A recent Facebook poll asked how registration numbers were as compared to years past. Truthfully, I could have predicted the results but I wanted to see how other communities in RI were doing. The results came in, as expected, that every vote cast was for league numbers trending downward. Sad, but we can fix this with a few ideas:
- Reach out to the communications representative of your local school department. In North Kingstown, staff send out weekly emails with “Fun Flyers” about local kid events, plays, registration opportunities. Create a flyer and have them send it out to their school mailing list.
- When you post items on your Facebook page, make sure you “tag” your town/city Facebook page. For example, if you post items for Woonsocket Little League, post your item and include the @ symbol and type in “Woonsocket, RI.” Whoever does your social media, make sure you “like” your local town’s FB page so you can tag them in posts.
- And in addition to your town/city FB page, go ahead and “like” your sponsors’ pages so you add them in certain posts. Give them frequent sponsor shout-outs so they feel appreciated. After all, the more kids that sign up, the more eyes will see their business. The better return on investment for your sponsor. Everyone wins when you involve the sponsors.
- I have seen early bird registration discounts throughout RI. I am not sure how well that program incentive is, but I like it. Families love saving money and if they can get 10% or 15% off registration by signing up early, great.
- If you are using an online enrollment site such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or SI Play, review the enrollment numbers each week. This way you are not blindsided in April when your numbers are not what you projected. And be proactive in your marketing!
- Contact your 2018 coaches at each level and ask them to email their player lists from last year about the 2019 registration. Use positive language and give the parents tons and tons of information about how to sign up.
In the end, each league is contending with spring registrations for soccer, lacrosse, flag football, travel basketball and more recreation options on the AAU circuit. If your youth baseball league is going to continue to be relevant, you have to go above and beyond on social media, email marketing, local advertising through sponsors and schools, and other grass roots efforts. Baseball numbers are down throughout the state. But, we haven’t even hit March yet so let’s reverse that trend now and have a great run up to our league’s Opening Days.
I am here to help. Message me if I can do anything for your league.
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.