4 Steps to Starting a Fitness Gym Kickball Tournament to Get New Members
Adult kickball tournaments one of the most popular adult sports. If you’re between 25 and 40, there’s a good chance you’re currently on a kickball team with your friends. Pretty much every major city has a kickball league, some even have a beer-in-hand kickball league. If you’re not familiar, you should check it out. Anyways, back to business. So you’re probably thinking, how does holding a kickball tournament help me get more members for my gym? A few reasons actually; increased word-of-mouth advertising, increased visibility and more member-to-member relationships. If you’re members are friends with other members, there’s a good chance they’re not going to quit coming to the gym; they don’t want to disappoint their friends and the gym might be the only place they see one another. First you’ll need to work out the legal aspects of having a tourney. Then you’ll need to deal with the fun stuff, like shirts and merch. If you’re not connected with a local screen printer for making the shirts and what not, check out a do-it-yourself kit. It’ll save you a few hundo. That said, let’s talk about the logistics of starting a fitness business kickball tournament in your city.
1. Talk with City Government about Renting Facilities
You’ll want to head on down to the city hall and ask them about the requirements for renting out one of your city’s baseball diamonds. Nearly every city with over 1000 people has a town baseball diamond. It’s pretty much the meeting point for the entire city on Sundays (at least it was in my dad’s tiny little hometown). There will most likely be some type of fee you need to pay to reserve the field for a certain day or weekend. If you’re looking at having a 5-10 team tournament, you’re going to want to rent it out for at least 2 days, if not three. There’s always the possibility that it rains one of your days and even though you can play kickball in the rain, it’s not that much fun. Give yourself a little leeway. Once you’ve got permission from the city to hold your tournament on a certain weekend, it’s time to start filling out the roster for your team and other teams.
2. Develop Relationships with Other Gyms to Fill Rosters
If you’re a gym owner in your city, there’s a good chance that you know other gym owners in your city or nearby cities. Most decent sized cities(10,000+) have at least two or three gyms. If you don’t know the owners of the other gyms, you’re doing something wrong. Even though you might consider yourself enemies, they’re really your friends. You can bounce ideas off one another, lobby the city hall if you all need something (better parks for bootcamps, etc), you get the idea. So, head over to your local competition and spread the word about the kickball tournament. The more teams you can set up, the better. Maybe you can get two teams from each gym in the surrounding cities. Talk with 5 gyms and you’ll have 10 teams in no time. We’ll talk about entry fees in the fourth step, but make sure your gym is not profiting from the entry fees. Having this tournament isn’t a money making opportunity for your gym, it’s a way to increase social visibility in your community.
3. Outreach to Local Businesses about Sponsorship Opportunities
Now that you’ve got 5-10 teams that are ready to…play ball!, you can start looking for sponsorships. Let’s run some numbers. If you have 10 teams of 10 people, you’re going to have 100 people participating in your tournament. If every one of those people invites two friends and their significant other to watch the tourney, you’re already at 300 people in the stands and another 100 players. Those are some pretty good numbers to attract sponsorships. Talk with the local car dealership about sponsoring the tournament prize. Maybe it’s $500 for first and $250 for second. That’s small change to a large business if they’re going to get their name in front of 100s of local customers. Reach out tot the local grocery store to see if they’d be willing to donate hamburgers and buns to your grilling team (you need a few guys/gals selling food at a tourney of course). Let the grocery store know that the proceeds from the food sales are going going towards your business, but rather your chosen charity. This will increase the chances that they’ll offer you grilling items at no cost. All sponsors will get their name and logo on all your marketing materials (and you’ll be producing a lot). We’ll touch on the “cause” for the tourney below, but it’ll make it a lot easier getting sponsors if you’re holding the tournament for a good cause. No one wants to sponsor a tournament where the promoter makes a ton of money and the teams get squat.
4. Donate Entrance Fees to a Local Foundation or Charity
Last but not least, figure out where you want the entrance fees to go. This can be a local charity in town or a foundation that people in your area are familiar with. There’s the local theater group, the city’s VFW, the public library, you name it. You can include your gym’s name in the name of the tournament, but make sure to prominently display where the entrance fees are going. Once you pick the recipient for the entry fees, make sure they help spread the word about the tournament. If they have a large social media following, ask them to make a weekly post about the tournament so that spectators show up to buy food and increase the overall donation to the charity. Have their members share info about the tourney as well. Once again, let’s run the numbers. 10 teams with a $100 entrance fee. There’s $1000 bucks. Now figure that half of the 300 attendees purchase a $3 hamburger and the other half purchase a $4 pint of beer (donated by the local bar/brewery). That’s $2050 generated for your charity; no small change if you ask me. If the tournament is a success, hold it yearly and keep on growing. Pretty soon everyone in town will know that “Bob Smith, the owner of Bob’s Gym” has one of the most must-attend kickball tournaments in the area. That’s GREAT word of mouth if you ask me.