HOW TO INSPIRE YOUR TOWN TO RALLY AROUND YOUR TEAM
SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
In certain areas, it seems like rallying around a local team, especially high school sports, is just a way of life. But since not every town treats their local teams like West Texans treat football, it’s important to know how you can rally your community around your team.
In some locations, it seems one community has many teams to choose from, especially at the high school sports level. In fact, half of the alumni seemingly never want to be caught at a high school sporting event again post graduation.
As a result, many seats go empty and others are often filled with parents of athletes, their friends, people who know the coaches, and the occasional college scout. So, if you don’t have the backing of boosters or the community of a small Texas football town, how do rally your community around your team?
We've got a few ideas for ya.
1. CREATE A CULTURE OF WINNING
When teams win, and win a lot, it’s almost impossible to keep that from the community. Games start to sell out and excitement ripples through the streets. If you’re really lucky, you might even get the weekend binge watcher to ditch their screens and show up for a game.
But winning is easier said than done. A culture of winning starts with practices, work ethic, positive attitudes and mental toughness. Then there’s the whole talent part of it. Yeah... that’s kind of important.
The fact of the matter is, if you want to create the culture of winning, you have to put the work in to do it. If it comes easily, it probably won’t last.
2. GET YOUNG KIDS INVOLVED
Often times, children are the best word of mouth marketers. We’re talking about the visionaries who are dribbling in their driveways but mentally are competing in the NBA Finals and it’s a tie game with eight seconds left and coach is drawing up a play for them.
These are the kids you want on your side. They’re the ones you need at your games sporting team swag. Give a kid a free t-shirt and you won’t be able to stop them from telling everyone they know about how they got it and why they wear it so often.
Creating excitement in youngsters will also have them begging their parents to take them to games. What starts with a culture of winning has a ripple effect to the community via the neighborhood kids. This is approach is much more effective than those old school flyers delivered via carrier pigeons.
Aside from that, it may also motivate these youngsters to work hard so they can have a shot at playing for the team one day.
3. GET STUDENTS INVOLVED
Ok, ok, this one seems obvious, but it’s an essential part of rallying the troops. The team will love to perform in front of their peers and much like the youngsters, the student body of the school will do a great deal of your marketing, for free.
A fully engaged student section will create an unprecedented level of excitement at the games. After all, the only person heard over a loud student section is the crazy parent yelling at the referee over everything... Awkward. Case and point, get the students involved. One way to do that is by letting students be involved with things such as the halftime show, or allowing a student to emcee during breaks. Some say it’s risky, but where there’s risk, there’s usually reward.
Other ways of involving students may include social media campaigns that encourage students to post photos or videos from the event they’re attending. This can penetrate the social media feeds of other students and get them out to the game. Hey, maybe FOMO isn’t such a bad thing after all, (wink).
4. GET A SAVVY SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETER INVOLVED
So, you really want to get the masses involved? Get someone who has a charismatic and witty personality to create and post to social media accounts that are associated with the team. Just as students post on their own feeds, savvy social media marketers often create posts that garner natural attention, sometimes resulting in free press coverage (Just look at Wendy’s).
It may sound ironic, since they're in a virtual reality, but avid social media users love real, authentic posts from other users on their favorite platforms. When brands nail this, including sports teams, things can go viral and create a positive frenzy in your behalf. So, you want to cause a stir of excitement on social media? Get the right personality behind that computer or phone and watch the magic happen.
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