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Smart Membership Management

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Does your club or venue regularly review its membership structure and options to ensure they are relevant to your present and future members? Many clubs maintain simple subscription memberships, where all members pay a fee due at the same date, which is often at the start of their sports season. While this may have worked in the past, many businesses recognise this payment model doesn’t suit everyone (hence the rise in offerings such as AfterPay). Even Councils now offer the option of paying rates by installment monthly or quarterly, rather than a fixed sum. There are many things that keep people from starting and remaining engaged in sport and cost is a significant one. This barrier can be minimised by matching your membership offerings to meet the needs of your player community and offering flexibility in how they pay. New technology, such as the automated membership management functions in Pay2Play, allow clubs and venues to create membership structures that are optimised for their requirements. Of course, the traditional annual subscription membership model will continue to suit some members and will remain supported. Even with annual memberships, many clubs and venues are moving away from the one date when all subs are due to an anniversary date that matches when members joined the club. This removes the complications of needing to support discounts for members who join late in the season, or worse - putting off new members if they must pay a full sub partway through the season. Some clubs have an ageing player demographic and need to attract younger adult members to remain viable in the future. Many younger adult members are already used to making regular payments for activities such as gym memberships. Monthly (or multiples thereof) recurring memberships are a great way for members to manage their cash flow. It also removes the financial shock of having to find a full subscription once a year, which can trigger individuals to give up memberships. Clubs and venues should consider membership options such as:

  • Group discounts (e.g. family or couple memberships).

  • Flexible payment options (monthly, 3-monthly or 6-monthly recurring payments).

  • Discounting membership fees to attract target groups (e.g. attracting young players by offering discounted memberships for full-time students or for players under a certain age).

  • Mixed-model membership where a lower annual membership fee is coupled with a discounted court booking fee. For example:

  1. Casual memberships where members pay a lower membership fee and then pay a discounted booking fee for court use.

  2. Parent memberships, where parents can play free with their junior-member children and pay a discounted fee for court use at other times.

  3. Affiliated memberships where players with current membership at another club can join at a lower fee and/or pay a discounted court booking fee.

All clubs and venues will have their own requirements. It is important to think of your 'membership categories' as products and your members, new and future, as customers and create membership structures to suit. The great news is that Pay2Play can support flexible membership structures and, with automated management, keep the administration to a minimum. If you need advice on setting up new membership categories, let us know at or call us on 0800 002 381.

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