Although big-name NFL, NBA and MLB franchises have no problem getting the word out, smaller scale teams often have a hard time filling seats. Not only are local and minor league franchises more difficult to market than their ultra-popular counterparts, far fewer people are aware of their existence. Fortunately, there are a number of ways these teams can use emerging technology to their advantage. If your lesser-known sports franchise could use some extra exposure, put the following pointers into practice.
Create an Aesthetically-Pleasing, User-Friendly Website
Every sports franchise, no matter how minor, needs to maintain a strong presence online. If your team’s current website leaves a lot to be desired, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable web design company. Instead of assembling an uninspired mishmash of stock templates and confusing menus, experienced web designers will create a site that’s easily on par with those of professional teams. Since you’re trying to give off the impression that your team is every bit as impressive as its big league contemporaries, it pays to go all-out when overhauling your site. To give first-time visitors a feel for what your franchise is all about, include a detailed account of the team’s inception, as well as bios for players past and present. A solidly-built, easy-to-navigate website can go a long way in attracting new fans and corporate sponsors.
Study Up on SEO Marketing
Once your team’s new website is up and running, you’ll need to start attracting new visitors. Utilizing search engine optimization, or “SEO,” marketing practices will prove incredibly useful in this endeavor. As Ayaz Nanji of Marketing Profs Points out, SEO is highly cost-effective and produces immediate results. There are a number of intricacies and complex details involved with SEO marketing, but the general concept is relatively simple: identify keywords that appeal to your target audience and incorporate those terms into your website’s content. This, in turn, will get your site noticed by prominent search engines. To wit, if you own a Phoenix-based roller hockey team, your keywords would be something along the lines of “Phoenix, AZ roller hockey” or “roller hockey teams in Phoenix.” If SEO marketing is a foreign concept to you, consider enlisting the aid of a sports marketing professional.
Incorporate Online Promotions
In order for fledgling franchises to get people to games, they often have to make it worth the fans’ while. To this end, consider offering online promotions through your website and social media. For example, offering discounted prices to people who purchase tickets through your website is an effective way to get fans in seats. Additionally, providing complimentary knickknacks or refreshments to fans who promote your team on social media can help attract attention to your franchise and increase game attendance.
These days, it seems like most people have no love for non-professional sports. However, a substantial amount of interest still exists; prospective fans are simply unaware that such sports are still widely played. By using technology to your team’s advantage, you can ensure your franchise’s continued popularity for years to come.