How to be successful in online sport communication

As a sports enthusiast or professional the main way you engage with sports organizations and their content is likely online. Whether that be following your favorite team and sports stars on social media, browsing sports organizations’ websites, or listening to their podcasts.

The ways in which users want and expect to consume sports content is vast. That’s why before engaging in the numerous channels of online communication, sports organizations must consider the various factors which influence it and the essential components for success.

In this post, we explore said factors, adapted from Strategic Sport Communication. 

Model for online sport communication

Conceptualized by Kim Miloch of Texas Woman’s University, the Model for Online Sport Communication (MOSC) addresses the key factors which influence online sport communication and the elements required to be successful. The model takes into account all aspects of an organization’s online communication including its social media, mobile apps, and digital video content.

The MOSC highlights seven factors that it sees to be most pertinent: 

  1. Individuals’ level of involvement with the respective sport entity
  2. Individuals’ motives for internet use
  3. Content of the sports entity’s online media
  4. Design of the sports entity’s online media
  5. Performance of the sports entity’s online media
  6. Usability of the sports entity’s online media
  7. The commerce of the sports entity’s online media
Image from Strategic Sport Communication
Factors 1 and 2:
  1. Individuals’ level of involvement with the respective sport entity
  2. Individuals’ motives for internet use

The first and second components of the MOSC illustrate the role of people’s involvement with the sports entity and their motives for using the Internet. These components are presented first because they form the basis for individuals’ desires, needs, and expectations when visiting a sports entity’s online platforms. In other words, depending on the person’s needs, one of the remaining components may influence the effectiveness of the entity’s communication more than another component. For example, if someone desires to download a podcast, the performance and usability components of the model may be most pertinent to that person. If the podcast takes too long to download, the individual will not be satisfied, and the opportunity for effective and enhanced communication will be lost. In contrast, if someone visits a sports entity’s website to retrieve game statistics for a specific player, then the site’s content, design, and usability components are likely to be most important in the online communication process. This person will want the content quickly, and the website should easily lead him or her to the desired content through its design and usability.

Therefore, the influence of individual motives in the online sport communication process should not be overlooked. These motives influence people’s needs, and online sport communication should address those needs. The remaining five components of the model—factors three to seven—address the online needs of sports consumers. These five factors are not limited to websites; rather, in today’s ever-expanding technological environment, they also apply to other forms of online communication such as social media, digital videos, podcasts, and smartphone apps.

Factor 3: Content of the sports entity’s online media

The third component of the MOSC focuses on content. A sports entity’s digital communication should deliver content that not only meets users’ needs but also reflects positively on the mission and values of the organization. That said, users desire a range of content, and the sports entity should provide it quickly.

Factor 4: Design of the sports entity’s online media

The fourth component of the model reflects the importance of design in online sport communication. Whereas sports entities are bound by the design and interactivity features of social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, the design of their own website can influence user interaction. Interactivity differentiates online sport communication from other media and, when well enabled, can greatly enhance communication with sports consumers.

Factor 5: Performance of the sports entity’s online media

The fifth component of the MOSC focuses on the performance of online sport communication platforms and the importance of enabling users to access and download certain features in a timely manner. When sports entities rely on third parties to deliver their messages, it is incumbent upon the organization to choose partners that provide a consistent and reliable service. For example, if an organization has its own podcast, it may choose to make it available for download via its own website as well as through third-party applications such as iTunes or Stitcher. The organization must select these third-party applications carefully.

Factor 6: Usability of the sports entity’s online media

The sixth component involves usability—that is, people’s ability to use the features of the site to gather the desired sports information. If a sports entity’s communication mechanisms are not readily usable, communication becomes much more challenging, and the sports entity struggles to get its messages out to its public.

Factor 7: Commerce of the sports entity’s online media

The seventh and final component of the model focuses on commerce. The internet is not only a highly effective communication tool but also one with great potential to promote and market products; the role of online sport communication in marketing the entity is examined as part of this component.

Summary 

The components of the Model for Online Sport Communication are instrumental in cultivating high-quality communication and helping the sports entity develop an effective online presence. It is a model which will be useful for students and practitioners alike.

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Meet us at the United Soccer Coaches Convention!

The United Soccer Coaches Convention is back for another year, and we’ll be back in attendance! The USC will be held in Philadelphia this year on January 11-15, 2023. Want to learn more about the convention? CLICK HERE

What Can You Expect at USC 2023?

Only at the Convention can you attend sessions crafted with your coaching level and desired topics in mind. Presented by world-class presenters, our collection of over 200 lecture sessions and field demonstrations will offer every coach something to bring back to their own training sessions.

Build your network of support with coaches from across the country all in one location. The Convention features socials, meal functions, and award ceremonies that allow attendees to make lasting connections with other coaches and administrators.

