Pickleball and tennis tournaments are big business for clubs like yours. They can showcase all your facilities, bring in new members and generate substantial revenue – if they’re marketed effectively.
The key to any successful pickleball and tennis tournament is getting the word out. You can focus as much time and effort as you like on organization and logistics, but it will all be in vain if no-one shows up to compete.
So how do you announce your new tournament? How do you reach players both inside and outside your organization? How do you market your pickleball and tennis tournaments most effectively?
1. Be clear on who the tournament is for
The first step in marketing any tournament at your club is knowing exactly who it’s for. Take the time to define the type of players you want to register and compete.
That way, you’ll understand exactly who your target audience is and you’ll find it much easier to create the messaging that will engage and encourage those specific players to sign up.
Event management software like CourtReserve can also help you filter out those who might not be suitable for a specific tournament. Set restrictions on gender, age, and player rating, to help make sure the right players are registering for the right tournament.
2. Create a compelling tournament package
Next, you’ll need to develop the messaging, the content and the visuals to promote your tournament to those ideal players.
List out all the essential information players will need, including:
- Tournament dates
- Entry fees
- Club details
Think about why players should enter – what’s great about your club? What are the benefits of taking part?
Turn all these details into eye-catching posters and graphics that you can use in all your marketing efforts. Always make sure you include a call to action – a way for players to sign up and register their interest.
3. Promote it internally to all your existing members
When you’ve defined your package and created your advertising content, you can start marketing your tournament. The first place to start is with your own members, who are often easy to overlook.
Use your club management software to promote your tournament to all your existing members, and to any guests who’ve used your facilities in the past year.
Focus on multiple channels, including:
- Email – Highly cost-effective, don’t be afraid to send multiple emails in the run-up to your tournament
- Text – A text message announcing your new tournament, and one to remind players shortly before the event, is a great use of your marketing budget
- In-app notifications – If you have a mobile app for your club, be sure to send out regular notifications about your upcoming tournament
- Physical posters around your club – Don’t overlook the benefit of physical posters printed and put up throughout your facilities to grab players’ attention
4. Share your adverts with regional (and national) pickleball & tennis networks
With your posters and graphics all created, it should be easy to pass these across to any regional (or even national) pickleball and tennis organizations.
Ask them to share with their network of players, and you’ll immediately extend your reach.
Be sure to post on all your social media channels too. Tagging in any other local clubs, or any regional groups, can help you get more eyes on your tournament marketing.
5. Reach out to the community (and your local media)
While you’re sharing your posters and adverts, it’s always a good idea to reach out to local businesses, organizations and media outlets to ask if they could help promote your tournament.
After all, your goal is to bring players from across the region into your town. Players who will need somewhere to eat, sleep and shop.
Remind your local community that your tournament is beneficial for everyone, and they’ll help you promote it.
6. Encourage early registration with discounts or incentives
When a tournament is a few months away, marketing it effectively can be a challenge, because many players have the “oh, I’ll sign up closer to the time” mentality.
Overcome that by making sure you have a platform or software in place that allows registrations right away. Encourage players to sign up early by offering discounts on entry fees, or other incentives like free drinks or free court time if they register now.
The more players you can get signed up early, the more momentum your tournament marketing will have.
7. Host one of two pre-tournament events
In the run-up to your big tournament, you might want to think about holding smaller events, like clinics, practice sessions, warm-up tournaments or social gatherings.
Not only will these help players prepare for the big competition, but they’ll also start getting people together and generating buzz for the tournament.
You’ll build excitement and maybe create that “fear of missing out” moment for players who haven’t yet registered.
8. Follow up with attendees after the tournament
Finally, once your tournament has finished a huge success, make sure you and your staff spend some time following up with participants.
Send highlights, videos and photos from the event, ask players what they thought and thank everyone for attending on all your social media channels.
Not only will this show off the event and your facilities, but you’ll stay front of mind with your players, keeping them engaged and eager to sign up to your next tournament!
Software like Court Reserve doesn’t just help you manage events and tournaments, it can help you stay in contact with players throughout the whole year with a whole host of marketing features.
Schedule a call today to find out how.