The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Creating a 12-Month Marketing Plan for Your Sports Facility !

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   When you’re considering how to best market your sports facility to your community, the most important thing to do is to plan ahead, whether your business is brand new or has been around for decades.

Sure, things can change at a moment’s notice, and owning a business requires a good deal of flexibility. You don’t have to set all the minutia in stone for what happens a year from now, but having a general plan is essential. As I’ve mentioned before, planning ahead is especially critical to avoid a slow season and the subsequent lull in revenue that can make or break your business.

When establishing an annual marketing plan, break the year down by deciding what to focus on each month. Write down:

  1. What your clients will want to buy that month. You know your clients better than anyone. Familiarize yourself with local school schedules and sports schedules. Which sports and fitness programs are the most popular in your community, and when? Notes those details on your calendar.
  2. What programs, classes or events will provide the optimal revenue for your facility. Remember that each area in your facility should have multiple uses throughout the day, and that diversifying your space will maximize your revenue. Keep your clients’ range of ages and interests in mind when planning programming to make sure that there’s something for everyone. Remember, each square foot of space costs you money every day, and each square foot should be generating as much money for your business as possible. Don’t worry about getting too detailed here; the most important thing is to note the start dates, staffing, focus, and tentative pricing. You can finalize all the details as the event gets closer.
  3. What special events and promotions you can run to reach your goals. As the business owner or manager, it’s up to you to come up with promotions that will entice your customers while still allowing you to meet all your financial obligations and keep your doors open. New businesses, in particular, need to offer discounts to get new customers in the door. Plan promotions with care and update the pricing as your financial needs change.

Once you’ve established your general outline of events, it’s time to pencil in the associated to-do lists on a calendar. At DNA Sports Center, we’ve found that the ideal window for getting the initial word out about a new class, program or promotion is six to eight weeks ahead of time. That doesn’t mean that the classes will fill up that early, although sometimes they do. But it does get people thinking about the event. We typically send out a dedicated emailer at that point. Then, a few weeks later, we remind our Facebook fans about the event or class. Then, at the beginning of the week of the actual class or event, or the registration deadline for the class or event, if that comes first, we send out yet another emailer linking directly to the registration page.

Having these specific to-dos on a calendar that is highly visible to your staff will keep everyone on track. Just make sure that after your detailed month-to-month marketing plan is developed, someone on staff is in charge of enforcing the deadlines associated with it. That includes revisiting the plan every month to make additional changes and add details. Every six months you should be planning ahead for the next six, so that you’re a year ahead at all times.

See more at: http://www.sportsfacilityexpert.com/2012/03/29/creating-a-12-month-marketing-plan-for-your-sports-facility/#sthash.PZLPuGp8.dpuf

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Myrtle Beach Sports Center Announces Signing of 17 Occasion Contracts New Facility, Scheduled To Open in March 2015, Has Nearly Sold Out Its Very first Six Months !

Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) November, 2014

Myrtle Beach, SC is the third largest tourism location in America behind Orlando and Las Vegas – its longtime focus on sports is 1 cause the beach town has grow to be so well-liked. John MacDonald, Common Manager of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center positioned in Myrtle Beach, has announced the signing of 17 event contracts for the new facility, which is scheduled to open in March 2015. “Response has been phenomenal,” says MacDonald. “There are only two weekends still open for the center’s initial six months of operation—Easter and Memorial day.”

Myrtle Beach Sports Center will incorporate one hundred,000 square feet of year-round tournament and events space. The center delivers eight high school basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts with full-length retractable curtains. The courts are also lined so as to be configurable as four collegiate/specialist basketball courts.

“Basketball and volleyball are not the only choices, of course,” says MacDonald. “The center has 70,000 square feet of totally free-span space it is developed to host mat sports, table tennis, pickle ball, trade shows, and numerous other sorts of events.”

When not at the Sports Center, MacDonald notes, athletes and their households will have a host of region activities to select from. These incorporate the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, named the nation’s number-three boardwalk by National Geographic Household Kingdom Amusement Park, considered the fifth-ideal amusement park in the nation the Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks a wide selection of musical entertainment, which includes the Carolina Opry and comprehensive, family-friendly purchasing.1

“This new facility and its locale in one particular of the significant tourist destinations in the U.S.,” says MacDonald, “makes it a have to quit for any occasion owner that wants to give athletic teams with the ultimate in customer service, facilities, value, and guest experience—in and outside of the competition venue.”

Amongst the groups that will be moving their events next year to the Myrtle Beach Sports Center sits the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA). Says NTBA President John Whitley, “Having the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center permits NTBA to now bring its 1st-class tournaments to a first-class facility. We will be hosting our State and National Championships at the MBSC, and becoming capable to have the games below 1 roof is merely a win-win for all involved, but especially the spectators.”

A essential aspect in the accomplishment of the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center, and of related facilities nationwide, is an explosion of interest in youth and travel sports. “Youth sports tourism wasn’t even a category 4 years ago,” says Dave Hollander, a professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports, “and now it’s the fastest-growing segment in travel. You have got millions of youngsters involved, parents spending thousands of dollars, and cities constructing facilities to host events. It is just massive.”

