How to promote your sports competition

How to promote your sports competition

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: Use a spe­cif­ic CRM sys­tem for your sport event and inform your fans by email, sms or push noti­fi­ca­tions about all news around it. 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.

Communication channels

  • 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.

Ready to plan your own sports compet­ition? Start now with Weezevent:

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