These are unprecedented times for everyone, including your club members. As of January 2021, grassroots sport has been suspended again in the UK - but we all hope it will return in phases over the coming months.
As national governing bodies and public officials respond, Pitchero is here to support your club. We have useful features and support staff on hand to help your club through this difficult time.
All Pitchero staff are now working remotely but all of our systems, including Support, Account Management and Development are working as normal.
Here are a few ways Pitchero can support your club. We'll talk through keeping in touch with members, ideas for content, membership fees and fundraising below.
Communicating with your club members
To get in touch with all of your club members, you have two options;
1) Post a news item on the club homepage. This can be updated and edited at any time and held in place at the top of the homepage.
2) Send an email to all registered members using the club communication feature.
Messaging specific teams, players or parents
Team Managers and Coaches can message groups of players and parents using the Club Control Panel or the Pitchero Manager app.
1) How to send an email message to groups of players and parents.
2) How to send a message to my team using the Manager App.
Want to know more about how to communicate with, and engage your club members in the current circumstances?
Click below to watch our Club Communication Webinar:
Cancelling or postponing games and training sessions
Postponing a game:
Webmasters and Team Admins can manage general fixture information, including whether the game is going ahead, in the Club Control Panel and Pitchero Manager app.
If your league competition games are managed by a third-party system (Hockey FixturesLive or the ECB’s Play-Cricket.com, the fixture should first be marked as postponed or cancelled on the third-party system first).
For more information on competitions managed by third-party integrations, click here.
Much like games, training sessions can be cancelled in the Club Control Panel or Manager app
Should I register members ahead of the new season?
Coronavirus has made forward planning really tough. For winter sports, it's been stop-start. National governing bodies will advise when and how a season can continue.
Taking cricket as an example, club cricket had half a season in 2020 and while there's no crystal ball at Pitchero HQ, we believe there's every reason to be positive for a full season. Here's a feature on Sunbury CC that might offer some ideas.
It is important to keep money coming through the door. Membership fees have a significant impact for the vast majority of grassroots clubs, and losing out on valuable membership payments could put your club in peril.
We encourage all clubs, where possible, to continue collecting payments as normal, but make the following considerations:
- Ensure your club is on the front foot with all communications to members
- Provide updates on what’s happening at your club, updates from the national governing body, and explain how the latest news affects your club and members.
- Clarify where the member’s generous money continues to go a long way for the continued running of your club
- Let members know there is an open door for members to voice any concerns
- Take into account individual circumstance
- Some of your members may wish to continue paying their subscription fees as normal, and count the time without sport as a donation to the club.
- If your club collects subscription based payments from members (e.g. £20 per month), you could change the amount collected from the member (e.g. reduce the payment down to £10 per month whilst there’s no sport happening). This feature works for both increasing or decreasing the amount collected. For more information, please see this guide.
- Your club could agree to continue collecting the member’s payments and refund specific payments to ensure the subscription keeps going. Refunds are processed through the payment provider dashboard following this guide.
- Some members may wish to stop paying for now and that’s understandable. There isn’t an option to temporarily pause or freeze the member’s subscription, but you can cancel a member’s payment subscription immediately through the club control panel following this guide.
Start a fundraising campaign
With seasons heavily impacted by lockdowns and less far sport, the usual income for clubs has been hit hard. Clubs can use Pitchero's fundraising tool to start a campaign, add a target, publish donors and raise funds.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, clubs raised £25,000 in the first six days this fundraising tool was launched back in April!
Here's our Ultimate Marketing Plan to Boost Fundraising during Covid-19 - including social media assets to use.
These are excellent examples of how clubs are using the fundraising tool to make a difference.
There's also a webinar below with our CEO Mark Fletcher, where we show you a bulletproof plan to increase your online club donations, including templates and examples from successful Pitchero clubs.
How to keep players, parents and all club members engaged whilst sport is postponed?
Although no sport is being played, your club website can remain a hive of activity. Within the archives of past match reports, videos and photos, you will have a library of content which you can dust off and reuse.
Here are a few content ideas you can upload and share with your club members:
- Repost past videos of great goals and tries.
- Post old photo of players ‘Then & Now!’
- Post ‘On this day….’ and go back and find past match reports, great victories and repost the reports in your club news section.
- Create a ‘Quiz of the Day!’ go into the stats archive and create a few daily questions for club members and fans. ‘Who scored the double in the cup semi-final in 2009’.’ ‘Who got a yellow card against XX in 2008’. You will be amazed by how much content you have - use it!
- Fitness challenges can be fun and get everyone involved. Here's our post on Lockdown fitness from sport-specific training to the world of Joe Wicks on YouTube.
Clubs have been creative with their own efforts such as Vigo RFC's Lockdown Challenge which raised money for NHS Charities Together on a 974km virtual tour of 100 clubs across the south east.
Looking for ideas?
We've also created a blog post with 10 great ideas on how to keep members engaged whilst sport is on hold.
Can I speak to a Pitchero Account Manager or Support Agent?
Yes. All Account Manager and Support staff are working as normal. We are no longer taking phone calls BUT a video call or screen sharing call can be set up if required.
To contact a member of the Pitchero Support team email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find lots of useful information in our Help Centre.
To contact your Account Manager, click here to book a call back.
Governing Bodies and Public Agencies
National Governing Bodies, in consultation with the UK Government, will follow their return-to-play roadmaps when recreational sport can resume.
To make sure you are in the loop, keep checking your NGB website and track updates on social media. In our Covid-19 Hub, there's a list of NGBs by sport and country and their coronavirus resources.
Stay safe and we will be continuing to share new content here on the Pitchero blog to help clubs throughout the year.