaching which this can’t be done unless your revenue model increases.”
4. Create a referral program
Encourage current families and players to spread the word about your league to their friends and families. You can offer discounts or other incentives for families who refer new players to your league.
If you’re wanting to set up a referral program, here are some things to consider:
- Define the goal of the referral program: How many new participants would you want? How much are those new participants worth (in terms of registration)?
- Identify the target audience: Who are you trying to attract through the referral program? And who is the best source of referrals?
- Determine the reward structure: How will you reward people for referring new members or customers to your league or club? Will you offer discounts, free merchandise, or cash incentives?
- Promote the referral program: Make sure people are aware of the referral program by promoting it through your website, social media, email campaigns, and other channels.
- Make it easy for people to refer others: Provide referral links, promotional materials, and clear instructions on how to refer friends and family to your league or club.
- Track the success of the referral program: Use a referral program management platform or software to track the number of referrals, conversions, and revenue generated through the referral program.
- Analyze and optimize the referral program: Continuously analyze the performance of the referral program and make adjustments as needed to improve its effectiveness.
5. Offer flexible payment options
Offer flexible payment options. Some families may be hesitant to sign up for a league if they are not sure they can afford it. By offering flexible payment options you can make it easier for families to register.
When you use a fully customizable online registration software, you can add payment types such as:
- Pay now online
- Pay later online
- Pay later offline
- Payment installments
- Combinations of above
Pro Tip: Regardless of the payment method(s) that you choose to use, TeamLinkt’s online registration software will store all the data on who has paid and who hasn’t paid. Making it easy for you to go through registration and keep track of all the outstanding payments and of the participants that have paid all their fees.
CLubs & leagues are growing with TeamLinkt
SEASON OVER SEASON GROWTH
There are many strategies that leagues and clubs can use to generate more registration each season. By simply starting with just one of the five strategies above, you can effectively increase registration and build a thriving community of athletes and enthusiasts. When you partner with TeamLinkt we don’t only provide you with league tools we also help you achieve your goals and create a successful and sustainable sports program that continues to grow season over season.
If you want to simplify the management of your season, get started below.