With the end of your Region's fall season, it’s a great time to start brainstorming next season’s registration activities. Consider new ways to increase interest in AYSO in your community.
RC Joe Bondi from Region 125 in Clinton Township, Mich., is testing an Area-wide registration event for this spring. Joe has been developing a plan to change how the Regions in his Area can communicate the AYSO message in a way that will increase awareness, player registration and volunteer numbers.
It may only work for Regions that are in reasonably close proximity and do in-person registration events, but consider pooling your resources to make a bigger bang for your buck. Discuss with the Regions in your Area the possibility of implementing a multiple Region registration event. You can each also have your own registration events as always, but consider testing a group event IN ADDITION TO your usual event schedule.
Here are three smart ways that an Area-wide registration can help improve and build better Regions:
1) Combine funds for more marketing freedom
One of the biggest potential benefits of an Area-wide registration day is the ability to combine your registration marketing budgets. With multiple Regions contributing, you can run newspaper advertisements for longer, get bigger ads, billboards, website ads, posters, yard signs, radio service ads and an array of other possibilities. All of the Regions can send out email to their current and past families and include it on all of your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Instead of each Region creating their own campaign, combining funds allows for more leeway in choosing effective and wide-reaching opportunities.
2) A consistent and more powerful message
Regions typically have their own distinct ways of communicating to potential consumers.
Sometimes, these modes of communication can clash or overlap, such as multiple Regions hitting the same school districts and offering different methods of registering (online, in person). Having one process makes it less confusing for parents to register and creates one loud, unified voice as opposed to a number of individual messages. This also avoids overlap and saves money for other marketing ideas.
3) Drive up registration numbers
More players means more community clout (that can mean fields, volunteers, and other resources to make your life easier!). A bigger marketing budget, better developed campaign and a consistent and powerful message could result in more registered players and volunteers. Teaming up with neighboring Regions to produce a stronger campaign provides a great platform to increase the reach of your message. There are no guarantees, but trying something new can make your AYSO programs look fresh and fun.
Some other things to consider:
Make it festive: have snacks, a children’s coloring area, a mini-coaching clinic, mini indoor or outdoor games, door prizes every hour, current coaches and volunteers to talk about how satisfying it is to volunteer or other activities to engage kids and parents. Let the local media know and get your Region's registration event into the calendar section of your community newspapers and websites. Call the local mom-focused radio stations to see how to get free public service announcements during the days leading up to it.
A combined registration event is something worth exploring, especially considering the potential short and long term benefits. It won’t work for every Region or Area, but it might work for you. If your local Regions usually compete with each other, this might be a time to try cooperating.
Have ideas, suggestions or questions? Send us an email here!