I’m coaching high school basketball, and I really want to increase attendance and bring our games to the next level. All of the players are practicing hard and trying their best to elevate their game, and we have an 80% win ratio, so we have a great team.
Do you have any ideas on how to bring games to the next level to encourage higher attendance?
Increasing attendance is difficult for smaller schools or districts, but you have a lot of opportunities to get fans to your games. I’ve had some experience in this area, and there were a few key items we implemented that really boosted attendance levels.
Social media is the first step, and it’s going to be key in helping bring in more attendees to your games. Kids are on social media all of the time, so ask your players to all share posts for their friends and family to come out and support their games. Our local volleyball team does this with great success, and just having each player post on social media has helped a lot.
Taking this a step further, you’ll want to run your own social media account for the team. An account that is updated after every game, fundraiser or event will keep fans in the loop and also help bring up attendance numbers.
You may want to invest in an LED sports display for your team, too. These displays are key in helping fans stay current on scores, but they also allow for advertisers to pay for being featured. When advertisers are paying to be featured on the display, these funds can be used to help the team take a trip to a basketball tournament or purchase gear. These displays can also promote your next game and social media accounts.
Incorporate theme night into the mix. A lot of schools have a theme night because it attracts a lot of attendees. When you create your own theme night, make sure to advertise the night to the extremes. Theme nights can be used for military service members, which all get into the game for free, and is a nice way to attract fans. Holiday-themed games are also a nice touch and will bring a lot of attention to your game.
Ask other school teams to join in on the games. One of the tricks that brings a lot of fans to my local high school football games is having other teams join in on the game as “cheerleaders.” Really, these students are in the stands cheering on the football team. These students also act as social media marketers and can encourage a lot of their friends to come to the games.
You can also offer free stuff, and this can be a giveaway to a random fan or free t-shirts for the first ten people at the game. School spirit is a good way to allow fans of your basketball team to be part of the school’s culture. Discounts on ticket prices, if your team charges fans to go to the game, can also help increase attendance numbers during slow periods.