As the commissioner of a sports league, its success depends on you. However, it can be challenging to know how to facilitate an effective and efficient sports league that members of your community will love.
Above all, you want the community to desire to be regularly involved in your sports league. The more people you have engaged in your league, the more support you have for your activities and events, and the longer you will be able to support a community sports league.
So many kids and adults have fond memories of participating in sports teams and having the opportunity to be active and hang out with their friends. The programs and groups you support are vital to your community’s culture and should be sustained as long as possible.
You should focus on breaking through barriers to your sports league’s success. Don’t be afraid to make considerable changes to your operations that will pay off in the long run. There is no point in sticking with the same old routine just because it is familiar and comfortable—be bold as you adopt new management strategies!
You can significantly increase your community’s interests in your sports league by presenting an easy and quick way of interacting with any administrative or operational requirements. When you are trying to engage your community with your sports league, you should consider the following 3 tips:
- Invest in league management software.
- Maintain open communication and targeted messaging.
- Get your members interested in fundraising.
If you follow these 3 tips, you will set your sports league up for success and entice your community members to stay involved in your group. Let’s dive in and prepare you to revitalize your sports league!
1. Invest in league management software.
If you want to retain community involvement, you should run a sports league that is easy to participate in and fulfills a need in your community. Software, like CommunityPass’ sports league management software, offers your league an opportunity to streamline the entire management process.
Don’t let managing your sports league become overwhelming or a major source of stress in your life. You should enjoy supporting the sports league as much as your community’s kids love participating in the teams.
League management software will revolutionize how you think about your administrative tasks. Say goodbye to the days of hunching over spreadsheets and searching through files and say hello to an efficient and effective way of managing a massive amount of data with zero hassle.
However, there are plenty of league management software platforms available on the market. You may be asking yourself: how do I know which software is right for my league?
Look for league management software with essential features like:
Online registration tools.
To gain and retain team members, your league must have reliable online recreation registration software tools. Parents should be able to register their kids for a team, purchase tickets to sporting events, or register to volunteer to help coach the team. This tool should have completely customizable online forms that allow you to ensure you have all the information you may need (e.g., medical information and allergy alerts, permission slips, waivers, etc.).
Secure online payment processing.
Any league management tool will need a quick and easy way to pay for team registration or participation fees. Put your community members at ease as they submit their payment information online by assuring them the software is PCI compliant. Don’t forget to make sure the payment processing solution will accept any digital tender, including credit, debit, and e-Checks.
One of the biggest hurdles to managing a sports league is effectively and efficiently forming teams within your league. The best league management software will allow your coaches to:
- Sort players randomly into groups.
- Draft players onto specific teams.
- Host evaluations that will enable your software to sort players into balanced teams.
Your coaches and managers will no longer need to worry about keeping track of players and who should be on what team—the software tools will do all of that for you!
Your coaches and sports members should never have to worry about where they have their practice or games. Coaches should be able to easily reserve fields, gyms, or courts for their teams. This feature will ensure your teams run smoothly.
Adopting sports league software may be a big change from how you currently run your sports league, but it will streamline otherwise manual and tedious, but still essential tasks. Take advantage of the technology available to you to make your sports league as appealing to community members and league administrators alike.
2. Maintain open communication and targeted messaging.
As is the case with many other enterprises, communication is critical. Your league should communicate effectively both within the league itself and to individuals outside the group’s parameters.
Your sports league should share with its membersand its community the beautiful story of children’s sports and achieving youthful goals. The right communication and marketing tools will allow you to inspire people to participate in your sports league without adding another difficult task to your docket.
Use a quality recreation software tool’s messaging capabilities to contact existing and prospective league members, families, and coaches. Don’t forget to target your messages to a specific audience. Coaches may need to see different messages than players, and one sports team may find specific information more relevant than others.
Gone are the days of sending mass emails to members of your league because that is your only option. Parents of league members, or the members themselves, will not be pleased with being bombarded by emails that are in no way related to them.
Target the eligibility and interests of potential recipients.
Automatically filter individuals from your recipient list who are not eligible or interested in the subject matter or program. Eligibility criteria can be based on any rules you deem important, such as the program itself or the participant’s age, gender, grade, and seasonal interest. Segmenting your email list in this way, based on demographics or registration history, will ensure you reach out to people who are interested in what you are offering and more likely to be responsive.
Track the open rates of messages.
Gather data on who regularly opens your messages so you can better hone your messages’ audiences and content. Your software should easily present the data to you so your league management team can make smart, informed decisions about program and team marketing strategies.
The recreation software platform you adopt should offer integrated email and text functionality.
You may be wondering, why should I care about communication tools and targeted messaging?
Your management team needs to be able to communicate with relevant parties to:
- Send out finalized practice and game schedules.
- Inform specific teams about location changes.
- Provide updated information regarding cancellations and weather alerts for practices and games.
- Convey when new team registrations open.
No matter what information you are sending out, your league members will appreciate the ease with which they receive and view their messages—not to mention how much they’ll love only receiving emails relevant to them!
3. Get your members interested in fundraising.
One of the best ways to get your members involved in your league is to get them invested in the fundraising process. An easy way to do this is to make sure your software platform has prompted donation requests during the registration process. It ensures that all of your league members have the opportunity to provide financial support to your league.
However, if you want to engage your members to become personally invested in the fundraising efforts of your league, you should host fundraising events. There are so many options for fundraising ideas; check out Bonfire’s list of team fundraisingideas and see for yourself!
If you are unfamiliar with this type of fundraiser, the process is quite simple:
- Step 1: Encourage your league and community members to donate their gently worn, used, and new sneakers and running shoes.
- Step 2: Bind the sneakers with rubber bands and place them in a pre-paid shipping bag.
- Step 3: Ship the sneakers—at no cost to you—to your running shoe drive coordinator.
- Step 4: Enjoy your check!
This fundraiser is perfect for sports leagues because they can be integrated into any recreational event or sports game. You already know your audience is athletic and likely has an extra pair of sneakers in their closet or garage, so why not take advantage of this?
Getting your league members to personally contribute to the league’s fundraising efforts in such a simple, yet essential way, will create a deeper investment in the success of the sports league and inspire them to remain an active participant in your league.
To read more about sports fundraising ideas, click here.
Your sports league will benefit greatly from adopting a league management software. You will be able to maintain—and even increase—your levels of member involvement by streamlining the registration and administrative processes, communicating with targeted messaging, and getting your members invested in league fundraising!