Scope out the latest in uniforms, equipment, and technology by visiting our Exhibit Hall. Featuring vendors from all corners of the soccer landscape, attendees can meet with representatives, test out products, and find solutions to assist with daily coaching and administrative duties.

United Soccer Coaches administers an extensive award and recognition program designed to recognize excellence in soccer, academics, and service to the game. Coaches and players are recognized across both genders and all divisions.

The networking opportunities alone will make an impact on your career. You will create and build relationships with new, like-minded coaches and form friendships that will last a lifetime. You will also be able to meet up with coaching friends, colleagues, and contacts that you may only get to see once a year.

Why will Sports Office be Attending?

USC is a great way for us to meet you, and talk about your club, club needs, and more! Being in attendance allows us to market to new and existing clients as well as make presentations on what’s going on with our services! This also allows us to sit in on discussions and presentations on new technology, services, and ways for us to adapt to the ever-changing market. With new technological advancements, it allows us to learn new systems that best fit your club!

Interested in Meeting with Us?

Want to set up a time to meet with one of our staff, hear a presentation, or learn more about what we do? Reach out to us in one of the following ways!

Schedule a meeting

Shoot us an email: info@sportsoffice365.com

Give us a call: (443) 267-3100

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Capitals Season Preview- SO365 Opinion

The Washington Capitals are the officially supported team of Sports Office 365. With members of our staff supporting the hockey club for 20+ years and having worked in the organization: we take pride in our opinions and evaluations as fans.

Ovi Chases the Great One

Outside of another triumphant Stanley Cup victory, I think most Caps fans can agree that the main focus over the next few years is Ovechkin chasing Gretzky’s scoring record. Ovi will only need to score 29 more goals per season for the rest of his current contract to catch Gretzky. With each passing year comes another year of elite-level hockey taking a toll on his body. Thankfully for Ovi, he is a Russian Machine who tends to stay very healthy.

Sports Office Prediction: 35+ Goals in 2022-2023

An Aging Core with Young Flare

The Caps enter season as the second-oldest team in the league. With the core players, we have grown to love over the past many years reaching their final few seasons, the Caps are going to need to start relying on their young players. The Caps have a pretty good pipeline of prospects, but as we have seen, Coach Peter Laviolette is happy with the old core. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the lack of experience for younger players could be a bit of a wildcard. But, the season is still early, so I expect a steady rotation of players throughout the year.

Sports Office Prediction: Dylan Strome (25 Y/O) top 5 in Points on the team

Injuries, Injuries, and a few more Injuries

The Caps are in a very very tough spot at the moment with the number of injuries some star players are currently facing. Tom Wilson and Nick Backstrom are out indefinitely with some pretty severe injuries and off-season surgeries. Carl Hagelin may not return to the sport after suffering severe eye damage last year and suffering another injury before the season began. Newly acquired signing Connor Brown has just been placed on LTIR with an undisclosed lower-body injury that may require surgical repairs. And a few other Caps have been showing signs of age with some consistent minor injuries. While this could be a good chance for young guys to get in the lineup, missing the likes of Wilson and Brown long-term will be a huge blow.

Sports Office Prediction: Wilson to Return in February

Competing in a Fast League

I couldn’t tell you the last time the Capitals were known as a fast team. Unless the Caps copy and paste Kuznetsov 4 more times, we’ll consistently be a slower team. One thing the Caps do have that not a lot of other teams in the league have is a brutally physical game. The Caps have been pretty consistent in their game plan for just breaking down the opponent and hitting hard on the forecheck, but can that continue to work in a league becoming dominated by speed? Well, it depends. Playing against the superstars like McDavid and Makar will never be easy, for any team. The Caps can manage to beat the speed by just playing smart and physical in transition. The biggest holes will come from turnovers in the neutral zone and in the opponent’s zone. The Caps tend to get caught out in transition when players get caught below the goal line. If they’re able to keep their game physical and aggressive on the forecheck they can minimize the odd-man rushes. The Capitals are going to need to rely on physical play to help wear down their opponents.

Sports Office Prediction: Wild Card Spot 1- Hopeful playoff run

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Recruiting Volunteers for Youth Sports Programs: 4 Tips

Your club’s volunteers are essential to keeping your youth sports programs running smoothly. They’re the coaches, assistants, and other cheerleaders that create a positive experience for the young athletes in your community, helping kids develop lifelong skills and friendships. 

But as a park and recreation professional, it can be challenging to recruit enough qualified volunteers to help out. You must find individuals who not only want to support your programs but also have enough free time in their schedules to actually do so. 

In this post, we’ll highlight four effective tips for recruiting volunteers for your youth sports programs: 

  1. Reach out to a wide range of audiences. 
  2. Use a multichannel approach. 
  3. Share the benefits of participation. 
  4. Set volunteers up for success.

