Every season, teams refresh their spirit store. The spirit wear manager uploads a team logo, selects some items like t-shirts, socks, sweatshirts, & joggers, and then send an email to their membership announcing the store’s opening. Your spirit wear manager might even include a link in your registration session with a link to the store, but using the 'set-it-and-forget-it' method means you are missing out on a large chunk of funds. These funds could be helping support your organization with scholarships, new equipment, or field costs.
Take a look at these three ways to give your members and their families reasons to visit your spirit store any time of year.
Design something unique for an upcoming holiday
In 2014, sports cartoonist and comic David Rappoccio created a series of Halloween-themed NFL logos. The series, published on UPROXX, kicked off a regular series for David. Over the years, he's created NFL-based themes like Game of Thrones and Americana. Other designers have even picked up the trend taking on the NHL and NBA.
Topping the list of holidays to consider are Halloween and Christmas. A great but over-the-top example is from the French hockey team Boxers Bordeaux. This full Christmas-themed holiday kit takes it to the next level, but any fan of the team certainly snap up the limited edition jersey.
While you might not be ready to design something so elaborate, you could update your designs in all pink for Valentine's Day or something inspired by the Luck of the Irish on St. Paddy’s Day. Another idea to consider is around awareness months or causes. For example, take a look at this Breast Cancer Awareness jersey created by the Plymouth Whalers for Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
With some creativity and help from a designer, this same concept can be used in your store.
Refresh your offerings
While you should always have around ten different basics—T-Shirts, Hoodies, Quarter Zip Pullovers, Joggers, sweatpants, etc.—you should introduce new products 3 to 4 times per year. Refreshing allows frequent buyers to build their spirit wear wardrobe without running out of options.
One easy way to bring in new products is to add seasonal items such as sweatshirts, hats, and gloves in the autumn and shorts, tank tops, and windbreakers for warmer weather. Also, don’t forget about key gift-giving seasons like the winter holidays, where you should ensure you have a selection of branded giftable items.
Beyond having a fresh set of products in your store for frequent visitors, this gives you a reason to send a message to your member list or promote it on social media.
Use your store’s fundraising function to include additional dollars
The holidays are the season of giving, especially for youth sports organizations. Statistics show that nearly one-third of all annual giving happens in December. People are constantly looking for ways to support their favorite organizations, especially youth sports parents.
A great way to get friends and family to support ‘giving’ is through the purchasing of apparel or spirit wear supporting your team. Most online apparel stores offer built-in fundraising functions to simplify this process. Simply add an automatic amount, and all of the prices are adjusted to reflect the included donation amount.
At the end of the day, your store is a way to keep families engaged with your organization throughout the year. Remember, parents and young athletes have television, online games, other sports, and a multitude of other activities trying to get a slice of their time. Make sure that the seasonal registration isn't the only time of the off-season that families hear from you.