Your Sports Facility’s Business Plan: The Marketing
This is the second in a series of posts on creating a business plan for a sports facility. Last week, we discussed creating a sports facility business objective. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll discuss how to add details on operations, finances and an exit strategy to your sports facility’s business plan.
Now that you have the basics written down, it’s time to consider how you’ll present your sports facility to your customers and your community.
Summarize Your Brand.
How do you want your sports facility to be perceived? Write a few sentences describing the words and feelings that should be associated with your sports facility, and consider which colors you want to use to help establish your brand. I’d suggest getting professional logo to use on your web site, ads and apparel. You can get a quality logo with an affordable online service such as LogoBee or 99 Designs if you don’t have one yet.
For example: DNA Sports Center’s brand identity will be energetic, athletic and professional, and should appeal to both kids and adults. Brand colors will be dark red, gray and black.
Establish Price Points.
Why is pricing here in the marketing section? Because it can be a great marketing tool.
Research what people are paying for similar services in your area, and evaluate the unique benefit of the services YOU will offer in comparison to your competitors as you set your pricing.
Do you want to establish yourself as an exclusive, luxury service, or as an affordable service for families? Consider your brand image as you establish the pricing for all your services, including rentals, lessons and group instruction. Decide whether you want to give discounts to valued clients or sell packages of services at discounted rates to encourage sales.
(When we get to the financial analysis step of the business plan, we’ll see if you can be profitable at the prices you want to charge.
For example: Young athletes around the Cincinnati area are looking for an accredited, professional program for sports fundamentals, as evidenced by the high number of similar programs within 40 minutes of driving time of our facility location. However, competing programs don’t have the legitimacy and professional branding that a Parisi Speed School provides. There are also no speed and agility programs within the immediate Milford area. DNA Sports Center will charge between $100 and $300 per month for unlimited access to speed and agility training, which reflects the exclusive, semi-private nature of our training. (Adding additional details about the packages available is a good idea.)
List Your Other Marketing Tools.
Below are the marketing methods I’d suggest. All of them can be effective to making your facility known to the community, especially if you are new to the area and are trying to establish connections.
- Sales Staff – Sales reps with established connections in the community can be your strongest marketing asset. If you plan to hire any, briefly describe their position/s and include how much you’ll will pay them. For example: DNA Sports Center will employ a sales rep that will be paid a __ base salary plus __% commission for all new memberships he or she sells at the facility. This employee is expected to generate __ leads/memberships per week/month.
- Email marketing – Costs for a professional program start around $30/month and go up based on the number of contacts in your database. Your scheduling software might have basic email marketing components, too — eSoft Planner, the program I created for sports facilities, comes standard with a basic e-mail marketing system.
- Web site – Get some estimates on a search-engine-friendly web site. Blogging or updating a news section on your sports facility’s web site is a good way to get noticed. (Click here for more details on basic search engine optimization.) Decide who will be in charge of updating the web site, and how often.
- Advertising and Sponsorships – You know your community. What are the influential media or organizations in the area that will be noticed by your customers? List the costs to advertise in these organizations. If you’re having a grand opening event, you can work with local media to make sure it’s covered.