• VXM Drive

Free, Winning Strategies to Keep Your Sports Business in Tact Through COVID-19

Updated: Apr 16

This is a brutal time for any business, including the youth and amateur sports industry. Our business, VenueX Media, owns and operates a digital display network and is connected in over 70% of amateur sports facilities in New England. We specialize in digital advertising and reaching niche audiences through our network.



VenueX Media operates a digital-out-of-home advertising network in 70% amateur sports facilities in New England.


We created this guide for our tremendous venue partners and for the sports businesses who are essential to keeping the venues filled.

We will cover a variety of topics throughout the guide. The goal is to show a number of free strategies to employ while you are stuck in quarantine.


Covered in Part 1 of the Guide

  • Content Creation (for dummies)

  • Virtual Training Tools: Stay Connected, Stay Relevant

  • Make Sure Your Website is Working for You

Part 2 of the Guide will Cover

  • Winning Social Media Automation Strategies

  • Automated Email Strategies (free to MailChimp, Constant Contact users)

  • Outside the Box Revenue Generating Strategies

Some logistics:

  • We’re going to create a fictional sports club, so throughout the guide, you’ll be able to follow us implementing these free strategies from scratch.

  • If you have any questions or suggestions for other topics to add please do not hesitate to contact us at brian@venuexmedia.com

  • Feel free to share this with any friends in the sports industry that you think would find it useful.


Content Creation for Dummies

Don’t Do Anything Until You Get a Free Canva Account

There is a free and a paid version of Canva. The free version will work perfectly fine for 99/100 projects you would be looking to complete.


The focus of your content creation time should be on content that will help you keep your current athletes and attract new athletes into your program.


Player Spotlights


This is #1 on the list for a reason: not many clubs do this well. Highlighting the accomplishments of your athletes will drive engagement with your brand.

Parents like seeing their athletes recognized. Players like to see themselves recognized. It is as simple as that.


To get things going, here is an example by BBL Lacrosse:




Let’s break the BBL commit announcement down. It’s actually very simple:

  • There are a series of shapes (various colors and transparencies), text boxes and spots for images.

  • All that needs to be changed is: the name of the player, the grad year, position, school logo, etc.

  • The only portion here that could create a problem for someone not great with design would be consistently finding transparent logos for the schools your players commit to. (I’ll talk about this later in the “Alumni Spotlights” section)



We’re going to show you how you can set this up for your club.

Here’s the template we built.

  • Recommended dimensions in Canva: 1000 x 1000 pixels. This optimizes well on both Facebook and Instagram.



Finished product below.



Alumni Spotlights


This one is obvious, so I won’t spend a lot of time covering it as there are a ton of examples out there.

Highlighting your successful alumni is hugely important part of the sales & marketing process of your club. Our suggestion is that you crank out a number of these in one sitting, and then schedule the social media posts for future dates.

(We will cover some free / “free-mium” tools later that will help with this.)

Same deal as above, build a simple format, and work from your templates:


Note: What we’ve built here, with a container framing the image will help if you’re not able to find transparent logos consistently. I created a simple container using the “shape” feature in Canva. I added the two triangles in our VXM color to dress it up a bit. Then I put in a frame to drop in any logos. They will now appear consistently.


Then plug in Alumni spotlights. All you will have to do is add the photo, dump in the logo and add text.



Testimonials


Testimonials from real parents in your program are a powerful. Use only testimonials that allow you to use their full name.

The same goes for testimonials — have a template, stick with it. The simpler, the better. You should be able to crank these out quickly.


The best example that immediately comes to mind is Joe Caliguiri's Stadium Performance in Dedham, MA. Joe clearly builds some lasting relationships with the athletes, the families and the coaches that come through his gym. It's immediately evident on his website:



Same routine, editable template:



Load the next testimonial as they come in, or bang out a bunch at one time.




Virtual Training: Stay Connected, Stay Relevant


You don’t need a fancy (expensive) app to make this work. Below, I’ve listed out some free ideas to consider.


YouTube


Create a YouTube channel and curate playlists of videos.

This is what you’ll get in return for your effort.

  • Player Development: most youth/high school players have a serious need to continually build their [insert sport] “IQ”. Becoming a student of the game is a great way to do this.

  • Engagement: You and your coaches get in front of players and families more consistently. It doesn’t cost you, or them, anything but a little bit of time.

  • Value: It provides value. As a coach, you are an expert (or should be!) in your field. By curating a list of videos that are already created, you’re passing along knowledge earned over years of competing and coaching.

Instructions to creating & sharing a YouTube channel:


Here a live examples that we created:


Video Conferencing


Google has two options. Google Meet is the business version of Google Hangouts. If your business email is through Google, you’ll have access to both.

Zoom has a free version — which is most likely sufficient. Please note: there have been some recent security issues with Zoom.

Here are two what we recommend using it for:

  • College recruiting guidance (small group)

  • 1:1 Coaching / Player / Parent Conferences.

  • Positional player meetings… (Small group). Focus should be film review, building player IQ.

To keep scheduling these video calls from turning into an absolute nightmare, sign up for a free account on Calendly. Calendly gives you full control to list your availability. When a player books a time with you, that time slot will be wiped away. You and the player will receive a calendar invitation (notification) of the event. It’s free, simple and easy to use.

Here’s what my Calendly looks like:

Make Sure Your Website is Working for You

Have a reason for visitors to provide you with their name and email address:

  • Get access to our film room

  • Download our college recruiting guide

  • Download our complex club brochure

These are just three examples, you know you club and prospective athletes best — go with you gut and use what is already created.

Call-to-Actions, Overlays, Waypoints

Regardless of what website CMS you are using, you should have the ability to add in light-boxes, overlays, popups or a call to action.

Here’s an example. It’s from HubSpot, a sales CRM. This pops up on various how-to, template pages.


Here is the example for the VXM “Spike Ball Club”:




There are pages that you want to be 100% sure to have these call to actions on, like these:

  • Anything about tuition, program overview, etc… Your current players/families already know the tuition!

  • Tryout information pages

  • What to expect pages


We are looking forward to sharing part 2 of the guide with you next week. The second part dive a little deeper on some no-cost tech automation(s) and strategies that you can take advantage of at no cost.

Part 2 of the VXM Guide will Cover:

  • Winning Social Media Automation Strategies

  • Automated Email Strategies (free to MailChimp, Constant Contact users)

  • Outside the Box Revenue Generating Strategies

Contact

Brian Fitzgibbons VXM | Co-founder, CEO brian@venuexmedia.com (508) 591-3010

#sports #COVID19

VXM Drive
 

34 Crocker Lane

Cohasset, MA 02025

Email: info@vxmdrive.com

Phone: (508) 591-3010

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