|Creetown Bowling Club|
Case study background
“We have 28 members, my target is 70 by the end of the season.”
The club knew it had a problem and identified a need to increase bowling participation within the community and to attract new members. Members knew they faced a challenge as bowling was viewed locally as being elitist and exclusive.
Plan of action
In order to do this efficiently and effectively the club had to make several changes to its constitution. These changes allowed office bearers greater freedom to act on behalf of the club and clearly stated that the clubs facilities should be open to all in the community.
“I have been involved in the club for around 40 years. There were lots of members but sadly over the years this had diminished. At the beginning of 2008 with a new young President and Committee things began to change. This has formed a new chapter for our club.
Before targeting potential new members the club evaluated its current membership structure and put together a new package which members believed would help to attract the community to the bowling club. The key changes included introducing new membership categories and a promotional offer for first year members.TABLE
Family Membership n/a First junior free. Membership available to one and two parent families who are adult members of the club
In addition the club also took the brave decision to freeze its bar prices for the year. This was a key incentive to retain existing members and also attract potential new members.
The club knew that for the plan to be successful it had to communicate better with the local community. It started its drive to increase memberships by distributing a newsletter to every household in the town. This was a quick and easy way to promote the club and highlight to residents what Creetown Bowling Club has to offer to them.
In anticipation of those efforts to attract new members proving successful, the club had to be well prepared for welcoming them. The simple measures they took included re-designing their membership application, creating a database of members and ensuring coaching was available for new members.
“I have worked at the bowling club voluntarily for a few years. It was dated and the future didn’t look good. Since 2008 with a new president the club has trebled its membership. With a lot of hard work and new ideas the club has not looked back.”
In July 2009 the club threw open its doors to the local community by hosting an Open Day. Not only did it offer people the chance to try bowls but they also had other fun games and activities such as a bouncy castle, a disco and a barbeque.
The large increase in club memberships also led, in turn, to the clubs weekly sweep nights increasing from 6-8 members participating each week to 24-36 members taking part. As a result the sweep night was made into a league. Each weekly winner receives a cash prize and the top four of the league at the end of the season also receive a cash prize. This has been a great way for the club to integrate new members and to ensure the green is being frequently used.
They have a major refurbishment of the clubhouse taking place during 2010 and are hoping that the membership will break 100 before the end of this year. There are also plans to create a website for the club to continue improving communications with members and the local community.
“Creetown Bowling Club strives with passion and desire to operate a first class bowling club, not only for its members but also for the small community it is situated within. I believe the club has set a high marker for other clubs who are looking to increase revenue, improve facilities and most importantly attract new members from the community.”