A website is critical to help promote your sports organization in the community. It’s also an effective way to help you get organized, manage registration, and collect payments. You can also use a website for fundraising, sponsorship, recruiting volunteers, and much more.
Sports volunteers who want to create a website for their team often have a lot of questions. Should I hire a designer? What is the best design strategy? What font should I use? How will it look and feel?
Creating a website for your sports team is not just slapping together some text and images. It takes careful consideration and planning and this guide will walk you through the important things to consider when designing your own site.
Usability is key to a good website experience. When people visit your site, you should make it easy for them to find what they're looking for without confusing them. If visitors can't find what they want, or if they're confused, they will not have a good experience and might not come back.
Think about the number of times you’ve been on a website and got frustrated because you couldn't find what you were looking for. It immediately turned you off, and you took your attention elsewhere.
Parents, players, and team supporters expect the team website to help them find what they’re looking for fast. They don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant or outdated content.
The thing is your website is more than just a website — it's actually a customer service center. Visitors come to your site with specific goals in mind. Your job is to meet those goals as quickly as possible and make them happy. If you can make them happy, they'll keep coming back, have a positive experience, and may even spread the word about your sports organization to other members of your community.
Here are a few tips for a clean design:
Simplicity - Organize the pages on your website so everything is easy to find with just a few clicks.
Seasonality – Focus on what’s important throughout the year. Before the season, make sure you're putting your online registration front and center. During the season you should have schedules posted so visitors can easily find important information. In the offseason, you can post all of the details for your next season, and only other offseason events.
Consistent Updates - Update your website at least once per week during your season, and once per month during your offseason.
Images and videos - People don't just want to see all text on your site. Make sure you've added some images, videos, and links to your social media channels throughout your website. You can add photo albums from previous seasons or events if you don't have a lot of content yet.
Your youth sports website may be the first engagement people have with your organization, so it’s essential to make a good first impression that lasts. Users only spend an average of 10-20 seconds on a webpage before deciding if they want to continue, so quickly establishing credibility is crucial.
How? You can start by creating an “About Us” page. Briefly outline some information about your organization. This includes your history, your mission, your values, your board members, as well coaching profiles. Provide an email address for your organization and make sure to respond to questions so that community members know you’re relatively easy to reach. You can even provide different email addresses for each board member so that parents or coaches can reach out to the right person with specific questions.
These days people rely on their smartphone for all of their everyday activities. On average, we spend roughly 3 hours per day on some kind of mobile device, whether a phone or a tablet. In order to cater for this rapidly growing base of mobile web users and offer an optimal experience, you need to pursue mobile-friendly responsive websites.
Consumers get super annoyed when they try to access a website on a mobile device and it promptly redirects them to a desktop site. Graphics, links, and other information may not be displayed correctly since they are condensed to fit a mobile screen.
By having a website optimized for mobile devices, you can improve user experiences since it allows them to seamlessly navigate your team’s website. This means they can easily and consistently access information whenever and from any device.
Your website should be designed so that it works well on any device including desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Two of the most challenging tasks that come with managing a youth sports team or organization are finding sponsors and volunteers for the upcoming season. But with a responsive website design, it’ll be easier to get these done.
Typically when a youth sports organization has a sponsor, they usually have the business logo on the team’s gear or any other apparel they may sell. You can also increase the visibility of your sponsors by promoting sponsors on your website.
Ensure that they’re on your home page or your “About Us” page since these are the most visited pages. As a result, your sponsors could experience increased traffic on their own business sites.
List your sponsors prominently on your website and include links to their business sites.
Without volunteers, it can be challenging to tick off the daily tasks that come with running a sports organization. Usually, coaches would ask parents or trustworthy individuals to help, but this isn’t the most efficient way to recruit volunteers.
A more effective way to attract more volunteers is by using your youth sports website as a volunteering recruitment vehicle. Volunteers can learn more about the steps it takes to sign up. You should have a page on your site dedicated to volunteers. Describe why it's important for community members to volunteer, list different volunteer opportunities that are available and describe time commitments for each position. You can even allow volunteers to fill out registration applications on your website or during player registration.
Recruiting volunteers during the registration process can save you a bunch of time before your season starts.
When you manage a sports organization, a critical function in the offseason is and registering new players. Parents are busy and if you don't make an effort to communicate with them you'll have a tough time getting players registered. Many families may also be new to the community and may not know what sports are available for their children in the location.
If you don't have enough players for your next season, a few reasons could be:
They don't know about your organization.
It's too expensive.
It's too difficult to register.
Player registration can often be a deterrent for parents looking for somewhere their child can play. There shouldn't be a stack of paperwork for parents to fill out before their child joins a sports team. Keep it simple by using an online registration system.
You can ask a few simple questions like player name, jersey size, and current school. You could also ask if parents want to volunteer and in which capacity they can do so. With a simple registration form, you can quickly convert interested parents into new members.
At Jersey Watch, we know you have a lot on your plate. You are collecting player registrations, coaching, managing sponsorships, and dealing with parents.
A youth sports website is a crucial tool for connecting with parents and players, as this is where they expect you to provide all the important information about your organization. Our website builder can help do the heavy lifting so that you can focus where it matters: managing your league or teams.
Learn more or create an account on www.jerseywatch.com!