Promoting your basketball program might not be front and center in the minds of coaches heading into a new season. However, this concept remains an integral part to the long-term health of your program. Developing a culture of excellence that produces results on the court stands obviously as the most difficult part of a coach’s job. But branding can often provide that promotional push to get your program to the next level.
So the question becomes: how to promote your basketball program? The answer stretches from your school community to social media.
Promote Your Basketball Program on Local News Outlets
One of the simplest, and most time-honored, ways to promote your basketball program comes from providing key information to local news outlets. Although traditional media continues to evolves, local newspapers often rely on high school content to fill out their sports sections. This can be as simple as sending a schedule and roster to start the season, in hopes of regular game coverage.
Once the season starts, send statistics and game recaps after every game. This will help establish a rapport with the local beat writer covering high school sports and make your program more likely to be featured. Consistent coverage could get your program’s names in front of more eyes. This can also help expose talented players for potential college recruitment.
You can pitch unique ideas for potential feature pieces to promote your basketball program. And should the news outlet provide an on-site reporter, make sure you and some of your players are available for comment.
Promote Your Basketball Program Through Community Involvement
Another way to promote your basketball program is to have your players and coaches engage within the school and local community. Many students need service hours helping charitable organizations as part of school or scholarship requirements. Some schools are encouraging their student athletes to average 15 to 20 hours per semester helping community organizations.
Getting your players involved benefits them in that regard and it can help with team-building. Some of the options for community involvement include:
- clothing drives
- food drives
- holiday toy drives
- volunteer hours at homeless shelters
- basketball clinics for middle or elementary school players
Engaging in these activities will provide a boost to team morale and help those in need in your community. Be sure to notify local news outlets for coverage to extend the promotional reach of these activities. Any feature pieces that come from these events showcase your basketball program in a positive light.
Clinics also provide a platform to introduce local young talent to your program and your coaching style. It cultivates a beneficial relationships within the local basketball community and may give you an inside track for up-and-coming athletes.
When possible and appropriate, your players should wear their uniforms or other team paraphernalia to help promote the program and demonstrate unity.
Promote Your Basketball Program on Social Media
Perhaps the best way to promote your basketball program these days comes via social media. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, even Facebook, provide platforms where teenagers and some parents remain active. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, surveys show that 90 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 17-years-old use social media.
The best way to promote your basketball program on social media comes with consistent fan engagement. Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Posting season schedules
- Reminding fans of game days and encouraging fans to attend
- Showing some of your team’s game highlights
If you’re not tech or social media savvy enough, or lack a comfort level with this platform, there’s no doubt the players themselves will have ideas of what and how to post. Perhaps putting this responsibility on a team manager or young assistant coach would work.
With social media, it’s important to be consistent and engaging with fans and your school community. Never go extended periods without posting on some platform. This engagement can be a fun and exciting way to promote your basketball program, and to do so on platforms where students and the school community will undoubtedly see it.
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