Effective volunteer recruitment starts with connecting with the right people using the right message. What does that look like in reality? Read on to learn more!

1. Reach out to a wide range of audiences. 

The first people you probably turn to recruit volunteers for your youth sports programs are the athletes’ parents and guardians. But as you know, these individuals are often busy and may not always be looking to take on the responsibility that comes with volunteering. 

Therefore, make sure your recruitment strategy is wide-ranging and inclusive to give parents a break and ensure you aren’t overlooking any enthusiastic potential volunteers. Target your recruiting efforts to reach: 

  • Past volunteers: This includes past coaches, assistants, concession workers, referees, and other supporters who might have let their involvement lapse. You never know who might be interested in coming back!
  • Former youth sports program participants: Depending on how long your program has operated, you might have program alumni who are willing to contribute their time to create a great experience for this generation’s athletes.
  • High school or college student volunteers: High school and college students are often looking for ways to get involved in the community to earn service hours. Volunteering in a youth sports program can be a fun way to earn these hours. 

While these individuals might be a highly receptive audience for your recruitment efforts, don’t leave parent/guardian recruitment out of the picture entirely! Caregivers are often excited to engage in their child’s sports journey, making them a perennially helpful audience to turn to.

2. Use a multichannel approach. 

You won’t be able to reach all prospective volunteers by marketing your opportunities on just one platform. Take a multichannel approach and pursue a variety of recruitment platforms, including: 

  • In-person: Recruit ahead for next season by talking with attendees at games and practices. 
  • Traditional advertising: Post recruitment ads in your local newspaper, create flyers to hang in popular areas such as your local library or create direct mail postcards to send to prospective volunteers. 
  • Online marketing: Use your social media pages and email newsletters to spread the word about open positions. 

Use each platform to reinforce your message, boosting the chances that your target audience members will see and engage with your outreach content. 

3. Share the benefits of participation. 

Although they won’t be getting paid, that doesn’t mean your sports program volunteers won’t receive anything from their volunteer efforts. Your recruitment marketing materials should highlight volunteering benefits, including opportunities to: 

  • Help youth members of the community thrive in a constructive environment.
  • Fulfill volunteer hour requirements for a club or class. 
  • Get to know more people in the community.
  • Access any special volunteer perks you offer, such as free concessions or appreciation gifts.
  • Potentially be able to contribute a monetary donation to your organization via a volunteer grant

These benefits might provide the motivation some individuals need to not only get involved but also stay involved in your program for years to come. 

4. Set volunteers up for success.

Your program’s volunteers won’t want to head into a new sports season feeling unprepared, especially your new volunteers who are participating for the first time. Ensure your recruitment materials describe the type of support volunteers will receive before the season starts, including: 

  • Training: Offer a thorough pre-season training session for new coaches and assistants. 
  • Equipment/supplies: Provide volunteers with training equipment, such as cones, pinnies for scrimmages, goals, whistles, clipboards, etc. 
  • Participant waivers: Offer an online waiver system for participants’ guardians to sign digitally, taking the stress of getting waivers signed off your volunteers’ shoulders. 

Be responsive to questions early on in the recruitment process. Also, once volunteers sign up, use your volunteer management software to offer them a streamlined scheduling process that makes it easier to know where to be and when to be there. 

Enthusiastic, empowered volunteers can make all the difference when it comes to running your youth sports program. Be sure to reach out to a diverse group of potential volunteers and equip them with the proper resources to succeed. 

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Preparing for a New Season- The Official GotSport Guide

GotSport is a tool used all across the country to get teams carded and ready for another year of competition. GotSport is an essential tool in the mixed bag of running a sports organization. But, this tool becomes more complicated when you’re using an external registration platform. Whether a new club admin or volunteer or a season GotSport Vet; sometimes you run into problems and need a refresher. At Sports Office 365, we know how daunting GotSport can be at times. We’re helping out clubs by sharing the official GotSport article to help prepare you for a new season in GotSport! In the section below, you’ll find helpful tips, tricks, and direct links to GotSport articles.

Steps to Prepare for Season Transition if Using a Non-GotSport System for Registration

21/22 to 22/23 Transition FAQ: 

Will I have to create new teams? No, you can register your same existing teams to your league and adjust your rosters accordingly. 

What can I expect if I am uploading players to the system? 

You should have three different types of scenarios. Here is an FAQ for each scenario: 

Scenario One –  Players that played in my club last season: 

  •  As long as Affiliation, First Name, Last Name, DOB (with correct date format in the file), parent name, and email are the same; any other information will just update. 
  •  You may end up with a duplicate player profile in your player list if your file has a different name, gender, or DOB than the player that is already in your club’s player list in the system. If for some reason the data does not match, you can update the player profiles to match your spreadsheet or update your spreadsheet to match the player profile and reupload. 

