Whether you are a tennis coach at an academy or the director of a tennis club or tennis center, your players are the lifeblood of your business.
Below is a checklist to make sure you consistently attract new members & tennis students to your tennis club, center, or academy. We’ve broken down each marketing channel into online and offline marketing.
Note: Below we will use the term “tennis club”, but everything here applies to academies, coaches, centers, and other tennis businesses.
Before we get into the checklist though, let’s define what we mean when we say “marketing.”
What is Marketing for a Tennis Club?
You’re probably thinking that you know what marketing is, but I want to be sure we’re on the same page.
The definition of marketing is “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
What does that mean for a club or tennis academy?
If a tennis player in your area has never heard of you, then they can’t become a customer.
Marketing is simply making sure as many people as possible know about your business. It’s getting your name out there, in front of potential tennis players who might join your club.
Why is Growing a Tennis Club so Difficult?
Marketing sounds simple. But why then, do so many clubs and academies struggle to grow?
This isn’t just a tennis club or tennis academy problem. It’s a tennis industry problem…
We’re putting the wrong people in the wrong roles!
Unfortunately, most tennis clubs have a tennis coach as the “director of tennis.” The problem with this is that most tennis coaches have zero to little experience growing a business. Their expertise is in how to teach a serve, not how to build a referral marketing campaign.
Luckily, most tennis coaches are smart, so they can figure this out, and many do.
If you don’t have as many members or students at your tennis courts as you’d like, keep reading. You may not all of these marketing initiatives, but you should be testing at least a few of these at a time to see what works best for your area.
Offline Marketing Ideas for Tennis Clubs
Offline marketing is any type of marketing that you can do without the internet. It is usually a lot of work, but anyone can do it and it can work great for tennis clubs.
Put Up Signs at Local Businesses & Organizations
Flyers or brochures at local businesses are a great way to get in front of more people. You can talk with these businesses about getting your brochures at the front desk of their business.
Start by getting a list of businesses in your local area with similar customers who are active and interested in sports.
Here are a few ideas:
- City parks
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Yoga studios, climbing gyms, spin studios, etc.
- Golf clubs
If you have more ideas comment below or contact us and I’ll add it to our list.
Create Strategic Partnerships with Local Businesses
To take it one step further, you can create partnerships with businesses in your area.
Find local tennis shops or tennis organizations to partner with. You can cross-promote each other’s services.
Pro Tip: Also consider shoulder niches like massage studios, physical therapists, or orthopedic doctors. Many tennis players seek out these businesses to help maintain their health. Think of things tennis players do outside of tennis… “people who play tennis also do what?”
This is usually the #1 way a tennis club or academy grows.
You almost certainly already get referrals, but have you actively asked your current tennis members or students? Do it and your referrals will increase.
Most coaches get nervous about asking for referrals. Look at it from your students’ shoes. If you’re running great tennis lessons and clinics, why wouldn’t your tennis players want their friends to come?
Pro Tip: Give your current members 50% off a lesson for each referral.
Get More Creative with Your Leagues, Clinics, & Events
Have you been doing the same clinics for 10+ years? CHANGE IT UP!
Running new social clinics for adults, member-guest tournaments, or events for special occasions (think Halloween doubles) are a great way to create buzz and generate members & revenue.
Pro Tip: Know your numbers! You should know which clinics, group levels, and days are yielding the best results so you can double down on what’s working.
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Online Marketing Ideas for Tennis Clubs
Online marketing is any type of marketing you need an internet connection to do. It is more scalable than offline marketing but does usually take some level of expertise.
Show up on Google (SEO)
People need to find your website when they search for “tennis lessons in [your city]”.
Hundreds of different factors affect who shows up at the top of Google. Fortunately, most tennis clubs aren’t very good at this so it’s not that hard to reach the top within a year or so.
Here are a few of the main factors.
- A good website (more below)
- Social media & other 3rd party website profiles like Yelp
- Set up your Google My Business profile
- Get Google reviews!
Pro Tip: For tips on SEO go to www.TennisTribeMarketing.com/tips/
Have an Amazing Website
Whether you’re doing online or offline marketing, the first place people will go once they hear about you is your website.
Your flyers and brochures should all be directing people to your website so they can find the information they need from their phone.
It needs to be mobile-friendly & easy for people to find what they need. Don’t forget conversion elements so people can contact you quickly. This means having your phone number clearly visible and contact forms.
Pro Tip: ALWAYS pick up the phone. If you’re getting traffic to your website, then people are calling you. If you don’t answer, they’ll call your competitors.
Stay Active on Social Media
Social media is a great way to engage and get more out of your current members. We recommend finding an employee who already enjoys and uses social media actively to manage this.
They will be able to create authentic, engaging posts on a weekly basis that your members will love.
ProTip: Get your members involved in social media campaigns. Tag them, run giveaways, and come up with other ideas to encourage them to like and share your campaigns.
Build an Email List
Email marketing is probably the easiest way to promote your club online.
With an email list of current & potential members, you can run promotions and update them on what is happening on the courts.
Pro Tip: We recommend using Mailchimp for email marketing. It’s easy to use and free to get started.
Run local Facebook & Instagram Ads
Local online ads are a great way to grow your brand exposure and increase your website traffic. Run promotional offers for 1st-time students, and show ads for any events your hosting to people in your local area.
The 2 Biggest Keys to Growing Your Tennis Club or Academy
The two most important keys to attracting more tennis players to your club are this.
Take action & be consistent!
Most tennis clubs don’t ever change. They keep putting up the same flyers at the same place they have been for the last 20 years and complain that they need more members.
Or worse… a lot of them use excuses like “Tennis is just dying in the US” or “my members just don’t like tennis anymore” to explain their decline in memberships.
Don’t let that be you!
Your Personal Action Item: Pick 1 marketing idea above and go do it this month.
- If it works, do more of it.
- If it doesn’t work, try another one.
- Be consistent and don’t give up.
Marketing has a non-linear growth curve. My personal tennis website got under 500 visitors the entire first year. In the 2nd year, it got nearly 50,000.
If you feel like you’re doing a lot of these things and still need some help, or simply have questions, contact us below.