Now that you are familiar with the basics of planning a sports competition, in addition to planning your event, you will need to communicate about your competition to attract attendees! You will need to know what to say, where and when. Here is our advice for good communication about your sports competition.
Which content should you share?
To create a solid communication strategy, a few questions need to be addressed first: Who could be interested in my competition? How will it happen? Where? Why did we create the competition? Answering these questions will help you create an efficient content strategy.
- Who: For instance, you could introduce the organisers — in other words, talk about your experience and tell your story — but also touch upon the type of athletes that you are hoping to attract.
- What: Share the programme of the event and the different games of the competition. Will your competition have several rounds? You should clearly explain the schedule of the competition.
- Where: Introduce the venue and its history, if it is likely to be interesting to enthusiasts. Why did you choose this location?
- How: Explain how to sign up. When does the ticketing open and how it works, what are the different ticket types, etc. You should include all the necessary information to access the location as well as any useful information on how to volunteer or sponsor the event (for instance, you can create a special registration form for these requests)
- Why: Tell a story about your competition. Why did you decide to organise it, do you support any cause, what are your values? You could make up an imaginary world around your event, people love stories so give them what they want.
- Teasing: You will need to attract people, make them want to attend your competition. You could, therefore, think about creating some teaser videos, photos and exclusive content (interviews, training videos, etc.)
These are just suggestions, anything is possible as long as the tone and the spirit of the content are consistent with your project and the values it promotes.
A variety of communication channels are available now. Here is an overview of the specificities of each.
- Website: Creating a dedicated website for your competition gives you a path to and from other communication channels. In addition to useful information, favour interactive content, share videos and photos (internet users find these more engaging). Dedicate a space to your sponsors, another to your ticketing and another to tell your story…be creative!
- Social media: Social media can be a great relay when you are not very well-known yet. Organise competitions to win tickets or prizes (encouraging people to like/comment on a post and share it to win tickets and prizes will raise awareness about your event). Social media is the best place to share the previously mentioned exclusive content. But please keep in mind the specificities of each platform.
Facebook will help you reach a wide audience. Create an event page with the date, location and some artwork. Communicate some useful info. Think about inviting friends to like and share your event. Facebook is the platform where you can share any type of content you’d like: video teaser, photos, links to articles about your competition, etc. Facebook can be used as a point of contact with your audience, before, during and after the event.
Ahead of the event, Twitter can be used as a redirect to your website to provide useful information to potential participants. This is the opportunity to create a hashtag for your event. However, Twitter will be more widely used during the event: you can post live pictures and videos of the games and entertainment. Think about including pictures in all your tweets to gain visibility. Live comment the games using your hashtag.
In order to increase your visibility on social media, think about promoting posts, or even your event. Facebook offers to target an audience using geolocation, interests, age, gender and many more criteria. You then enter the budget and length of your campaign and Facebook will share your posts with the relevant targets.
- Find ambassadors: To “humanise” your communication and gain visibility, look for ambassadors for your event. You could, for instance, have a special guest, like a former sports celebrity, at your competition. Also, consider the new generation of ambassadors — influencers. They will cost you less than a celebrity and will help you reach a smaller but targeted community. Choose carefully depending on the sport of your competition and their activity. The influencer should be quite active on social media and have a loyal following so that your brand increases its reach. Offer them an exchange of visibility (retweets, Instagram or Facebook stories), suggest that they come to the event or, even better, give them a specific column about the event to be published online. You can also offer them presents and ask them to spread the word about your competition in return.
- You could look for a sponsor who will provide financial and media support.
- Nowadays, phones are used more often than laptops to access the internet. A mobile app for your event could improve your attendees’ experience. Set-up a notification system for news about your ticketing platform and your sponsors (for anything related to your event). During the competition, notify the users about the schedule of the games and the latest results. Beyond notifications, the content can be the same as that of your website.
- Press/blogs: A more traditional way to communicate about your competition is to use the press and blogs. It can prove very effective to use this communication channel, especially in terms of legitimacy. Obviously, the best placed to speak about you is you, but the specialist press will help you reach your target audience and gain legitimacy. You should carefully select the media you contact, and avoid aiming too high. Create a press kit introducing your organisation, your competition’s history, your sponsors, any useful information and some exclusive content that could interest them. An interview of a sports-person, a partnership with a corporation, an unusual location or an interesting cause supported by your event are just a few examples of what could peak the journalists’ curiosity.
During the event
Once the event is launched, it is critical to communicate live — if only for the people who could not make it. Several platforms can be used for live updates. The Livestream app or even Facebook’s solution — Facebook Live — help you broadcast live videos, comment on the games and share funny moments. It could be wise to appoint one person to manage each platform during the event.
After the event
After the event, your communication must not stop. With the advent of social media, it is now important to engage with attendees before, during and after events.
Post-competition, you can publish the results, relay some funny anecdotes, communicate one last time about your sponsors. Post your event pictures, thank the attendees and participants, the supporters, the service providers, partners and sponsors.
In order to improve your future events, don’t hesitate to share a feedback form that could be useful to identify areas for improvement and the positive aspects of your competition.
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