Created By: Brian
Part 1 of 5 Series - Marketing Your AAU Basketball Tournaments
Person A, B & C:
Second of all we here at IndiHoops.com will refer to youth grassroots basketball or travel or club tournaments as AAU as it seems like it has been a generally accepted term for the industry.
Either a tournament can be sanctioned by these following organizations or can be completely independent if it chooses to be.
"AAU Basketball Tournaments" can be referred to a tournament that is under some of these following sanctioning
In conclusion, it will not matter if your tournament is either sanctioned or unsanctioned. Success can be had by the fundamentals applied in this article.
To run a tournament, you need clubs and teams to register and play in your event.
So, If you do not get this…there is no reason to read further since there is nothing to talk about as a result of you not getting teams.
[2 Big Components]
(Will add more things they look for in the next article).
Examples: Hoop Group, Bigfoot Hoops, Pangos, Hoop Group, Zero Gravity Basketball, Big Shots
This is where the reputation of a tournament operator comes into play. These are the OG's, the veterans. Established tournaments have long alumni lists of teams and great players, pictures and a history of good events.
If you can get a club to have a great experience at your tournament., the likelihood of you running the tournament again in subsequent years is highly likely.
As a result, they will get accustomed to putting that tournament on their schedule again for future years. These guys have been around for a long time because of the relationships they have built.
There are a lot of hungry and savvy AAU Basketball Tournament operators out there now, and they want to compete with the older generation.
Some event operators can be susceptible to take clubs for granted and tend to coast on their reputation and don't use technology and tools to make the experience better.
They might not be using the best technology on payments and are susceptible to leaving money on the table with bounced checks, have their schedules come out too late, etc.
Consequently, the club also might attribute a bad experience and it seems like sometimes its not within the tournament operators control, however, this can carry some baggage in a club and tournaments relationship. Something to look out for if you fall under this category.
Quite simply: HAVE SOMEONE ANSWER YOUR DAMN PHONE IF YOU CAN’T GET SOMEONE TO. 🙂 🙂
Made Hoops, Open Gym Premier, Top Gun Basketball, Elevate Hoops, IndiWorld Championships
These are early adopters and typically the younger generation that can attract teams with social media.
They can tend to be younger event operators who are very hungry and have boundless energy that it takes to put on these events.
They can attract teams with crafty social media posts, email marketing techniques and also have great coverage at their events such as actions photos, live streaming by Baller.TV, Krossover video breakdown - blog write-ups, and live social media coverage.
Seems like these operators are great communicators with new school technology and are hungry to win business,
so they will be more receptive to your feedback and your requests.
They have easier ways to be paid, and a club organization in some cases may have a better shot at getting some sort of discount with some of these operators due to this.
There can be a tendency to go too far with this and have opposite philosophies of the old school director. Therefore social media can paint a better picture than what is ACTUALLY happening, and some clubs and parents can start to see through or see a gimmick forming.
As a result they can make big claims and promises of what your tournament will be about and who will be there.
The thing you might not have is LONG TERM TRUST, so you better be sensitive to that.
There is another tendency to try to hit "quick home run" as opposed to continual base hits that the long-term operators did to deserve their veteran status.
Finally: Don’t rush the process and make sure you are backing up your claims!
There are few directories and media outlets that can help promote and advertise your brand. These are great tools that many do not take advantage of.
In all of these companies, there is the opportunity to just advertise your brand throughout the year.
This is a simple yet effective trick to use because most people in this industry take for granted due to the fact that they have been able to get by without spending any money on marketing.
They are using the word of mouth approach which is great.
However, times are changing, and as it becomes more of business so they will have to understand that advertising is typically the LARGEST expense in any good company.
You need to have some sort of advertising budget if you want to be in this for a long-term. If you are just trying to pay your rent by throwing an event, then you can skip this part…LOL.
Here are the prices right now just to promote PER EVENT, not your event company in general so we can keep it simple.
1 Events - $25
2 Events - $50
3 Events - $75 - Most likely, the best package.
4 Events - $100
Final Analsysis: This is certainly worth the experiment. At the very least what you probably don't understand is that ACAHoops.com key advantage is that you will get a LINK from a reputable company for Google.
For their other services, they require you to call them directly.
Tournament Operator Memberships - $4.99/mo. or $47 For Year
Final Analysis: Obviously biased here, but this is a no brainer for a tournament operator, but only if you utilize the services and post your events.
You get SEO advantages and if you get just 1 team as a result, you get your money back.
You also get access to a team of people willing to consult and help pump teams to your event.
IndiHoops already has almost 90 members signed up.
Higher level promotions:
IndiHoops Tournament Package Options for Members
Select Package - $247 Per Event (2 Week Promotion)
Preferred Package - $497 Per Event (Month Promotion) - Seems like the best package.
Exclusive Package - $997 Per Event (3 Month Promotion)
* A main advantages of IndiHoops is their social media and email marketing with these packages.
Exposure's main service is their scheduling and while we like to use them - they have some other things most don't know about.
You can register events for free on this site, so they do have some options for featuring your event even more.
Final Analysis: We can save this for another post as we can compare some of the rather different scheduling services out there, but for now we like Exposure Events due to the fact they have a great system that updates and schedules your events.
(ONE OF THE BIGGEST HASSLES OF RUNNING An AAU BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS is the scheduling and most likely you can never know the pain until you have ever done it yourself. Exposure Events helps so much with this process.
Here is their commercial:
Furthermore, The HUB has a great newsletter that they package in with their listing for your AAU Basketball Tournaments and is great for a more regionalized approach to your marketing. Great customer service as well.
Either you use social media in the near future or you will get left behind because this is most notably the top form of communication now.
Probably most effective but only if you are providing great content throughout the year and if you are using Twitter just to post your promotions and sell to people and as a result you will get virtually no return on your time investment here.
Another Tip: Get into conversations with top influencers and retweet great content so use Twitter DURING your event as well for scores, highlights, and pictures.
Same thing applies. Always need to be constantly providing great content. Instagram does not let you put links your posts and as a result, you have to put your link in the bio to get clicks to your sign-up page.
A hybrid of all social media. Make great content and be friends with club operators on Facebook. Typically, you cannot get much out of your Facebook page yet but they are always changing.
A more difficult strategy as you need to invest a lot energy into making YouTube great. Due to this fact, It is very hard to get subscribers, but you can do some marketing of your events and post YouTube “End Cards” with links or annotations to come to one of your events.
Newer technology that is hard to master. If you can gain a following of club directors, you can establish relationships on snap chat. It is effective you just need to be savvy.
Unchartered waters for the most part, so it could be especially relevant if someone wanted to master one of these. Seems like this is either a huge opportunity or still too new.
In conclusion, use this as a resource to make your AAU Basketball Tournaments go better and make sure you are on your marketing game because the world is changing faster than ever.
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