How To Differentiate Your Youth Sports Business
September 13, 2018
Here at LeagueApps, we’re driven by a mission to facilitate amazing sports experiences for kids across the country. We work with the most enterprising organizers across youth and local sports, and advise professional teams and leagues on how to best leverage their resources and expertise to help shape the future of youth sports. Today, we’re proud to feature a guest blog from Marucci Sports, a leading baseball and softball outfitter based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In today’s ultra-competitive market of youth sports, organizations must be doing everything possible to differentiate themselves from their competitors. In recent years we have witnessed an increase in the number of youth sports teams/organizations which now provides parents with a multitude of options. There are many factors that go into the parents’ decision. E-commerce can be one of those factors. Organizations which offer this service to their parents are easing the demands on the parents and making the process more efficient. Whether it’s paying the team’s registration fees, buying the team’s uniform package, or signing up for camps/clinics offered by the organization, e-commerce can provide a one-stop shop for the parents to take care of their child’s responsibilities to the organization. With the demands on parents’ time these days, the ability to take care of these tasks from their smartphone, tablet, or home/office computer can make the parents’ experience with the organization much better.
E-commerce also removes the coach from having to chase down payments from the parents and allows him or her to spend more time coaching/teaching and making an impact on the lives of the athletes in their organization. More time can now be spent focusing on improving their organization instead of playing bill collector. With the organizations we deal with at Marucci, e-commerce can even take away the fun task of sorting through uniforms and handing them out. We ship directly to the parents as an added service to our organizations. This has also allowed our organizations to scale because we can ship to players across the country. We have seen our organizations add affiliate locations in other states but still have their players order through the same e-commerce platform. With this added service, the coach doesn’t have to see the uniforms or fan apparel and can once again focus on growing his or her organization.
The head of the organization also must decide on how he or she wants their organization’s brand represented when the teams take the field. Organizations can always bargain shop and find cheaper options for equipment and apparel, but in that case, you usually get what you pay for. Also, what does that say about your organization? You want your athletes proud to wear their team gear which helps advertise and promote their program. If the players feel their gear is sub-par, they will not wear it other than when they must. Parents’ perception of your organization can go a long way in influencing their decision whether to join the organization. You want your athletes taking the field with confidence knowing they have the best equipment possible. Our focus at Marucci has always been to make the products that players want and need to be successful.
All youth sports organizations are in the customer service business. The ones that provide the best customer service are the ones that grow and prosper. Utilizing e-commerce can definitely be a value add to the organizations by making their customers’ (players and parents) experience better.