Digitally marketing your Club with a #BackOnBase grant

Digitally marketing your Club with a #BackOnBase grant

Softball Australia’s #BackOnBase Grants program has opened the door for grassroots Clubs to try and step outside of their usual marketing strategies with grants up to $1,000 on offer.

It’s a win-win situation for Clubs who have the opportunity to apply with a unique idea or campaign to assist in participation and retention initiatives.

Softball Australia has encouraged Clubs to think ‘outside of the box’ in submitting their applications, this could include investing in areas to build a suite of assets to help digitally promote the Club in years to come.

The first step is to seek a professional photographer who can provide a number of images of Club members during game day across all age groups.

“Building a library of high-quality images and clips is a great first step to marketing your Club in a digital space,” said Communications and Marketing Manager at Softball Australia, Jack Lucas.

“There may be a number of Clubs who already have existing relationships with sports photographers so using some of the grant money to commission them for watermark-free images could be of benefit for both parties, the cost can depend on the photographer but it could be anywhere between $300 to $500 for a decent selection of images.

“All of your marketing collateral can be built off having that gallery of exciting and engaging images and can realistically last around 24 months without the need for an update.”

Once the arrangement between Club and photographer has been set up, the Club should be able to use those images freely, including in pieces of marketing collateral.

This can include graphics to promote everything from score results, upcoming season news, promotion of come and try days and Softball Batter Up clinics and Club functions or events.

“If there’s someone within your club with knowledge of the Adobe suite of software, then their job of creating graphics and marketing collateral is going to be a whole lot easier with high resolution images,” added Lucas.

“More so if you look to commission a professional Graphic Designer, they should be able to create a number of pieces of content from $200 to $300 depending on what you ask for.”

“ For example, when Softball Australia launched the Fully Loaded Softball format to Clubs, we had Club posters, email signatures, infographics on the rules and social media graphics, that came in around the $300 mark.

“We kept the graphics relatively clean and not too busy with a lot of words, you can say what you need to convey in the accompanying captions when posting to social media, so the call-to-action can be included there rather than in the graphic itself.

“All of those assets are available for Clubs to use and check out online.”

Clubs can download the various assets at fullyloadedsoftball.com.au.

Once the assets are created and posted on to the Club’s digital channels (primarily social media) the option to spread that post to a wider audience is available.

“Sponsoring or ‘boosting’ a post on social media is one of the simple ways to spread your message outside of your existing audience or Club members.

“In a nutshell, it’s funding a post with Facebook who will then put it in the feeds of their users who match specifications outlined by the Club.

“Facebook provides a pretty simple step-by-step form when choosing the demographics you want to target such as age, gender, geographic location and other interests, so for example Clubs may want to share their Come and Try post with Facebook users who live with 20 kilometres of their venue and also share an interest in outdoor sports.

“There’s a number of articles online with step-by-step guides on this, or Clubs can shoot Softball Australia a note via email [email protected] and we can help out where we can.”

Applications for Softball Australia’s #BackOnBase campaign are now being accepted.

Clubs have until 10:00pm AEST Wednesday 9 September to submit an application for a grant ranging from AU$200 – AU$1,000 to assist in a retention or participation initiative.

Aimed at providing a well-earned boost after a trying few months for sport in Australia, Softball Australia has a pool of AU$60,000 available to Clubs that provide an application deemed acceptable for a grant by a committee of representatives from a section of the softball community.

Clubs are encouraged to be as creative as they can with how they will use their grant.

Applications will be accepted from Softball Australia affiliated Clubs.