James Runge (@twinetime14 on Twitter) has been to just about every curling event you can name. So he knows what advantages curling has as a spectator sport. He tells us what each of the major events he’s been to does best when it comes to catering to the fans. We also discuss how these events can improve. Not necessarily on the ice, but in terms of helping curling’s growth and diversity initiatives. We also dive into the origins of his blog and the ranking system he created for it.
Category Archives: Curling Marketing
Previously, we discussed how to utilize inexpensive marketing efforts to bring people into our curling organizations and then how to convert them into new curlers. Now, we’ll focus on what I would consider the most important aspect of new curler recruitment: Welcoming and onboarding new curlers into curling leagues.
We noted the importance of turning current curlers into boosters and enthusiasts when we discussed the concept of the curling sales funnel. The effectiveness of new curler onboarding goes a long way to determining not only if your new curlers will feel committed and connected to your organization, but if they’ll be retained at all.
Previously, we discussed how to apply the traditional sales funnel to the recruitment of new curlers. In that article, we briefly touched on how we can diversify our curling sales pipeline rather than relying solely on referrals.
While referrals will always be your best source for new curlers, getting more organic traffic can supplement our curling pipeline and doesn’t require an advertising budget.
Curling is in the process of maturing as a sport, going from amateur to professional. As we’ve talked about on Rocks Across the Pond, the sport has experienced growing pains since officially becoming part of the Olympic program in 1998.
When we’ve talked about this professionalization process, we’ve mostly talked about it from the high performance level. However, these growing pains are beginning to be felt at the grassroots level as well.
As curling matures and professionalizes, those of us at the grassroots level need to do the same in our approach to growing the sport by recruiting and retaining new curlers.
What does it mean to be a member of USA Curling? What benefits does an individual or club get from membership? That’s now in the process of changing. USA Curling is rolling out a new membership structure where individuals, not just clubs, can join the national organization. In this show, we talk about what that means and the impact it will have on curlers and clubs with Mid-South Curling Club’s Evan Lu and USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush. Evan will also tell us the history of his club and how a small arena club in the south recruits and retains members.
The future of curling will rely on our ability to grow the game with younger demographics. But how do we get the next generation to play the sport and watch it on TV? John Allgood, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the Executive Masters of Sports Business at Temple University, joins us to discuss this and many more topics related to sports marketing. John made a career out of selling sports like minor league baseball, pro bull riding and soccer and now he teaches the next generation of front office staff how to do the same. Join us as we find out how an emerging sport like curling can stand out in a crowded market.
If your curling club doesn’t have an email newsletter, it should.
This doesn’t mean that you occasionally email the members of your club to let them know that registration is open or that snow has canceled that night’s games. A good email newsletter does inform, but it also strengthens the connection between members and the club and turns your potential members into new curlers.
Social media is a great tool that allows for authentic communication between your club and the community, but email marketing is where you can turn casual followers into members. According to OptinMonster, 60% of consumers have made purchases as the result of a marketing email, compared to 12.5% on social media. In addition to this, curling clubs are already at an advantage because “hobbies” and “sports” have some of the highest open rates and click through rates across all industries.
It’s easy to start including email as part of your curling club’s marketing plan and use it to help grow your membership numbers.