Knowing how to market your rugby club can be one of the hardest parts of running a rugby club. Your club need to ensure that the club is appealing to current members and prospective numbers.

A rugby club needs to define its audience, market its membership appropriately marketed and ensure communications are regular.
Defining your club
Membership
Marketing plan
Online Marketing
Offline Marketing

Define your club

A key item is to define what your club currently is and what you would like it to be going forward. The assumption is that most clubs will have one or two senior men’s teams, a women’s team and a juniors section. If this is the case then you need to ask the question, how do you want to develop. Do you want a social team, do you want a second women’s team, is the opinion of the club to increase the minis section.

Once you have defined what your club is currently and the direction of the club is going you can make a tag line of a couple of sentences that optimise your club. I have made the following example.

A rugby club which is inclusive of all ages from minis to vets, bringing rugby community South West London.

If you are in a town where there are two rugby clubs your will want to ensure that you have a different message to the other club in town. For instance if the rival club are in higher leagues your may want to push the family element to the club.

Membership

The membership to your club is essentially a product. As a club you need to define what your product is and the value of the product.

Before you attach a price to the membership, work out what is included in your membership. Does a senior membership include:
Training
Game day
Match officials
Kit being washed
Physio
Food after a game
Subsidised Bar
Sponsorship discounts.

If you are unsure of what to charge for a membership then you can look at what other clubs charge in the close proximity to you. You will need to factor in the above costings when preparing the price list of membership. In my experience a rugby club membership costs between £20 – £27 pounds a month. Compared with other sports, which require hall hire, this is a very reasonable and fair price.

There should be consideration given to the different levels of membership, as a mini should not be paying the same as a senior team member. You can have the following categories of players and attribute costs based on playing time and
Senior men
Senior Women
Veterans (any player over 40)
Student (under 23)
Social Player (less than 10 games a season)
Social Member
Juniors
Minis

It’s important you take time to work out the correct costs for a membership. It may be worthwhile for a club to offer a reduced fee membership if they volunteer down the rugby club for example, a dad re-paints the whole club house to get a free membership for his child.

Have a Marketing Plan

It is important that a rugby club has a marketing plan and that this is distributed to the various people who are in charge of marketing around the club. Firstly, any form of promotions whether it be via social media or in print form must follow the brand guidelines that your rugby club have put in place.

It is important to understand who you are targeting. If you are wanting to increase the membership generally, you will focus your marketing everywhere. Whereas, if you wish to increase the mini’s you would focus your efforts at schools and parents. There is no point putting lots of effort into marketing if you are aiming the marketing at a wrong demographic.

It is best to set up a marketing timetable, as the main drive for new members will happen during the summer and you will want to try and have new members for the season. You can see ask new members how they found out about the club and keep a tally of what did and didn’t work, so you can adapt your marketing plan the following season.

Ideas for Online Marketing

There are numerous ways to market yourself online however, the first point of call will be to post material online through social media. It would be worthwhile encouraging existing members to share recruitment posts on social media to ensure that friends of friends may be entice to the club. Be sure to include your clubs contact details in any social media post to ensure that people can contact.

It is important to vary your social media posts and make them unique. No one wants to see the same photo over and over again. It would be a good to have recognisable faces from the club on social media posts such as the club chairman or the first team captain. People also need to have the posts relatable, if the recruitment is a social side, target dads by using rugby as chance to get fit and escape the family.

Another idea, is to get twenty people from the club together and film each individual giving a reason as to why they play rugby and joined the rugby club. There are also a number of rugby poems on the internet and it is a nice touch to film club members saying a line of the poem, to show that the rugby club is a community. There is no need for specialist content a phone can capture the relevant moments for a video to be put together.

It is important to remember that all your posts meet your rugby club’s social media guidelines.

Ideas for Online Marketing

There are numerous ways to market yourself online however, the first point of call will be to post material online through social media. It would be worthwhile encouraging existing members to share recruitment posts on social media to ensure that friends of friends may be entice to the club. Be sure to include your clubs contact details in any social media post to ensure that people can contact.

It is important to vary your social media posts and make them unique. No one wants to see the same photo over and over again. It would be a good to have recognisable faces from the club on social media posts such as the club chairman or the first team captain. People also need to have the posts relatable, if the recruitment is a social side, target dads by using rugby as chance to get fit and escape the family.

Another idea, is to get twenty people from the club together and film each individual giving a reason as to why they play rugby and joined the rugby club. There are also a number of rugby poems on the internet and it is a nice touch to film club members saying a line of the poem, to show that the rugby club is a community. There is no need for specialist content a phone can capture the relevant moments for a video to be put together.

It is important to remember that all your posts meet your rugby club’s social media guidelines.