Statistics tell us that traditional fee paying members in organised sport are declining. The reasons for this are clear if we take time to reflect on how the general population now engage in sport. It is no surprise that time fragmented lifestyles make people less willing to commit to organised sport. Kiwis now want choice and flexibility and evidence shows clubs that successfully adopt a membership model that integrates both financial members and casual participants will thrive into the future.
Instead we need to be thinking of membership like a marriage. Just because your club is ready to sell a membership doesn’t mean that people are ready to buy. There needs to be a gradual process of easing them in. As a club your goal should be to keep getting more and more dates until they are ready to join. With further building of that relationship and more enjoyable experiences, they will join later.
Remember – the more involved someone is with your club, the more likely they are to join. The more involved someone is with your club, the more likely they are to stay. Learn more about the Membership Pathway model here.
The first thing clubs need is to have an up to date database of all members, participants and fans. They must communicate on a regular basis with these groups (target markets) to update them on what is happening at the club and invite them to take part in the range of opportunities (ways to play). This means offering a menu of squash programmes and options for those who play squash either socially or competitively, alongside the needs of their traditional members - the two can co-exist.
It goes without saying that if clubs aren’t prepared to change the way they think, then they will stay in a decline. Accept that people now engage in squash differently. The first thing you must find out is what people enjoy and then you can go about giving them what they want.
For more information on getting and keeping people playing squash click here.