Most sports teams in the “minor league” or “independent league” business believe in the mantra that their enterprises exist solely to serve as “local, affordable family-friendly entertainment”. This website does not believe that the teams and leagues should believe in such a limiting belief/underlying core notion. With so much potential to reach audiences far beyond that “magical 30 mile radius” around your stadium or arena, we think that your team and league has the potential for so much more revenue than just selling entertainment to the locals.
Nonetheless, we understand that you may ardently defend that all you need to succeed is to master putting on entertainment for the local fans. Therefore, please at least consider an extra way to have people in YOUR local market:
- discover you in ways which you may not yet have considered, hopefully having them buy more tickets
- put revenues in your pocket directly, 365 days a year
- have leverage going into any conversation with a prospective sponsor who may be hesitant to pay your asking price for signage, game program ads, etc.
A way in which to achieve these objectives, while adding actual value to your fans AND those in your area who do not yet know that your team exists, is to leverage the “authority” your website has in the local market. You may not realize how much potential your website has to rank in the search engines for phrases people enter in your local market every day.
Every day people in your market are going to the search engines looking for home repair professionals (e.g. plumbers and carpenters), dry cleaners, accountants, and other products and services. While you might be saying, “Who cares?”, the potential your website can make a significant difference if you give this just a few more minutes!!
Your website has LOCAL authority in the search engines for several reasons, primarily based on the quality and number of websites & blogs linking to your website for which you do not have to reciprocate. For example, any pro sports team likely will have a link coming in from Wikipedia. You also are likely receiving links from the chamber of commerce, your local convention and visitors bureau, the local newspaper website and even from a page on your local government’s website. All of these are deemed, by the search engines, to be “authoritative” enough to help you leapfrog over other pages in the search engines.
You will want to create an “Around town” section on your website, and then create 30-50 new “sub pages”. You will create one for each major service people are seeking in your market and which does not conflict with your current exclusive sponsorships. You then will create “tips” or “how to choose” articles, properly optimized for the local keyword phrases which have high demand in your market.
Let’s use the example of a landscaper in your area who wants to increase business during the winter. Chances are that the landscaping service wants more leads so he/she is paying for online banner ads, paying for Google ads, or paying for telephone leads through legitimate lead generation services. You would want to have a sub-page on your team’s website rank on the first page of the search engines for the phrase “yourcity winter landscaping” and similar phrases.
If you are able to do this properly then you can run ads on that page of your website or sell the ad spot to a local landscaper EVEN IF he/she would normally never become a sponsor of your team. That service wants the exposure so badly that he/she will pay your team $ X per month to be the exclusive banner ad on that page because that page is getting traffic which the landscaper is not.
Of course, doing this for 40 to 50 industry categories in your local market can be rather lucrative if done properly. If you get 50 pages ranked in the search engines and then charge a local business $100 per month (per category) then your team can get $5000/month ($60,000 per year) for “selling virtual real estate”. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg; but most minor league or independent teams shouldn’t shoot down the possibility of tens of thousands of dollars just because they are not fully adept at basic local search engine optimization.
There are MANY elements to making this work properly, so please contact us for more ideas including:
- staying compliant with the search engines
- increasing the likelihood of ranking on the first page and staying there for these new “sub-pages”
- how to monetize these pages equally (if not better!) if you don’t have the staff time or inclination to sell exclusive sponsorships to local businesses
- how this traffic also can translate to possible ticket and merchandise purchases
Thank you and we look forward to talking with you and your sports team’s (or league’s) representatives soon.