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Love Tennis a smash hit for Havelock North club

How do 250 new members in a single weekend sound? That was the outcome for Havelock North Tennis Club which took part in the Tennis NZ ‘Love Tennis’ weekend in September.

Aimed at getting more people to, well, love tennis, the promotion built on the success of regional events hosted in the Lower North Island and Canterbury over recent years. The Love Tennis event was held at 128 tennis clubs across the country and invited new-comers to play a game, enjoy a BBQ and maybe win a spot prize, all at no cost.

Being able to ‘try before you buy’ is one way to reduce the barriers to gaining new members. The promotion visitors an opportunity to get a feel for the club – the venue and facilities, what the club offered, and to meet the existing members and administrators/committee members.

Havelock North Tennis Club was one of those clubs that got in behind the campaign and benefited from the promotion. The club of 199 members hosted hundreds of visitors and was primed to capture them with a special discounted offer.

“We saw this as the perfect opportunity to showcase the Club’s facilities and encourage people to commit on the spot,” said Club Membership Officer Bev Penny.

“We knew that by offering them a limited-time special membership rate, we were more likely to gain them as members. As it was, we ended up with 250 new members from this one weekend – which was a 125% increase.”

For the committee of the Havelock North Tennis Club, the focus now shifts to making sure the new members are welcomed in and become engaged in the variety of activities offered by the Club.

“We are really aware that signing them up is just the first step in getting them to becoming an active member who will want to stay on with the club into the future. We need to focus on building that relationship through actions that will make them feel part of the Club. That encompasses communication through digital channels as well as the personal communication that will make them feel welcome when they are at the club.

What we love about this success story

Tennis NZ recognised a barrier to membership was the ‘unknown’ – people want to know more about a club before they commit to joining. They did this by creating a national event, focused on marketing it, and supported clubs to benefit from it.

Havelock North Tennis Club recognised the opportunity and was primed to benefit with a discounted offer. Not offering the discount may have still got them members, but unlikely at this level. They now have the opportunity to convert these newcomers into active and engaged long-term members, which will likely provide a greater long-term income to the club.

How can you do this for your club?

While having a nationally supported event obviously has it benefits, a small-scale event, if marketed and executed well, can still deliver great outcomes for your club. By joining with other local clubs, you can create a similar event and share any marketing costs. Be prepared with a great membership offer and be sure to have a plan to integrate new members with your club’s activities and members.

If you don’t want to run an event, remember that Pay2Play’s casual booking system provides clubs with the opportunity to offer potential members the chance to try before they buy. We can help you with the promotion and advertising of casual bookings at your club, so get in touch for a chat.

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