Website Basics for Sports Clubs

Whether you’re a brand new webmaster or have several years experience, updating your club’s website isn’t always on your to-do list, especially in the middle of a hectic playing season.

Before each new season, follow this check-list to bring your website back to it’s original glory. Give your members, their parents, and followers new reasons to re-visit your website this season.

Registration, Try-outs, and Schedules

The excitement for the upcoming season starts long before your first game.
It’s never too early to get your registration forms set up, post try-out information, and include a schedule of events for the pre-season. By giving your athletes, and their families, plenty of time to get their information together, you’ll help alleviate questions and frustration for everyone leading up to the
new season.

Save the Date

Make sure to “flip the page” on your online calendar. Parents and players will be looking for important upcoming dates, like try-outs, registration, payment deadlines, and fundraising events. Make sure your event pages and all calendar sections show important current and future events.

Bonus: Throughout the season encourage coaches to keep practice dates and times up to date on their team pages.

 

News that Excites

As a new season approaches and your website visitor traffic naturally rises, you have a chance to create a lasting impression with visitors that your website is a destination that continually captures the essence of sport and puts your athletes in front of parents and fans.

Don’t think of “news” as literally factual stories.

Instead, post information that will excite athletes and fans. Keep updates to a few easy-to-read paragraphs accompanied by aspirational photos of players, games, and other memorable moments.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

If you wait until after registration to recruit volunteers, you’ve waited too long. Running a successful club is not easy, as many of the participants have a jobs elsewhere and are giving up their valuable personal time.

Therefore it’s best to advertise the volunteer roles that members/parents can claim during registration.

 

Fundraising Events

Start of each season should be a reminder to update your event information, including dates, volunteer roles, locations, and sponsorship opportunities.

For organizations that subsidize annual costs with fundraising, such events are one of your top income sources so make sure you start promoting them as soon as possible. Update your annual event pages and include fundraising opportunities in your news and calendar/event feeds. Frankly, your event section should pre-promote next year’s tournament at the close of this year’s tournament (while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind).

Fundraising is top-of-mind during the registration process so include direct links to specific information pages from your online registration section as well as your homepage.

 

“We’d Like to Thank Our Sponsors”

As you start try-outs, registration and a new season, turn a surge in website traffic into an opportunity for new and continuing sponsors. Remember to carve out areas on your homepage and throughout your website that highlight (and link to) your sponsors and supporters.

Double check that logos are current and that links work.