Effective Strategies for Promoting Your Pickleball Club

You love pickleball. And you love people who love pickleball. It makes sense that you would start or join a pickleball club. It’s a group of like-minded people with whom you can arrange games, chat about the best mid-priced pickleball paddles, or share stories of your perfectly executed Nasty Nelson shot in yesterday’s game. But that only works if your club has a thriving, active membership. How do you bring in fellow picklers to make your club more robust and increase the sense of community it creates? Here are our tips for promoting your pickleball club:

Add Your Club to the USAPA’s List of Places to Play

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) keeps a list of local pickleball groups and locations. It’s free to add your club. There’s also no fee for people to search the list.

You can include details like where you play, the days and times you have regular games, how to sign up, or the courts you use. You can also list club or game fees and contact information. Include whatever details you feel will entice people to come out and join your club.

The more information you provide in the “Comments” section, the more informed potential players and club members will be about your group. If you play on brand new indoor courts, that tells searchers that you have a high-quality playing surface, and their game won’t be canceled for rain or wind. If you only have games during summer, you won’t have players disappointed that you aren’t a year-round club if that’s what they are looking for. If your club holds special events, clinics, and discounted group lessons, that may be what entices a new member to come out and join your club.

Be thoughtful about the information you include in the USAPA’s listing and the wording you use. Some prospective members may worry that their play isn’t good enough for a club or that they will feel uncomfortable as the new player in the group. If your listing is encouraging and inviting, you can help ensure anyone reading it will feel welcome and encouraged to try your club.

Utilize Local Resources

Schools, local businesses, senior organizations, and recreation centers are all great places to look for members. Many will have a bulletin board for notices or a newsletter. Those are excellent spots to advertise your club.

You can also run ads in local papers and participate in local events. Consider setting up a booth for your club at a town fair or special event. You can use your presence there to meet new members and share your love of pickleball.

If local charities are seeking donations for fundraisers, consider donating a pickleball starter set. Not only will you support a worthwhile local cause, but your donation will also serve as advertising for your club. That basket with a beginner pickleball set and a gift certificate for the fees for four drop-in club games could introduce someone new to pickleball. It could also bring them in as a club member and may catch the eye of other picklers in the group, too.

You can even reach out to local media to publicize events. They may enjoy running a story about a tournament run by your club or a special event you are organizing.

Use Social Media

A strong, thoughtful social media presence is an incredibly effective way to raise awareness about your pickleball club. Start accounts for your group on all the major social media platforms.

Make it a point to post to each of them at least once a week. That could be a video of some of your players enjoying a game one week. The next post might be an explanation of a particular rule in pickleball. Newcomers often wonder how to keep score in the game. A post outlining the basics of scorekeeping could get new eyes on your club. Mix it up. Different types of content will appeal to different users.

You could feature a new player each week, introducing them to the community and making prospective club members feel welcome.

You can also use social media to have discussions among group members. They can arrange games, discuss equipment, or show off their new pickleball shoes. Anything that creates a strong sense of community is good for your club. It keeps current members happy and engaged and lets prospective members see that your group is thriving and active.

Hold Pop-Up Events

So many people fall in love with pickleball the first time they play. But getting them onto the court for that initial game can be challenging. Consider hosting free or low-cost events where people new to the game can stop by and try pickleball. They don’t need to commit to an entire game–just a few swings of a pickleball paddle if that’s all they want. Speaking of pickleball paddles, if you have all the necessary equipment available for them to borrow, you’ve removed another barrier to a first-time player. These events can be powerful recruiting tools for both the game of pickleball and your pickleball club.

One incredible aspect of pickleball is its community of welcoming, enthusiastic players. If you use these tips to promote your pickleball club, it can become an integral part of your community and the local pickleball scene.

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