Home » Sports marketing

Category: Sports marketing

Hear Me Run Spokane 2014

Late last year I was approached by fellow BNI member Jason Yates of Databar about a special event called Hear Me Run Spokane that he was involved in in our local community here in Eastern Washington.Spokane Hope School 5K Race

When he presented the Hear Me Run Spokane overview to me over coffee I was quite surprised and intrigued at the same time. When everything was laid out I really saw this as a good opportunity  for SBM and it allowed me to work closely with Jason on a short-term project.

Not very often an event comes along like Hear Me Run Spokane that is both community oriented and supporting a good cause for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This 5K run in June is set in the Inland Empire city of Spokane and Jason’s company, Databar is the firm that is overseeing all the logistics and promotion of the race.

So, whether you are a die-hard runner, outdoor enthusiast or just want some family time, it’s a way that you can help a good cause and get some exercise.

Some may ask – what is a local online marketing company doing for an event like this?

Well my dear reader, it was not always this way in that having created, promoted and marketed special events in years past, I know how much work goes into them and the long list of details that it takes to pull off such events with few glitches. My past experience in the offline world of special events came mostly through a span of years that encompassed music and live production including staging, lights, sound and all the details within. We also dabbled in artist management for a few years and I at one time was a performing musician. From the March of Dimes Bid for Bachelors at Bellevue Square to the Redmond Derby Days to Clean Scream Events at Seattle Center, the work was massive and the hours never seem to be enough.

These events and many more underneath my belt led me to take on the challenge of helping Jason and the Spokane Hope School promote this initial event. And with less than five months to get it all together, the clock seemed to be ticking at a faster pace by the day.

So how are we doing this? Well, it’s no secret. We utilized a mobile platform along with a traditional desktop site, social channels and video to round off the package.

As one of the initial items I brought to the table, video could help to expose the race to potential sponsors, runners, spectators and maybe even the press. Time and footage will soon tell the tale as the videos are produced and published, so stay tuned, check out the Hear Me Run Spokane Social sites and I’ll keep you apprised of the progress.

More to come in the months ahead…

Dave Krygier

Sports Marketing – The One that Got Away…

Recently my daughter tried out for the regional ODP(PDP) soccer team in our state. It was a last minute decision to make the five hour tirp to the field with her having to stay overnight with another family.

Needless to say upon arrival at the fields I was surprised to find that the check in was not very professional and somewhat disjointed.

The coach of this new team gave us parents about two minutes of his time to basically “ask questions now” because this is the only time you have.

This is the same coach that her current team coach highly recommended and maybe he is great on the field and with the kids, but his approach to us was less than charitable and somewhat brash.

It has been my experience dealing with the youth soccer world that certain coaches have this attitude and this coach was no different. Now maybe he is a really nice fellow underneath the standoffish exterior. But for an estimated $2000 to $2300 over 7 to 8 months it seemed like he could have given us a little more time, or at least an FAQ handout?

After all we parents do pay the bills, invest our time, drive the miles and so I feel a little common courtesy would have gone a long way. At least with me that is. 

In five plus years of dealing with youth soccer I have never seen a more unorganized tryout. It was like the people running it had no personal relations skills whatsoever and the organization behind them only scored a 2 (out of 10 – with 10 being highest) in my marketing and PR book.

You see, as a marketer that is actively developing and growing businesses, I am attuned not only attuned to ads, slogans, headlines, colors, sayings and results, but more so the entire package. And in this case the entire package was weak and left much to be desired.

So what this organization did was ‘not build up my confidence’ and for this next year they lost a great player.

Yep, I’ll toot the horn for her. She really is a great soccer player and everywhere we go, parents approach her and us about her abilities and skills. She works very hard and soccer is her only sport at this stage in her life.

For us first timers(at this regional level) this was an experience that I hope not to come across again in the future. 

And now this leads us back to your business…

Most youth sports organizations need PR and marketing people who specialize in sports marketing. These people should be up front telling the story, sharing the facts, and paving the way for the programs and leagues that are to come. It’s that simple.

This is also the case for most small businesses and this is where soft selling comes into the picture..

DO NOT ASSUME that your prospects know all about your offer, your business, and how great you are.

1. You need to tell the story.

2. You need to provide the facts and testimonials(if you have them).

3. You need to be proactive and follow up with your prospects.

4. You need to provide customer service and this starts before the sale!

And if you are running any kind of youth sports organization that relies on parental funding to keep the paychecks, fields and operations running…

Then I suggest you Over Communicate and Build Repore.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier

Sports Marketing – How to Find the Hidden Treasure

If you market to athletes, or the youth sports marketplace – tune in for a few minutes and find the six words that could make the difference in your business or organization this next year.

My observation with three children in youth sports has been that the sports organizations we’ve come into contact with have had lack luster marketing and they just don’t understand how to attract, connect and communicate.

