Recruiting for Croquet
By Donald Beck
The Need For New Recruits
Every year an established club 'loses' 15% to 20% of the membership.
If you don't recruit then costs per member rise, there is less social interaction, and slowly the club dies.
People join clubs for -- what?
If you stop providing the opportunity for -- what? Then people will leave.
The WHAT Factor. Consider your members:
- Friendly play
- Serious Competition
- Golf / Association / One Ball / Short /.
- Opportunity to contribute
- Opportunity to organise
- Opportunity to improve playing skills.
- Opportunity to use skills; carpentry, painting, food prep. etc.
- Somewhere to go
Identify What the Club Has to Keep Existing Members and to Attract New Members
How Many Recruits Do We Need / Would Like?
Factors To Consider
1. A Budget should deliver Fixed and Variable Costs.
From this one can calculate the costs/member with different membership numbers. Will people pay £x?
Can the costs be reduced?
- Substitute members efforts for external costs
- Renegotiate costs
- Bargain hunt (within reason!)
- Are there alternate sources of income?
- Fund raising
- Tournament Income
- Commercial Events
- Alternate use of facilities.
2. How many Members / Players can the club accommodate?
3. How many new recruits can we accept each month / year?
4. Set a budget for recruitment.
5. Who is responsible for recruitment in the club?
Set Realistic Targets
Why Market A Croquet Club?
Marketing is very simply defined as 'Matching the right product to the right customer in the best possible way'
Potential of Marketing:
- raising funds
- recruiting new members
- retaining current members.
- ensuring the club is well perceived by others
- maintaining loyalty of current members / friends
SPECIFIC increase X group membership
MEASURABLE target numbers published
AGREED by all involved / responsible
REALISTIC targets stretching but achievable
TIME LIMIT a time has been set
Marketing Makes Sense
SWOT Analysis of the Club
SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
- Quality coaching
- Good Facilities
- Offer competition local / national for all levels
- Council youth development program
- Potential sponsor
- Sports promotion program
Build on 'good points' in publicity and marketing.
- Low youth membership
- poor performance from teams
- poor administration
- Neighbouring club is strong
- Competing leisure activities
- Other sports
Any training needs?
Are the 'best' people in the key roles?
Identify the USP (Unique Selling Points) of the Club
Ways in which your club is special
- different and better than the competition
- Your club is open 12 months
- Qualified / experienced coaches
- Offer a safe sport and environment
- Designated Centre of excellence
- Club open to all ages
- Both sexes compete on equal terms
- Range of competitions
- Teams at all levels
- Social Program
- Entry costs reasonable
- Equipment costs low (mallets available for use of novices)
- Welcome for newcomers including own competitions
- Good licensed Bar / restaurant
- Members include National Champions
- Club Teams have won regional championship
Focus on USPs That Appeal to the Target Audience
Find The Target Customer
Target Groups Are People Who
share a common factor e.g.
Gender / Occupation / Age / Educational Background / Professional Background / Location / Other Leisure
Activities / Amount of Leisure Time Available / Age of Children / Live within catchment area
Travel time / Access to Club / Media Distribution Area / ...
Marketing for each target group;
Which media is best?
Which promotional material would be relevant
Promotional Material - An effective message will do four things (AIDA):
- gain Attention
- hold Interest
- arouse Desire
- elicit Action
Which technique would best reach the target audience: Publicity / Advertising / Schools Programs / Group Sessions / Open Days / Exhibitions / Croquet Events
- Target Groups
- Assess Own Organisation
- Involve Other Members
- Market Effectively
- Manage Resources
- Maximise Publicity
- Measure Degree Of Success
- Refine The Plan For Next Year
- Smart Marketing, ISBN 0-947850-08-2
- Finding The Funds, ISBN 0947850-13-9 (Out Of Print, Try The Library)
- But Is It Legal? Fundraising And The Law. ISBN 0-7199-1221-0
- Complete Fundraising Handbook ISBN 187-386-1218
- Goal-Setting (Tape & Booklet) ISBN 0-947850-69-4
- Sport Marketing ISBN 087-322-4493
- The Role Of Voluntary Organisations (available free from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.) Tel: 0171-713-6161
- For information on prize draws and raffles, contact your local authority who will be able to advise on Betting and Gaming licences and how to apply