Ten useful tips for sports crowdfunding!

In these first years of activity with Triboom we have found ourselves working with numerous sports clubs and their fan communities. Each project presented itself differently due to numerous factors, above all due to the size and type of individual clubs and their supporter base, in addition to the presence (or not) of a specialized marketing department within it.

The strategies and tools to be put in place were however very similar within the various cases. To facilitate the understanding of readers and followers of Triboom or simply by those who are thinking of approaching crowdfunding in the sports world, we have decided to provide a short and concise guide in 10 points, the fruits of our experience.

We start from a fundamental premise: crowdfunding campaigns, aimed at sport as in general in other areas, do not represent a quick channel for easy economic turnover but it is dealing with marketing projects that require strategy, planning, basic knowledge of communication and marketing but above all constancy in activities and a good deal of patience.

Certainly we start with some advantages when we work in the field of sports, thanks to the presence of a pre-existing community and fan base that are active not only online but in a physical and tangible way. Almost like a religious faith, the attachment to the fortunes of a team in a shirt or a flag is something that in all likelihood will never change. It is an authentic passion that can live on highs and lows over time but that will never fade.

Technology and social media have also facilitated the use by enthusiasts of sports content and at the same time clubs (and companies) have multiplied the available channels to converse in real time with their supporters and fans, in a virtuous circle of entertainment and commercial offers that are more and more differentiated and “customized”.

Here is our valuable advice in these 10 points, all worthy of further study:

1) Define the objective and the mission of the crowdfunding campaign, specifying in detail the target of the collection and how the amount donated by the various supporters will then be reinvested. There is a need for concrete and feasible projects that touch the social sphere or improve the activities of the club. Some examples? Several companies have invested the economic collection of campaigns in the construction or renovation of sports facilities or to improve the sports and educational sectors offered to their youth programs. In other situations, instead, solidarity projects have been carried out dedicated to external bodies, for example a Pediatric Hospital dedicated to childcare or to help the areas of Central Italy affected by the earthquake.

2) Create an attractive plan of rewards and auctions, determining what the rewards for the supporters will be, both physical and tangible as well as those that are immaterial and emotional. We need to think about exclusive merchandising, as well as simple but meaningful experiences that fans can live, bringing them even closer to the life of the club’s team.

3) Establish the means and tools with which to communicate activities: the website with banners and dedicated articles, the newsletter addressed to its database of contacts, social profiles such as Facebook groups, Twitter and Instagram accounts. It is also necessary to have a production of content dedicated to the project, with images and graphics representing a genuine official communication campaign, where possible, even a video production, to make the aims of the initiative even stronger and more engaging. Communications must be constant and varied throughout the campaign.

4) Directly involve the athletes and the characters recognized by the fan base, with sketch videos and other direct testimonies to support the project, to invite the fans to participate even more actively in the various initiatives proposed.

5) Advertising is another magic word. Many times the activities on the web and on social media are only seen by a few people. By activating paid promotions instead , especially on Facebook, with small investments you can get excellent results in terms of visibility and performance of the various contents published. Seeing is believing!

6) During the course of the campaign it is always useful to monitor the results obtained, to understand how effective the activities are and not to waste time working in a vacuum. There are free and easy tools to use, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, while for the more experienced we recommend other tools such as Sprout Social.

7) The account on Triboom,( the community development platform and the “home” of the crowdfunding project), must be a place for as well as an official tool of the club. It must therefore be presented in a manner appropriate to the fans, explaining the reasons for its opening and the possibilities reserved for supporters, inviting them to register in a way that is easy and free!

8) Gamification” and “User Generated Content” are two crucial concepts: the “magic” happens when supporters participate in Triboom with their own content and comments on the contents of other users. This is an activity that creates continuous value, not only economic but above all human, increasing the sense of belonging to the colors of your team.

9) Integration between Online & Offline: we share content and rewards on the net every day but we need to pay attention to relationships and practical activities, for example organizing the delivery of prizes during official competitions, continuing to involve players and corporate management and putting all the supporters, who also financially support corporate activities, in the spotlight.

10) Public Relations: activities and campaigns must be shared not only with the fans but also with other important players in the territory, such as institutions and sponsor companies or other professionals in the same sector, such as sport club or media specialists (TV, radio, newspapers, online portals).

After these very dense and challenging ten points (but all achievable!), let’s remember a very important last detail: once the campaign is over we need to keep the attention on the results obtained, communicating all the activities related to the financing of the main projects of the campaigns and at the same time continuing to take care of the community of fans, giving importance to the supporters even when no economic participation is requested of them.

We hope to have sparked in you a little curiosity as well as a great desire to address a path similar to the one outlined above, our staff is always available to provide more details and establish with you the initial design lines for any crowdfunding project dedicated to your team or your sports organization.