Now you would think that these so called sports marketing experts would be all over the web and also use utilizing offline direct response channels to drive business and increase awareness? Well that’s rarely the case, at least in our five going into six years of experience.

This experience tells me that there could possibly be an opportunity that presents itself to your small business. The question is will you even notice it or jump on it when the little opp comes into play?

One of the best ways that you as a marketer can attract more business to your enterprise or organization is simply by surveying those you come in contact with and your existing customers. This is one of the first steps to finding out what the market really wants.

Now you may look at this old fashioned method or say that surveying is a hassle, but I will stand by this simple method and state that a survey can make the difference of profit or loss and success or failure. It made a huge difference in the success of The Tiny Store and over the years I’ve had clients take advantage of this age old tactic.

You see, as the business owner( or manager or director) you need to find out what people want, need and desire. Not what you want, need and desire. Because it’s all about them and not you. It’s all about what they want to do, purchase and read. So you need to meet this need if you want to grow and better serve your local and regional sports community.

It’s one thing to have a great idea for a product or service but it’s entirely another story to bring it to market and see long-term success.

Let me give you a simple example of what not to do:

Many, many moons ago my Dad and Uncle manufactured a hard cover tennis case. It was essentially a violin case but pretty ugly and just not attractive. Now the idea was very sound, but was there a market and real need for this item or did they just concoct this idea and think it would fly and make them a gazillion dollares?

Since it never went anywhere and only the samples were produced, the record shows that this tennis case ended up being a dust collector. Now I believe had they done some simple market research along with simple surveys, they might have found out just what the market needed at that time. This research may have lead to further development and even a full blown launch, but instead the ugly duckling got stuck in the attic and was chalked up as an experiment.

So let me leave you with this…

If you already have clients or customers, then simply ask them what they want!
It’s not rocket science. Just ask them over the phone, in person, by sending an email, via social media channels, or even snail mail.

The bottom line is: Find the need and fill it.

To your sports marketing success,

Dave Krygier




Youth Soccer Coaching – Lessons Learned

Today’s youth sports marketplace is flooded with all kinds of opportunities and in most cases if your kids want to play competitive sports – it’s gonna cost ya. At least that’s been our experience in the last five years.

In our case we’ve expended thousands and thousands of dollars to have our children play youth sports and have had mixed experiences with both club and youth sports organizations.

In our most recent series of episodes (that almost read like a tv soap opera), the spring season has wound down and the SS Minnow (the other club) has been beached and is awaiting for Gilligan and the Skipper (our club) to save the day.

Now I know this reference to the old TV sitcom may or may not make sense, but basically the Minnow has been run up on the beach of a deserted island and the people on the island need to figure out how to save themselves.

So the final season has wound down and our daughter has been picked up by another youth soccer club. This came after much discussion, debate as we made the move, went with our gut and fortunately it turned out to be the right decision.

The funny thing was that after we had made the decision we finally heard from our daughter’s coach. This call came as quite the surprise since we had never spoken with him on the phone and he chose not to interact much with us parents during the entire time that he coached our kids. He had been interacting with our daughter for 10 months but had never personally contacted or connected with us once. The problem was that his decision to connect with us came after the door was closed and locked.

The club director did realize there was an issue and even brought it to our attention, but he never addressed it by communicating or holding a parent meeting. He just didn’t understand the key to building bridges and I believe this eventually hurt the club since they decided to merge with a competing organization.

Our experience has been with youth soccer coaching is that the club soccer coaches who coach the ‘b teams’ are just not as committed, because the majority of the kids just aren’t that serious. This has been the case with five different coaches so I’m not giving a one-sided view. We tested four organizations over a three year period and the results were always the same.

My point here is that if the coach had more interaction with the parents, even an occasional hello, it would have made a difference. Instead he chose to call after the door was closed and locked. He never connected.

The director, associate director and club trainer were fantastic and that’s what kept us around. These three individuals connected with us thus making the overall experience a good one, even though the coach was in the background.

The coach can be a promoter and help move the club forward or be an introvert that collects a check. The coach can be a communicator who builds bridges with players and parents or simply chooses to stand alone not allowing anyone in his or her space.

It has been our experience that parents like communication and don’t like to be left out of the loop or on the side of the road.

What does all this youth sports and soccer talk have to do with your small business?

Here it is:

If you are going to retain customers then you best have a program or process in place that  gets the job done. Otherwise you might find a revolving door with customers(or players) coming and going on a continual basis.

This means that you need to cultivate, connect and continue to communicate with your customers(players) and subscribers (if you are marketing via email or direct mail) before, during and after each and every transaction.

Build bridges, make connections and constantly communicate with each and every customer (player and parent). It’s easier than you think and simple to manage, especially if you use an email auto responder and social media to do the heavy lifting.

So if you find your business needs a little help to better communicate, connect and develop long term relationships with clients, customers and subscribers – get in touch with the SmallBiz Mechanic. He May be able to help you build bridges and better connections.

