As communities re-discover their local sporting facilities post-pandemic, many clubs are looking for ways to appeal to a larger audience. Legacy Lighting is helping these clubs freshen up and upgrade their outdoor spaces, ready for the crowds.

Many facilities run by clubs, for example local bowls clubs, had a period of glory and have slipped into disrepair as management changed, social economics evolved or a variety of other reasons.

Many of the facilities are in dire need of an upgrade and repair, but there aren’t sufficient funds, so membership numbers decline as people move to better, newer clubs and revenues continue to drop. This doom-loop is well-known and afflicts most clubs at some stage.

Recently Thornbury Bowls Club in Melbourne was stuck in the same loop, until it came under new management and began considering ways to improve the experience for locals. It had plenty of indoor and outdoor space, but member numbers were dwindling and funds were low.

Slowly the club started minor internal improvements and attracted other groups to use the facility as a meeting place and club room. As that revenue filtered through, more improvements were made, which attracted more members from other clubs.

Improving the lighting was the next step; opening up the opportunity for night practices, summer evening parties and broader events. A game of bowls was still part of the mix, but the club was now much more than just bowls, going from strength to strength and steadily gaining popularity.

The major winners in this upgrade have definitely been the local community of Thornbury, now having a facility that’s open most nights for a range of activities.

Allowing residents to meet new people, join new groups and build a stronger community; which is what a local club is all about.

5 step plan to increasing membership numbers at your club

A simple five step process has been used by many clubs, but is often overlooked in the gradual erosion of membership and revenues.

1. Acceptance

Is the management and leadership on board with the need to change? Without a will to change, all obstacles will be regarded as mountains and nothing will happen.

2. Assess

Where is the club at with membership numbers and revenue, and what has been the past 24 month trend? Be realistic – this is a critical catalyst for change.

3. Innovate

This is where the old thinking has to be changed. How can the club better utilise the facilities? Is there under-utilised space that can be made profitable? Can spare rooms be used for other clubs and activities, and can the facility appeal to a broader base? Rethinking the model will involve getting ideas from all age groups. If there is only one age group at the club, get locals to voice an opinion as to what they would like to see happening.

4. Plan

Take these ideas and capitalise on the opportunity. Grants may be available, but don’t depend on them; and have a five year plan of what to do and how to achieve it. This is where marketing and finance members need to work together to make the numbers work.

5. Action

This is where the team ensures the plan is actioned, answerable to board members, who understand the process and plan.

There are numerous case studies where this process has changed the fortunes of a club within two years.

Having a vision for what can be achieved is vital, along with a strong resolve to make it happen, and great resources to give the club the facelift it deserves.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Legacy Sport Lighting, which creates solutions for sports lighting and offers a full-service package that includes assessment, design, supply, installation, and maintenance.

Need help with a sport lighting project? Go to https://legacysportlighting.com/

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