We’re always dealing with something. Some days it seems like we are swatting away problems every 15 minutes. The bartender called to tell us he is sick and won’t be in; well at least he called. Lane 13 and 14 are giving us heartburn, a scorer part is out and it looks like snow is going to wipe out tonight’s biggest league of the week.
On top of all the day to day ins and outs, you have to gear up for fall leagues, mid winter leagues, summer leagues, tournaments and now you have to maintain your website, create social media communications, send out emails and maintain your website.
Sometimes it feels overwhelming.
So grab a cup of Joe and let me take you through some quick planning ideas for summer leagues. I know your summer leagues have been getting a bit softer every year, once in a while you get a great program going and it boosts you over last year, but the home runs are getting fewer. L
Stop fighting it.
Summer is the time when you have the most lane availability. It’s a time to introduce new people to bowling and put on your sunny face. It’s a time to host company parties, fund raisers and special events. It’s a time for Kids Bowl Free and building your data base.
It’s a time to refresh and rethink.
Last year, you put together your summer league schedule from the year before and the year before you put together a schedule from the year before that.
Are you still going to do what didn’t work so well the last three years and “hope” that it somehow works this summer? Seriously?
Please get a fresh sheet of paper or open your computer screen, laptop or tablet and right this down
WHAT CAN I DO THAT WOULD CREATE AN EXPERIENCE THAT PEOPLE WOULD TALK ABOUT?
Here are some idea starters:
· A summer fund raising league where you contribute $500 to the charity. Did you know that the American Heart Association and the BPAA now have an alliance which will help you work with local chapters?
· A Miller High Life Shirt League that’s so retro that it is cool for your seniors or for companies…and you can do it in 8 weeks.
· A NASCAR league where participants get tickets to the Pocono 400. Available for proprietors in NY, NJ and PA.
· A Bowlers night at the ball park, whether it is major leagues or minor leagues. NO it’s not just giving them tickets. They don’t need you for that. It’s about putting together an adult child package that includes tickets, an autographed ball or picture of the team, food vouchers, play time for the kids on the field and maybe a meet and greet with the players. No doubt this would be easier in the minor league stadiums, but hey you never know. What’s that experience worth to Dad and Junior or Juniorette? You got it. Priceless!
· A series of company parties that you market as hard as or even harder than your holiday parties. What? Companies don’t have outings in the summer? Of course they do and here’s what you can promise: GUARANTEE THEM AN-INDOOR-NO RAIN-OUT-NO-ANTS-NO-SUN- BURN-NO-HEAT-STROKE-NO-DROWNING-NO-DEHYDRATION-NO FAINTING-SUMMER-OUTING. Think that’s enough benefits. Go put that on a big postcard as a headline and send it out. I’ll bet your phone will ring off the hook. And even if it doesn’t ring off the hook, you will get some parties…AND YOU’LL GET SOME PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT IT.
· How about turning the center into a club on Friday and Saturday nights and book a band schedule and publish it in April or May. “It’s expensive, I can’t do it. It’s hard.” Yeah, Yeah, I know, but here’s how you do it. Get your junior bowlers or high school bowlers to go scout up bands in the area. Then set a price of $15 to come in on Friday or Saturday night. You keep $10 and the band gets $5. If the band doesn’t have a following or know how to use social media; you don’t want them anyway. If you’re real creative, you might be able to get a few bucks from a charity to sponsor it or Pepsi or a store in town as a way to keep the kids off the street in the summer after the sun goes down and their “heat goes up”.
· Start your planning now. In February. Have it all done by March 1st. make your flier and websites open play friendly. Have leagues for competitively high average bowlers (scratch leagues, get better gear leagues, tournament leagues – run a different tourney each week – on the same lane conditions. Have leagues for low average bowlers (Bad Bowlers –I’m bad but getting better at Happy Lanes). Have leagues and instructions for newbies; for newcomers in the neighborhood who usually move after their kids are out of school for the summer.
· And then go back and check on which leagues were successful last year Create an incentive for those bowlers to bring a friend. Create an incentive for your employees too. If you’re still thinking $2 a bowler, you might as well close this summer. I’m talking $25 a bowler for a 13 to 15 week summer and $100 a team for the same thing. Think about it, if the league bowls 13 weeks and you get $10 per bowler per week, you’re getting $520 per team. If you get A NEW team that didn’t bowl with you since last summer, that’s an additional $420 you will get that you didn’t have last year. NOT $100 you will spend. You don’t spend it until you get the increment over last year’s 10 x 4 league.
All right now. Lift your spirits. Go out there and fire up your team. Brainstorm every new idea possible and then go out there and make your customers say WOW!
And WOW again!!