It's at times an unfortunate truth for clubs, but developing and sustaining cashflow coming in is vital to the longevity of your club. Money is likely to be the number one issue hampering the progression of your club, but you can harness the power of digital to bring a sea of green to your club's balance sheet.
Sponsors, sponsors, sponsors
When it comes to finding ways to increase club revenue, your number one focus should always be sponsors. Sponsors are so vital in fact, that I had to name three times in the sub-header.
Rather than trying to flog pitch-side space that only three men and their dog will notice all season, digital helps you showcase sponsors to more people in an effective and trackable manner.
Last week, Dan highlighted the value in getting up to speed with the analytical side of your club's online footprint, and when it comes to maximising your club revenue – knowing your online performance really is so so important.
Central to everything is website traffic. Everything we have and will consider in this digital bootcamp interweaves brilliantly when it comes to revenue.
The amount of visitors you bring to your club website is equivalent to the amount of people that will could potentially see your club's sponsors. So, using some of the tips and techniques we've suggested in the Digital Bootcamp, increasing website traffic through interesting and varied content (something we'll go into greater detail in week 7) can actually be central to increasing club revenue.
The higher the number of visitors to your website, the more interested sponsors will be. When it comes to digital, your website is a saleable asset, one which businesses both locally and nationally will be falling over themselves to buy space on – but only if you build you online presence to an attractive level.
Get a grip on how many people are visiting your website (using Dan's advice from last week) and use these numbers as the basis for a strong pitch to businesses who are interested in handing over their cash.
Another significant factor for boosting online sponsorship is positioning. For advertisers, positioning is all important. There's no point forking out hundreds of pounds for space on your website if they're only going to be shoved to a dark corner of your site. Showcase your sponsors in a predominant (but subtle) position on your site, and ramp up the potential for sponsor sales to another level.
Note: A Pitchero club website allows you to embed sponsors in your website header, as well as showcase a number of sponsors in a homepage carousel.
Within your club's now vast digital output, there are a number of opportunities for making the most of potential sponsorship income. Get funky with new sponsorship opportunities and rake in as much as income as possible.
Examples might be a team or even individual player sponsorship, with links and mentions for those sponsors held on your player profile pages. Outside of the your club website, does your social media page have opportunities to incorporate sponsors? Bring a sponsor into your Twitter and/or Facebook homepage, thrusting them in front of all who come across your feeds.
Without sponsorship, your club is likely to struggle in it's efforts to raise enough cash to continue the fine work you do serving the local community. Harness your fresh, modern digital platforms to boost traffic and help you give potential sponsors no choice but to invest in the ongoing success of your club both on and off the pitch.
Membership & Payments
Right, you've nailed sponsors – but where else can you look for new sources of income? A couple of weeks back, I spoke about how important your members to your club. Whilst they dedicate their time and effort to making your club more successful, digital can help your club break the back of an often painstakingly annoying process – collecting subs.
We've all been there. Chasing after players who still haven't paid their yearly subs, drowning under an ocean of paper IOUs and ultimately, your club losing out on the funds you need to keep afloat – just some of the issues caused by old-hat paper-and-dodgy-memory methods many clubs adopt.
Thing is, you probably use the internet to manage your personal banking, buy your sister's birthday present and pretty much everything else – so why leave your club in the dark ages?
Collecting membership fees online is a reality, and without sounding like too much of a show-off, Pitchero's club website comes with these valuable team management tools as standard. You can create online payment products, send out reminders to those who are yet to pay, and track absolutely everything in a simple and intuitive platform.
To pay those membership fees however, you need members. Again linking nicely to a previous week, attracting new members is pretty important to keeping income consistent at your club. Take a look back at our advice for attracting and maintaining your club members.
Other supplementary revenue stream ideas
Like I mentioned earlier, chances are you've caught onto this online shopping business – and you can actually use it as a handy way of bringing in a few quid for your club.
Services like easyfundraising
offer clubs a percentage of cashback on the purchases your users make online. Setup an account for your club, and, most of the biggest online retailers like Amazon, Tesco and Apple will give your club between around 1-2% of anything you buy online through them.
Like we said, it's unlikely to bring in a yearly five-figure sum, but for doing something that is second nature to most of your online-savvy members, it can be a handy donation.
People are proud to play for and support their local clubs – and one way they like to show it is by sporting some club merchandise. Setting up a club shop might seem like a tricky business initially, but again digital is on hand to make it a whole lot easier.
As part of those club management tools we mentioned earlier, Pitchero offers clubs the ability to create and manage their own club shop.
It takes a little bit of investment initially to get the merchandise created, but you can sure each and every one of your members will want their own t-shirt, hat and hoodie. Plus, the paperless advantages that are true of online payments are relevant here too. Customers pay for goods online just like they would anything else – and the money transfers safely to your linked club account.
As a little out-of-the-box exercise, how about a staging an online raffle with one or a number of companies. Rally round your sponsors for some prizes, and harness this network of social media
accounts to raise some cash.
When you approach those sponsors, negotiate a prize from them in the initial agreement, plus their support for promoting the raffle online. Setup an online payment that allows users to buy a ticket for the raffle. With the support of 10-12 businesses, plus your members – chances are your raffle will reach far beyond just your immediate members and followers.
People love to be able to win things, and safe in the knowledge they are contributing to the upkeep of the club, will be happy to get involved. And thanks to it's digital nature, you'll have the chance to reach out to new potential members.
Over the next two weeks of your digital voyage, we'll be covering a vital facet to growing your club online – communications. Your club's voice, and tailoring that for who you're talking to is an important factor to consider if you want to win them over.
We'll touch upon that in Week 7, but next week we'll go over the tools you'll be using to make those communications.
Content Marketing Specialist.
Professional Ryan Sidebottom look-a-like.