Marketing Advice For A Local Sports Club

A local sports company visited us at The Printroom for some printing of basic leaflets. They were trying to build their business, running football camps in the south-east of England for mainly 7- to 13-year-olds. The business was going well, but they had hit a bit of a brick wall in regard to getting more kids to their camps. The camps were either oversubscribed or half empty. They had a few after-school clubs but wanted some advice on the next steps. We got chatting and talking about marketing advice and brainstormed some ideas.

I thought I’d share some of the marketing advice that we discussed below:

Firstly, you need to tidy up your logo — it looks ok, but it is dated and could do with a slightly more modern look. It does not need redesigning but will look a lot more professional with a graphic design studio working on it.

You also need to have a brochure. You can get a professional photographer for £100 who will take some excellent quality photos that can be used on both social media platforms and within the brochure. Get your faces and experience in there too. This way people know who they are dealing with and what experience and coaching certificates you and your team have. You must also make it clear that you are all CRB checked.

It is a good idea to have a folder with some proposal sheets to hold the brochures in.

Be prepared to have a business card — this may sound like a simple thing, but you don’t have any. Giving data sheets is ok, but you need to have a card that someone can keep. You must also ensure that all your social media handles are on it.

Social Media Marketing Advice

You have a Facebook page but no Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. “No one looks at Snapchat”, they said. Wrong! Snapchat is one of the most popular mediums for your audience at the moment — you need to be posting constantly on both Snapchat and Instagram.

Facebook is working well but you do not have any paid ads. With Facebook, you can target your audience directly, and it’s cheap! I suggested making two ads (one for men and one for women), targeting men between 29–40 and women between 25–45. Why not have an ad directed at dads? Something along the lines of: “Could your son be the next Dele Alli?” or “Would your son like to get more Man of the Match trophies on a Sunday Morning?”. How about targeting the mums with: “Keep your kids active and healthy, playing a sport that they love,” or “One good way to cut down screen time…”.

For about £100 on Facebook advertising you can direct about 10,000 locals to your Facebook page.

Another channel you can advertise on is, ask any 7- to 13-year-old what this is… you may not know it but I bet they do!

Also, start making video blogs — “A day in the life at our football camp” — and share your success stories. You have a lot of kids who improve and get picked up by professional academies — let everyone know!

Stories can also go on video. You told me about a child who was in trouble at school and not doing well academically. His improvement at football gave him a platform, something that he was good at, and the trouble at school stopped as his attention came from being known as a “footballer”. His school marks also started to improve too. This should be shouted about on a video — it can be made on a smartphone and up on YouTube within 30 minutes.

What To Do Next

Now the hard work really begins. It’s time to put in the hours and be proactive. Armed with your new printed collateral, Google all the schools in the area and phone them up. Most schools will put leaflets in the children’s school bags for a small donation of £15–20.

Once you get to speak to someone you can drop off a brochure and card detailing the after-school clubs and call the headteacher. If you have schools already this goes a long way. Primary education workers mostly know of each other, and if you can do it at a couple of schools, you could get a few more. This can help the “feast or famine” culture of your business.

Go to the local youth leagues’ websites — all the managers’ e-mail and phone numbers are usually on there. You can contact the managers and maybe offer them a free coaching session for their team.

“No, we can’t do that for free”, they said. But you do one coaching session for free, give out your leaflets, and if the kids like it you have more coming to the holiday camps. Also, if the parents like it they tell other parents — word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising, and with the social media ecosystem emerging in a big way a lot of companies are losing sight of what I call the “dirt” or the old-fashioned “hard work”.

Keep on top of Research and Competitors

Tap into Google: “local football tournaments”. A list will come up of all the clubs football tournaments. You can have an advert in the programme for very little money and it’s direct to your target audience. You could even run a penalty shootout with a banner advertising yourself and raising money for the club in exchange for a free advert in the programme.

Finally, I asked if they kept the data of all the kids that come to the camps. They told me that they did, so I pointed out that a newsletter works wonders. Sending a newsletter, documenting success stories, dates of holiday camps and other information — like if they should drink water or sports drinks before matches — is a little nudge to let people know what you’re doing in the next few weeks. Mailing and printing can cost money, but you can ask if local companies want to place adverts in the newsletters. This can be charged at £20–30 and can offset printing and mailing costs.

The main piece of marketing advice I gave was that the ideas are good but they have to be worked on — if you don’t put in the hours, you won’t get the rewards.

If you’d like to chat to Printroom today with regards to marketing advice or anything else, please contact us today by calling 0845 0722778 or email or see what our clients have to say.

You can also find inspiration and see what other people have tried, via our Pinterest page –

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