Marketing refers to the activities undertaken to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing in a gliding context is about making sure people who could be interested in getting involved are aware that the opportunity exists and is within reach, and can have a conversation and an experience that will help them discover that gliding meets their needs.
Why people are tempted to participate (or not) in outdoor sports and activities such as gliding is a complex topic. This Sport England document explores the issues.
Of course we need to deliver what we sell. Looking inwardly at our club, reflecting on the reality of its offer to members including talking about that to existing members, and as a result making any necessary changes is important.
There is some great club marketing guidance available. For example, Sport England publishes the excellent ‘Marketing inside out’ guides aimed at clubs. This extract is an example from ‘Marketing Strategy’:
Developing a marketing strategy to manage your efforts will help you to think about what makes your club different, and how you can get the right message out to the right people. Having a plan in place helps you to concentrate on maximising opportunities for increasing sales, sponsorship, membership and participant numbers. You’ll find your marketing is more likely to be successful when you’ve taken time to identify what you want to do and when you want to do it. In its simplest form, there are four main areas for you to consider:
What is your offer?
It is important to be clear on what you are offering and to whom. This is what you are trying to ‘sell’ or promote to both new and existing ‘customers’. Start off by thinking about who your ‘customers’ are. These are the people you want to attract to your club. They could include members and participants, volunteers, coaches and officials, parents, funders. Write down a list of all your customers, both existing and those you want to target in your marketing efforts. You then need to think about what you offer each of these groups of people. Think about the 4Ps of marketing and ask yourself the questions below
Product – What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your club? What makes you different to others
Price – How much does it cost for someone to be part of your club? Is this price right for your target audience? Can you offer different prices for different services or memberships?
Promotion – Is your club well known in the local community? Do your current members promote your club on your behalf
Place – Are you easy to find? Do your facilities meet the needs of your offer?
You should carry out some research to make sure what you are offering is what the people you want to be part of your club are looking for. Check out our understanding participants and market research sections for more guidance on carrying out this research….”
More support and guidance
Reaching out to the local community, press and social media will help you to encourage interest, help people to discover gliding, and as a result grow the membership at your gliding club.
‘How to’ guidance
Women in gliding
While 50% of the people are women, that percentage drops down to 6% among pilots. More than 400 women from 24 different countries, who represent over 35 different adventure sports and outdoors activities, were questioned to find out what inspires women in adventure and to identify anything that makes it more difficult for women to get involved in outdoors adventure – read the article here.
A 2018 survey of women glider pilots provides some interesting detail – view the survey results summary here.
Women Gliding provides some great support and guidance for women and gliding clubs. Learn more here.
Website and social media
The BGA’s marketing website is viewed by a significant number of people every year. The ‘Club Finder’ facility is popular and can lead people to your club information within the BGA website. That information including images is maintained and updated by your club. Here’s an example.
Any club that is unsure about how to administer its club page should contact the BGA office.
The BGA’s ‘Discover Gliding’ Facebook page , other social media and club Facebook and social media can be far more effective if they work together by actively sharing content. Is your club social media working for you?
Club PR handouts
For many people, you can’t beat the personal touch. A friendly smile and a willingness to provide information based on sound knowledge of the club can go a long way! Its often helpful for someone interested to have something to take away from such an encounter including a named real person they can contact to arrange to visit the club.
An A6 double-sided full colour printed postcard can be tailored to personally feature your own club’s name, logo, contact details, website and social media channels, as illustrated in the example shown.
Club postcards can be supplied at a cost of:
£30 for 200 off, plus p+p
£40.75 for 500 off, plus p+p
To order your personally tailored club postcards, please fill in the Club Marketing Information eForm. This will ensure that we have the information we need to be able to produce your own club postcards accurately. A PDF proof of your card will be emailed to you for checking and signing off prior to production.
To order your club postcards, all you need to do is email email@example.com with the following information:
- Your club name
- Your name and position within the club
- Confirmation of authority to make the order on behalf of the club
- Confirmation the club is content with the cost
- Confirmation of the order quantity
- Completed Club Marketing Information eForm
Clubs will be invoiced by the BGA and postcards mailed to the club’s preferred delivery address.
Free promotional stickers also available for club promotion. Available in two designs, there are six stickers to an A4 sheet. Five sheets of each sticker will be mailed to clubs per request.
The BGA and its member clubs own a glider simulator used to promote the sport of gliding.