How does your club deal with the challenges that come with COVID?
Lockdowns. Restrictions. Games postponed. Games canceled.
The ongoing Covid situation is throwing constant challenges at clubs, teams and athletes.
Lost income from sponsors and ticket sales adds to the hurdles leaders of clubs need to leap in order to keep their clubs going.
What can clubs do to make the best out of the situation? Here are 3 steps on how to face the challenges we all meet and how to make sure that the club is in the best possible state when things normalize.
Not being able to participate in the thing you love the most over a long period of time can be challenging and mentally draining for athletes, coaches and everyone involved in the club. The community you are used to being a part of is no longer a part of your everyday life in the same way it usually is. Make sure to keep the club together and motivate your athletes.
- Stay in touch on a regular basis as close to normal as possible. If you can meet outside, try new activities to enhance the team spirit. If locked down, get creative and do engaging digital meet-ups. Focus on emotional support and being there for eachother and make sure that the sense of community is well preserved.
- Do online training and make sure to make it fun. Many clubs are reporting on an even stronger unity, effort in training and coaches who are more creative than ever before. Can your team be the best prepared and most fit when competitive sport is back?
- Create online competitions to keep the spark and inspire development among your athletes when they cannot play games or compete. Everybody loves a competition. Most athletes play to win. Compete within teams, the club, or enable every athlete to compete against themselves. It can be as easy as a keepie uppie contest or making use of some of the great training and sports apps that are available
Sports is about joy, togetherness, identity, winning, friendships and development. In order to organize and facilitate this in the best possible way clubs are depending on a steady income. When your ordinary revenue streams are on a hold – get creative and create new ones.
- Do a sponsorship challenge. How far can your team or club run for a good cause? Can you get your sponsors involved? Can parts of the revenue go to the local community? Create a buzz and involve sponsors in planning events that benefit both the club, community and the corporations that have your back.
- Create a crowdfunding campaign for the team, the club or towards new equipment. There are many fans, parents and grandparents who are more than willing to contribute. Follow the example of the Norwegian handball club Langevåg IL who raised 5000 NOK towards an unmanned camera solution.
- Livestream your games and events and sell digital tickets. Live Streaming is a great way to make sure that family and fans who are prohibited from attending can still follow the action. When games are being played, but with restrictions in place for spectators it can be the perfect measure to make up for lost ticket revenue. Sell tickets to games, season passes and incorporate live streaming as an integrated part of your sponsor packages
Various lockdowns and restrictions will mean that you need to spend a lot of your time planning and reorganizing for the near future. Remember to think ahead as well.
- This could be a good period for evaluation. Analyse all parts of your club. Is there room for improvement? What measures can you set in place to become even better?
- If games, tournaments and events are postponed or canceled it may give you some extra time. Can you organize a get-together for a renovation or upgrade to facilities or equipment? This can boost both morale and your surroundings.
- Go digital and explore new technologies. Can you do a brush up on your website? Stack up on ideas for your social media channels. Are there new affordable analysis tools on the market that you can make use of? Online presence and new technology will be an important part of future sports. Make sure you are best in class and take advantage of the possibilities that suit your needs, sport and club.
And remember. Keep distance. Wash your hands. Stay positive. Keep a cool head and a warm heart.