Grow Your Club
Football is played for fun by millions across England every week and is reliant on volunteers to deal with club administration. It may be a daunting thought to think about methods to expand and grow your club, but there is lots of help available. Jersey FA are delighted to be able to bring you a few hints and tips which will hopefully will give you some useful guidance when looking to attract new players, volunteers and investment to your club.
- Identify a local family that has not been to a game before and ask them to provide you with honest feedback of their experience.
- Introduce a new fans section on your website detailing the essential information first time fans will need to know; directions, parking, cost,catering available.
- ‘Get Big, Get Niche or Get Out.’ Focus on developing and promoting the characteristics that make your club different and unique.
- Increase your skilled volunteers by contacting your local university or college who have students with a range of disciplines from media,business and marketing and who are desperate to gain hands on experience.
- The online world is free so increase your community presence through online programmes, posting match day footage and effective use of Twitter.
Develop a distinct Identity
It is important for clubs to think about their identity, as the basic offering of 90 minutes of football every week is unlikely, by itself, to form the basis of a growth strategy. Given the competition for our leisure time, clubs need to develop and trade on their differences. What makes your club unique? What is it about the match day experience at your ground that makes it so special? Why would a new fan forego the opportunity to watch football at a higher level in favour of a visit to your club?
Identity creates belonging and that sense of belonging is what we need to drive sustainable growth. More and more clubs around the country are realising that different is better. Below, you’ll find some examples of what they are doing.
Build an effective teams of volunteers
The majority of clubs are run on a day-to-day basis by volunteers and any significant extra commitment immediately has an impact on resources. Volunteers are not easy to find and often more difficult to retain, so developing the right strategy is a key factor in supporting sustainable growth. However, there is a clear correlation between clubs with proactive, well-thought-out volunteer recruitment strategies and sustainable growth.
Promote your fixtures
Clubs also have a distinct opportunity in that they offer an environment in which people interested in a career in sports can gain useful education and experience. This is particularly the case in the growing academic area of sports marketing and administration, where students at all stages of their education are looking for opportunities to give up their time in exchange for valuable learning opportunities. The following case studies show the mutual benefits of a considered partnership with a local further or higher education institution, as well as further specific guidance on volunteer recruitment and retention.