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Marketing and communications is the best way to showcase waka ama and engage with your club members or potential club members. The following provides some key information on marketing and communications, and how you can incorporate this into your club.

Marketing & Communications

MARKETING is the ability to talk about what makes your code/club unique and appealing to a target market or audience. It shapes who you are as a brand, differentiates what you do from others, and helps to deliver your unique value in a compelling way. Some of the more popular and effective marketing methods include: websites, brochures, posters, promotions, advertising and event sponsorship.

COMMUNICATIONS uses this information, as well as other material, to create relevant messages using targeted methods for different audiences. It is more of a two-way engagement, with examples including: editorial coverage in the media, social media, internal communications and engaging with stakeholders through communications such as newsletters.

To maximise opportunities, marketing and communications activities should be complementary – they should work together to get the best results. They also require the same things that you give your sport – time, commitment and energy.


Getting Started

These ideas are helpful to consider when thinking about your marketing options:
Identify your audience
  • Understand what you want your marketing to achieve
  • Determine what you can do on your budget and get approval where appropriate
  • Remember, you can’t please all the people all the time!
  • Consider the seasonal nature of your code/club and what may maintain interest outside the core season
  • Keep the look of your communications consistent, consider if your communications need to be in different languages and if you have an online presence, keep it up to date
  • Check in regularly to make sure resources aren’t being used on something that isn’t working – it’s all about evaluation. If you’re not getting results, consider other options.
  • It’s also important to consider previous experience, for example what your code/club has done previously; its success or otherwise; the budget for activities; and the time and skills required.


There are key aspects and questions to consider when drafting the marketing elements of a plan:
What? What are you trying to achieve with your marketing? What is your budget?
Who? Who are you targeting? Who is going to do it from your club?
How? How are you going to market your club? What mediums will you use?
When When should you be marketing? How much and how often?

Marketing Options

In the past, many sport and recreation clubs and organisations have focused on using traditional marketing techniques, such as ads in local newspapers or sending out leaflets and flyers. Today, there is a much greater focus on digital marketing, including using the internet to spread the word, social networks, mobile apps or websites. In many cases, a mix of traditional and digital marketing can be most effective:

  • Logo and signage: It sounds obvious but ensure your logo is on your letterhead, signage and other marketing tools (including online). It should also be used at registration days, presentation days, competitions, promotional events and on any paid advertising.
  • Enewsletters: The ever-popular electronic newsletter can help advertise your code/club, promote events, send competition updates and share general news. To be most effective, such communications should be concise, regular and available online. It’s also valuable to consider how people can subscribe to enewsletters – suggestions include via the website, social media, and signing up at events and/or through competitions.
  • Websites: This is a simple and powerful way to let people know what your code/club can offer, as well as provide regular updates, a calendar of events and meetings, membership information and contact details. It’s important to keep it updated, interesting and feature plenty of pictures. It’s also a good idea to link to related sites where appropriate.
  • Sponsorship: This is a great way to raise revenue and the profile of your code/club and of the organisation that is sponsoring you.
  • Posters, brochures, flyers: This collateral can be used to outline services, events, competitions, fees and contact information. There are also various places that can be used to distribute this material including local community notice boards, supermarkets, libraries, recreation centres and schools.


Key Questions

1. What are the most important things for people to understand?
2. What are you aiming to achieve?
3. What projects, initiatives and/or events are a focus?

Key Messages

Key messages are a vital part of marketing and communications. They change depending on time, context and audience; however, it is helpful to have a template to work to.
Clear Messages = Clear Communication
Messages help focus communication. This is important as messages need to be communicated multiple times for people to take them on board. Given this, messages should be clear, concise and consistent:
  • Clear
    Make sure key messages are free of jargon, devoid of technical language, and relevant. It is important to also be careful with numbers – they’re a great measure but too many can overload audiences.
  • Concise
    Practice to make sure you can deliver a key message in under 10 seconds. That might be all the airtime you get! By being concise you have more control over the message your audience hears. Delivering a long rambling answer can hand control to others as they may pick the words they think are most interesting, which may not be your core message. By saying less, you have more control.
  • Consistent
    Repetition is critical, and messages must be repeated numerous times if they are to sink in.