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: 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.

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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