Growth Hacking For Racquetball Tournaments

Are you taking advantage of every free internet location that is local to you so that you can reach all of the racquetball players in your area that haven’t or aren’t playing in tournaments?

There are definitely a few things that I would recommend that you start doing, if you aren’t already.

1) Create a Facebook Page for your tournaments (or your state organization or tournament facility). Invite everyone that you know that plays to like that Page, so that all of their friends can be reminded of the existence of racquetball and they can consider coming back to the game. Explicitly ask your regular players to share that Page. {Do not name your Page with a date, doing so makes it useless once the event is done. Find a better name.} Create events on this Facebook page that match up with your events and invite your players to the event using Facebook’s tools. Consider Facebook Ads, particularly if you are hosting a professional division or you are hosting a state singles or doubles tournament.

2) When you post on the Page, share those posts with your personal account so that you get double duty from each post. Try to wait 6-8 hours so that you get a second chance to show up in the beginning of your friends/players timelines so that they are more likely to see it and share it themselves.

3) Get your tournament sponsors to post about the event on their Facebook accounts. Post thanks and shout outs to your sponsors and use that as another opportunity to publicize the event.

4) Create a Facebook Group for discussion of racquetball in your area and promote this group on your Facebook Page. Invite everyone that you know that plays, and reach out to all of the pros that may visit if you host LPRT, IRT, or WRT events. Invite the USA Racquetball staff and the teaching pros as well.

5) Utilize Facebook Live to broadcast at least some portion of your events. One of the best ways to get non-committal players to join the next event is to demonstrate to them what an amazing time they are missing! A little jealousy goes a long way. 🙂

6) Utilize the local newspaper’s Events pages. You can add events to most newspaper’s websites at no charge. Give yourself one more place to be found by visitors to your area and to your locals that aren’t aware of your tournament offerings. Here’s an example from the Austin newspaper:

7) Send press releases to your local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations 14 days prior to the start of the event. Follow up with a second press release the Monday of the event. These aren’t guaranteed to get aired, but they are free. Contact me if you are looking for advice on this, I sent press releases to the Atlanta traditional media before the LPRT event in Atlanta in 2016. The LPRT is very easy to publicize, as you can mention the #1 players from so many different countries. For the IRT or WRT events, I would concentrate on the national team members, i.e. the event will feature team members from the US, Canada, and Mexican national teams.

8) Consider creating a Twitter account and posting your events as soon as you confirm your dates. You’ll need to do the most work to get people exposed to your account on Twitter, so while this won’t cost you any money, it will require an investment in time.

9) Consider creating an Instagram account and posting your events and pictures from your events as they progress. Discovery of accounts on Instagram is almost as challenging as Twitter, so expect to spend some time following other accounts and doing what you can to find other racquetball players.

10) Utilize popular internet forums to attract players as well. I would recommend Reddit.

11) If you intend to promote racquetball tournaments for an extended period of time, I would recommend creating a website that you can use to centralize your information and to show that your event isn’t a one-off event. Use an easily updatable tool like WordPress to keep your site fresh. Avoid any technology that you have to pay someone else to make updates for you. Here are some examples from Georgia and Alabama. Feel free to reach out to me about getting something like this started for you. 🙂

One of the readers on Reddit mentioned that I hadn’t covered good old-fashioned word of mouth. It was definitely a given in my mind that all of the players of your past events would be talking up tournaments in general and your tournaments specifically. If you don’t know all of the players that run leagues at LA Fitness and Lifetime Fitness and YMCAs in your area, definitely reach out to them and ensure that they are aware of your events.

Here are some of my assumptions for things that you are already doing before you even go into the 11 items above to promote your events online.

A) Register your event with R2Sports and sanction with USA Racquetball. These steps will help ensure that the tournament faithful that are actively attending events can find out about your events. Use the free email blasts that come with R2Sports to notify all of your prior players and all of the players in your state when you announce the event and again as the date comes close.

B) Coordinate your events with tournament organizers within 200-300 miles of your location, so that you aren’t stepping on each other’s weekends. Get to know them, online at the least. Help them promote their events and ask them to help promote your events. For example, if you are running a tournament in Mobile, Alabama, make sure that all of the tournament organizers in Florida, Mississippi, and Georgia are aware of your event. Have flyers available for your tournament attendees of the other events in your area so that they are aware of the larger community. Tournament directors are potentially the greatest source of community building in racquetball.

C) Reward your regular tournament attendees for bringing in new tournament players. If a new player signs up for your event because of one of your regulars, consider a small discount for the referral or some sort of ongoing recognition of that player that brought others in.

D) Have flyers (I prefer postcards with action shots on the back) available for your next event when players check in to the current event. Giving it to them at the start of the event helps prime their thoughts for the future and they may pay less attention to the things that detract from the current event.

E) If you have sponsors for your event that are retailers, have some sort of coupon for that retailer that the players can utilize that identifies you back to the sponsor. Help show them how supporting you supports them. This is particularly good for dinner meals if you aren’t providing them as part of the event. If it is something else that your locals can pick up between events, that is also a good choice.