Dave Krygier

Youth Sports Marketing – Capture a Captive Audience

Youth Sports Marketing and Your Small Business

Soccer has been to our family like so many youth sports have been to other families throughout the world.

My wife and I have had hours and hours of discussions about the sport that has dominated our household for over three years. Sometimes I feel like a sports agent having to work the phones and be out at the games, except with youth sports like soccer we parents(or financiers) have to pay to play. Fortunately for me, years ago I co-owned a management company that specialized in musicians and bands. Yeh, I know, call me a little off kilter, but having worked in that industry and been a musician myself, it made for a small business venture or so it seemed at that time.

And with the amount of time and money that we’ve invested in the sport of ‘futbol’ the last five years has accumulated into the thousands of dollars, and it looks like there’s no end in sight. But the overall experience has been great for the kids as we progress with them in the land of soccer.

If we compare our experience to that of my friend there’s a bit of a contrast…

On the one foot (no pun intended), you have my friend who played little league years ago and his Dad owned a furniture business in the town they lived in. When approached to sponsor his baseball team, his Dad refused and thought it would be a conflict of interest.

Personally, I think this was short sighted on his part and showed a lack of understanding and support for the boys.

On the other foot, you have our present day condition where club soccer and the associated travel have increased to the point where it’s not uncommon to pay over $300 a month in gas, club fees, tournaments, coaching fees and related travel expenses.

Now there is a way that you can possibly recoup some of your outgo – especially if you are a small business owner and have an interest in youth sports marketing.

As a small business owner who is looking to increase sales and revenue, youth sports might be the answer you are looking for. After all, you have a captive audience that you can continually put your name and message in front of. From logos on physical merchandise like uniforms and bags to signage, brochures, websites and emails.

When you are looking at marketing to the youth sports niche, here are a few tips:

1. Get to know and network with all the people that have to do with the sport your kids are playing. This includes the Owners, Directors, Managers, and Coaches of the local organization or club.

2. Offer to help at games, tournaments, and special events. This promotes good will and shows that you are looking to be involved.

3. Advertise your business and make sure to put testing mechanisms in place. This means tracking with URL’s, emails, phone numbers and separate landing pages.

4. Sponsor players, a team or teams or special event and make sure to get as much exposure as possible.

To reach this target niche audience and possibly recoup some of the expenses, I believe it’s important to think outside the box and really look at all the angles. So get your biz dev cap on, your rump-a-roney in gear and look for opportunities that you can take advantage of and expand your horizons in this ever popular and growing niche.

Need a little push or possibly a tip or two in addition to the ones above? Check out Small Biz Mechanix and get yourself moving in the right direction.

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store



Club Soccer – The Case for Coaching Continuity

This spring our kids’ soccer club decided to merge with another local club that we had left after several years.

This change came as somewhat of a surprise but we dealt with it as best we could, discussing scenarios and possible outcomes. As my wife and I were talking through the possibilities I came to the conclusion that the real reason we left the other club was what I coined ‘coaching continuity’.

You see, in the other club(we’ll call them SS Minnow), we were treated like a number. There wasn’t any personalization and in this particular organization, the coaches were very cold, distant and not approachable. So after two years, we left and went to the other club across town.

This new club was a breath of fresh air and we determined that the grass was really greener on this side of the fence (or pitch – in soccer speak) as they provided a full service operation and great training.

The year with the new club went so fast and we really enjoyed the coaching, training and how approachable the two guys were that ran the organization. They not only coached our girls but also trained them. It was a combination of three guys who would rotate in on a continual basis.

Well with the merger of our club and the SS Minnow, I came to realize that what we came to know and love(coaching continuity) would most likely dissipate and dissolve as the two organizations melded their cultures.

On the one hand you have three dedicated young men who worked and trained their teams together and communicated well with the parents. It was a great environment with consistency in communication and continuity in coaching. This familiarity brought trust and the young soccer players were able to develop and learn from three different men with a common goal.

On the other hand you have the SS Minnow that was losing momentum, had failed at a previous merger, did not have an internal training program and the management/coaches were not friendly or approachable.

So the coaching continuity that we had experienced was soon to be lost as the crew of the SS Minnow slowly took over helm and turned what was a great venture into a shipwreck. And club soccer in our little neck of the woods would never be the same.

With all that said…all this soccer talk leads us to your small business and the topic of continuity.

How can you as a small business owner develop and maintain continuity in your small business?

Continuity should be established throughout your business – from your marketing and sales messages to overall branding and merchandising(online or offline).

Continuity with employees and outsourced workers is also important because if you develop a break or crack along the way, then your people will see this and doubt will creep in, just like with the club soccer story above.

Your business is where it’s at due to the blood, sweat, tears and money you’ve put into it. Maybe you’ve even had to merge with another company or take on a partner which most likely upset the continuity in your small business.

To wind it down for today – Continuity is what keeps the business stable. Remember that the next time you look at changing your marketing, sales, consider a merger or joint venture.

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store