How to Create a Fan Club For Your Team
When it comes to big-name sports teams, it’s not unusual for fans to flock together and form fan clubs. Some of those teams even have an application process in place for fan clubs that want to become official.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until your fan base is large enough to do the same thing. You can start an official fan club for your team yourself and take advantage of the benefits it brings to your club.
In this post, we’ll discuss those benefits, show you how to create a fan club and integrate it with your site, as well as how to decide what type of perks you could offer to fan club members.
Benefits of Creating a Fan Club for Your Team
Creating a fan club for your team has a couple of benefits.
1. It allows you to create a better relationship with your fans
A fan club allows you to create a better relationship with your fans simply because it allows them to become more familiar with the members of your team. Offering a perk such as a fan photo shoot or a fan breakfast are great ways for your players and fans to connect and create special memories. Ultimately, your fans will become even more loyal as a result and turn into your biggest supporters and advocates.
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2. It adds an extra income source for your team
Charging a small membership fee for the fan club won’t make your team rich but it can aid in covering some of your basic costs of operation such as a website or healthy snacks and water during training.
3. It helps you spread the word about your club
Lastly, keep in mind that sports fans like to boast not only about their favorite team’s winnings but also about what makes their team special. Being a part of a fan club is bound to come up in conversations which means more word of mouth marketing for your team. It also goes a long way toward piquing interest among those who are new to your team, especially if you distribute roles and responsibilities among several members.
How to Create a Fan Club
Creating a fan club for your team is a lot like creating and forming your sport’s team.
1. Decide on the name
The first step is to decide on the name of your fan club. Naturally, you’ll want to incorporate the name of your team to make it obvious that this is the official fan club associated with it to maintain brand recognition and consistency.
You can keep it simple and opt for something like “Team Name Official Fan Club” or you could get creative and use words that are closely related to the name of your team or even use a shortened version of your team’s name.
2. Research legal obligations
You’ll also want to research legal obligations and requirements to form an official fan club. This can vary from state to state and country to country so you’ll need to investigate whether or not you need to officially register your fan club, the correct legal structure for the club, the fees associated with it, and legal guidelines you may need to follow.
3. Come up with requirements to become a member
Once you’ve decided on the name and you know what will it take for your team to become an official legal entity you can start working on member requirements. You can take a look at how the big name teams do it and use their requirements as the basis or you can come up with your own.
4. Create member guidelines
The next step is to create member guidelines. After all, a fan club will be an extension of your team and the last thing you want is for some fans to paint your team and club in a negative light. A basic set of rules that talk about the spirit of your team and expected behavior will go a long way toward ensuring it is positively represented.
5. Recruit your first members
Now that the hard work is behind you, you can start recruiting your first members. Use your next match as an opportunity to recruit members, announce it on social media, and post about the fan club on your site. Don’t forget to email your subscribers and invite them to join your brand new fan club.
How to Integrate the Fan Club With Your Site
Once your fan club is up and running, it’s time to integrate it with your site. This will allow fans to easily access exclusive content and facilitate registration for new members.
The easiest way to add the fan club to your site is with a membership plugin. You can use a plugin like WordPay to create a new user role for your fan club members and a membership plan.
Here’s a brief rundown of the steps needed to integrate your fan club into your site:
- Install the WordPay plugin by going to your dashboard and navigating to Plugins > Add new, then click on Activate to activate the plugin.
- Go through the setup process and allow the plugin to install necessary pages and setup your payment options.
- Once the plugin is active and configured, go to WordPay > Subscription Plans > Add new.
- Enter the name of your subscription plan and make sure to select Create new user role from this Subscription Plan next to the User role field.
- Enter the price and leave the duration at 0 for an unlimited duration. Then click Save subscription.
After you’ve created a subscription plan, you can then decide how you want to drip out exclusive content for your members and set up the rules and frequency.
Come Up With Exciting Perks for Your Fan Club Members
The last thing to consider when it comes to creating a fan club for your team is perks that the members will benefit from. Start by thinking like your fans and understanding what would make them excited to be a part of your team’s club. If you’re stuck for ideas, consider creating a poll on your Facebook page and asking your audience for their preferences.
Alternatively, take stock of what you already offer on your site and brainstorm a few ways to make existing content more exclusive. Here are a few member perk ideas to consider, aside from exclusive content:
- In-person hangouts with team members – as mentioned earlier in the article, giving your fans a chance to socialize with team members will strengthen the bond between your fans and your team as well as make them loyal team advocates.
- VIP game tickets – consider designating the best seats in your venue as fan club only, available only to members of your fan club.
- Customized team swag – if you already sell team swag in your store, consider adding customizable items and making them a member’s club exclusive. Your team’s jersey with a fan’s name, a coffee mug with a personalized photo of the team with the fan or a signed ball are all great examples of items that can make your fans feel special.
Start a Fan Club For Your Team Today
Starting a fan club for your team allows you to create a better relationship with your fans and add an extra income source for your team’s needs. Use the tips above to launch your own fan club and don’t forget to download our cheat sheet of the process for handy reference.