Scenario Two –  Players that are brand new to the GotSport system: 

  • These players should upload and accounts will be created as long as you have the required columns in your file. 

Scenario Three – Players that are currently in the GotSport system, but played for a different organization last season: 

  • Data from the GotSport system matches your spreadsheet (Affiliation, First Name, Last Name, DOB, Gender). This will create a role for that player in your club, and you should see them in your Club Management Players list. 
  • If a parent does not get added to the player, it is because the parent email already exists in the system to someone else. 

What can I expect when adding coaches or managers to my club? 

You should have three different scenarios when adding coaches or managers to your club. Here is an FAQ for each scenario. 

Scenario One – Coaches/Managers who have a GotSport account already: 

  • If you are uploading, As long as the First Name, Last Name, and Email in your file match what is on their existing account, the coach/manager will be added to your club. 
  • If you are manually searching/adding these coaches and managers, and their First Name, Last Name, and Email matches the information you are searching for, you will be prompted to send a Role Request Approval email. If you search the additional optional information (Date of Birth, and Zip Code) you can bypass the email request and add them directly. 
  • If you have all the required information, you can bypass the email request by adding them directly to a team. This will give them the coach or manager role in your club. To do this, go to Club Management – Teams – Click on a team – Click Roster – Click coach or manager – search by First Name, Last Name, and email. 

Scenario Two – Coach or Manager does not have a GotSport Account: 

  • An account will get created for them via the upload or you will create the account for them if added manually. 

Scenario Three: The addition of a coach or manager fails because the email/user ID is already taken. 

  • This means there is an account in the system that already has the email that you are trying to add them with and the account does not match the first or last name. 
  • You can try to search for different variations of their name (Ex. Mat, Matt, or Matthew). 
  • Check your player’s list for that email. Make sure the player’s email is set in the contact email and try again. 
  • Add the coach/manager with a different email/userid and attach the email you have in their “contact email” box. 

Logging In and Adding Admins  

Account Login: See how to create and login to your GotSport User Account 

Create Club Administrators:  Adding Administrators 

Adding/Editing user title: Add a Title To A Club User 

  • This is a new requirement for all Admin users from last season

Editing an Admins Permissions: Editing an Admins Permissions 

  • Important when separating tasks/what is available in your User’s admin accounts if you would like to limit permissions/access.

Locating Required Governing Body Forms: Locating Required Governing Body Forms 

  • Any form made available for you from your governing organizations. For example Affiliation/Transfer Forms

General Club Management 

Players/Coaches/Managers 

Archive Players previous year players

Uploading players to your club- Note that if you do not include a competitive level or affiliation, you will not see your players initially after you upload and will need to adjust the filters on your player list for them to appear.

Any previously archived players that were uploaded will return to the active player list as long as their uploaded information matches the existing player profile that was archived.

Manually Creating a Player 

  • If you are manually creating players, use the existing player information and login from the previous season to avoid creating unnecessary duplicates
  • Search the player’s DOB, First Name, and Last Name to see if an account exists.  If yes, then add in the email and postal code to bypass the role approval process and directly add the player.
  • If a player does not appear when searching with additional fields (email, postal code), then the email or postal code data that was searched does not match what is listed on the player’s account.

Adding a Player Photo 

  • The player photo from the previous season will appear on the profile by default.  If it needs to be updated, follow the steps in the link above to add a new one while removing the old one.

Add Documents to a Player 

  • If needed for any reason, proof of birth document can be added to a player with the steps above.

Coaches 

Archive Coaches

Coach Upload 

Creating Coaches 

Managers 

Archive Managers

Manager Upload 

Creating Managers 

Duplicate Coach, Manager, and Player User Check – If duplicate player/coach/manager accounts have been created unintentionally, these can be merged as long as the first name, last name, gender and DOB match on both profiles 

Teams  

Archive Teams (If wish to)

Resetting the team player list

Creating a Team Account– When creating a team, set the team age to what the team age is the time of creation, not the next seasonal year’s age.

Team Lock

Roster Lock

Hiding Player List

Team ages do not need to be changed manually.  When the new season begins on August 1, all team ages will update automatically in the system.  If a team age is manually changed, the system will then have the team “age up” again on August 1 and the age will be incorrect.

If Team Rosters are the same from the previous season with minor changes

Team Rosters Starting from Scratch – 

DO NOT CLONE AT ALL – Players From the Previous Season will be removed during the next steps

When you’ve completed building your teams, sync your team rosters – When you sync your rosters, any players that are not on any current or upcoming event roster will automatically be removed from the team.

Printing off Official Rosters and Player Passes

Click here for the full article on the GotSport website

Feeling overwhelmed by GotSport? Reach out to us today for assistance! We are industry experts in GotsSport and in getting your club carded and ready for another season.

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