Promoting your club and increasing membership
It’s no secret that times can be tough for bowls clubs at the moment. In the contest for the time and money of new participants, bowls is up against a whole range of sports and other leisure activities. With the threat of closure looming over many smaller clubs the pressure is on to populate or perish.
Every bowler knows that bowls is the greatest sport on earth, so how do bowls clubs share this with the rest of the world? What can your club do to attract new bowlers and retain the ones you already have?
A number of clubs around the country have already tackled this issue. The case studies below outline what they did to increase their membership.
If it all seems a bit daunting, don’t despair, there are lots of resources out there to help you promote and grow your club. Here are just a few….
Bowls Australia and Australian Sports Commission
Bowls Australia and the Australian Sports Commission have teamed up to publish A Perfect Delivery , a comprehensive guide to marketing bowls with lots of practical tips and examples. Don’t be put off by the length of the document, just use the bits that are useful to you.
Government Departments of Sport and Recreation
Some websites for Departments of Sport and Recreation have marketing and promotions resources for sports clubs. You needn’t be limited by looking only at those for your own country or state, with the aid of the internet, you can have access to all states’ publications. Some examples are:
Department of Sport and Recreation WA
Sport and Recreation QLD
Dundee City Sports Council UK
Bowls Association websites
Bowls Associations have already done a lot of the work in identifying target markets and the different ways that bowls clubs might appeal to them. For example…
Victorian Bowls (RVBA & VLBA)
Also have a look at your state's bowls magazines, some of which are available on line. For example in the February 2009 issue (page 25) of Bowls in Focus (VIC), there is an article on running Social Bowls at Your Club.
Australian Sports Commission Club Development Resource Library
The Club Development Resource Library has lots of resources on a range of topics useful to sporting clubs including Marketing Activities.
Just remember that each location is different so think about how different strategies and marketing activities may work in your local area. Try a Google Search for “Marketing Bowls Clubs” and see what comes up!
Does your club have a success story you would like to share? Send us a message from the Contact Us page.