According to a recent USA Right now survey, at least 35 million youngsters between five and 18 currently play an organized sport every single year in the U.S. Of these, 21 million are involved in non-college youth sports. “I do not see this as trending downward,” says Hollander. “Check out the neighborhood youth sports Television channels in your neighborhood. They are continuing to grow. Cities and towns are seeing advantages as these trips turn into mini-vacations for households, so their incentive to be a player in this is also expanding.”2

Even though the opportunity is real and developing, Dev Pathik, Founder and CEO, Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management, cautions that becoming a player in youth sports demands accurate analysis and planning. Speaking of the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, he says, “The city engaged us to generate a detailed economic forecast and financial effect projections for [Myrtle Beach Sports Center] from the time the project was in its infancy, and then hired our management team, to oversee the pre-opening and day to day operations.”

This cautious and detailed strategy, notes Pathik, is crucial to the success of any new sports facility. “Even with a excellent location and a booming market,” he says, “you have to make particular that what you are doing is precisely calibrated to the marketplace. We recognize this simply because it is our enterprise.”

SFA|SFM works with government entities, economic institutions, private developers, institutional customers, and faith-primarily based organizations to assist them—from the ground up—to optimize the return they make on their investment.

About Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM):

The Sports Facilities Advisory and Sports Facilities Management (SFA|SFM) is the leading resource in sports facility arranging and management. SFA|SFM has served a portfolio totaling a lot more than $ 4Billion in planned and operational sports centers in communities throughout the USA and internationally given that its founding in 2003. Youth and amateur sports and neighborhood recreation centers now require professional planning and management. SFA’s proprietary data system—based on years of arranging, funding and managing facilities, coupled with the rise of the youth sports segment—is the engine behind the improvement of SFM. Since its inception, SFM has become an business leader in the management of amateur sports and events complexes, and along with SFA, offers the preparing, financing and management knowledge needed to turn suggestions into profitable recreation facilities. SFA|SFM serves each public and private clientele. Its services fall into four major categories: program, fund, open and handle, which encompass each phase from early stage feasibility studies to preparing financing documents, overseeing development and opening and complete-time management solutions. SFA|SFM’s achievement depends upon its mission to dramatically increase communities by way of the opening or optimization of sports and recreation centers. For a lot more info, pay a visit to http://www.sportadvisory.com/home.html.

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Preventing Theft at your Sports Center !

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Being a victim of theft is always painful. It feels very personal, whether the thief steals from you directly or from your sports center.

Potential stolen assets range from physical products (such as candy bars from the concession stand) to data (such as client contact information). Even if you haven’t been stolen from yet, you should prepare for your sports center to be targeted. Here are a few steps to take.

Preventing Equipment and Merchandise Theft:
Research the options for tracking your facility’s hardware. iPhones have built-in GPS systems, for example, and there are apps available that can track other devices if they’re stolen.
Track all purchases at your sports center- particularly cash sales – with a reliable system that records the details of what has been purchased and which employee completed the transaction. Even concession stand sales can be easily tracked with a simple point of sale system. When this type of data isn’t recorded automatically, theft and miscalculations result in lost revenue – and small losses add up quickly.
Employees should check other equipment in and out for customers using a reliable system, electronic or otherwise.
Preventing Customer Data Theft:
Your customer database is extremely valuable, and having it stolen affects both your bottom line and your reputation, because clients trust you to keep their information safe and private.

I have heard too many firsthand stories from clients whose databases have been taken by employees for use at a competing sports center. If your employees can access your client database, you need to know who accesses it, when, and from where. (eSoft Planner provides custom staff permissions levels and tracks downloads and for this reason.) I hope this is obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: If you’re using a simple spreadsheet on your computer to track these client details, you’re leaving yourself and your clients very vulnerable.

Remember: 99% of your staff will never try to steal from you. There’s no reason to go overboard or get paranoid; your staff needs reasonable access to your clients’ information for day-to-day operations. However, there’s also no reason make your full customer database easy to download.

Preventing Theft of Services:
This type of sports facility theft is the most common, and it’s the one with which sports facility owners are the most complacent. When a client schedules and then does not pay for a lesson or class – whether they attend or not, and whether they did it deliberately or not – you’re being taken advantage of. You lose money from the lesson itself, but you also lose money in the form of the instructor’s time and the space that could have been used for other purposes. This is why I’m so adamant about requiring upfront payment at my own sports facility. If a client later cancels for what you determine to be a legitimate excuse, you can always opt to give them a full or partial refund at that point.

You can never completely prevent theft, and only you can evaluate how much energy you want to invest in deterring, investigating and prosecuting theft at your sports facility. Remember that your time and your energy are your greatest assets, and stressing out over a stolen company iPad for a week can cost you much more in the form of lost time and energy than what you originally paid for the stolen equipment.

eSoft Planner can track equipment, purchases and employee activities, all of which help prevent theft at your facility. Submit a free demo request if you’d like to see the tool for yourself. If you’d like to consult with me on sports facility management, call (513) 791-4940.

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