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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Valuing Volunteers

With the exception of 2020, which wiped out youth sports, one of my favorite moments each year is reviewing the final applications from the NAYS volunteer coach- and parent-of-the-year nominations. Applications come in from around the world from member organizations on almost every U.S. military installation that organizes youth sports.

Recognizing volunteers has always been one of the top priorities of youth-sports administrators. It is always on top of the list when we survey members about the best ways to attract more volunteers to programs. I don’t know of a better way to recognize volunteers than with awards that shine a spotlight on all the hard work and effort they put into programs in their communities.

Reading about the moms and dads who spend hours before, during, and even after a season concludes is truly inspiring. I think about the military mom who won the Parent of the Year award a couple years back. A number of her children were enrolled in sports, and she took on the responsibility of coaching because many of the other parents were active duty and could not dedicate the time. The fact that she not only coached her own team of 7- and 8- year-olds, but also acted as a team mom for another team because of a lack of parents available, made her an easy selection. I think of a Coach of the Year recipient from a number of years ago who had contracted a flesh-eating virus, lost both of his hands and legs, and still returned to coach kids in a basketball league. And he’s still coaching today.

I also think of my own coaches and team moms from many years ago. Instead of going home from work, these hard-working men and women volunteered their time to work on drills with me and my teammates, and then would sit in the parking lot until dark discussing game strategy and line-ups. I didn’t appreciate it back then, but I sure do now.

These are the people who truly make youth sports operate. Just think about that for a second. If we had to pay these individuals for their true value, consider how much youth-sports participation would cost in this country. You really don’t have to wonder; just look to the school system and see what it costs to have qualified, caring individuals in charge of our children’s education. It truly is astounding when you think about it.

What’s even more astounding is not every organization we work with actually takes the time to participate in the award program. Of course, there is only one winner for each category nationally, but that doesn’t limit the impact that can be made locally. One doesn’t need a national award to make an impact. We encourage all organizations to give multiple awards during the season. A weekly or even a mid-season event, where volunteers can be nominated and recognized, can have a tremendous impact on a program and show volunteers they are valued and appreciated for their efforts. Plus, if recreation leaders are going to submit a nomination for an annual award or a national award, they have already done all the work.

We have always stressed to administrators that volunteers should be regarded as employees. Part of that process is screening to ensure you have only the best people with the best intentions; monitoring and recognizing those individuals is the best way to ensure volunteers will be willing to show up when the next season rolls around. Plus, what better way is there to inspire the next wave of parents who will be joining the program?

Click here for the original article

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How To Perfect Your Registration Setup

Setting up a registration can be a daunting task. There needs to be a lot of information collected, waivers signed, payments, and more. Many times, there are details left out of registrations that just make your job harder in the future. To some, a simple registration that collects payment and the name of a player will be all they need. But, every registration is different. Here are a few tips on how to perfect your registration setup!

1. Take your time.

Building a good registration doesn’t need to be a one-and-done task. Stretch out the building process over a few days, give yourself time to think of new data points and information that you’ll need to collect. This can also ease the stress of rushing and trying to quickly build a half-fledged registration. Setting some time aside and using the Sports Office 365 Registration Checklist is a great way to stay on top of your job!

2. Think of past mistakes and missing information.

It’s very easy to build what seems like a perfect registration that can be used over and over again; until the time comes to order uniforms and you realized you didn’t collect sizes. Look at past forms you’ve built and learn from what you’ve done in the past. Another option is reaching out to others or consulting online help to see what some of the most simple yet important information is that you may be missing.

3. Marketing your registration

Building a good registration is more than just adding in a few forms and then letting it sit. Registration is a constantly active program. Marketing your registration is going to be more in-depth than building the actual form; and arguably, more important. Marketing, whether it be social media, email, or any other preferred method: is an easy way to boost up your exposure. The more people you market to, the more registrants you’ll get. Be sure to set a good amount of time aside and plan to market far in advance.

4. Keep it simple

A well-designed registration is simple. There is no need for elaborate steps or forms that take more than 10 minutes to complete. The more user-friendly, the better!

5. Run Tests!

Perhaps one of the most forgotten about steps in this process is testing the actual process. The last thing you want is to go into your registration platform a week after it opened only to see nothing has been working the whole time. Set time aside to run through it yourself, have friends, and others test it for you. The more testing and tweaking you do, the easier it’ll be on you in the end.

Building a good registration doesn’t need to be hard. Set some time aside market, run tests. The more time and attention you set aside to building a good form, the easier it’ll be on your parents, and your future self!

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The 7 Day Registration Checklist

Building a registration form can be difficult, especially if you’re doing so by yourself. Check out our 7-Day checklist inspired by TeamSnap!

1. Find a Good Platform

Finding a good platform to set up your registration is the most important step in staying organized. A good platform will allow you to collect as many data points as you need, collect a payment, and track all the happenings of who is registering and when. Getting a good system in place will save you a lot of time and effort in the end!

2. Find out what needs to be recorded

Data is the quintessential piece to your registration setup. Without the appropriate information, you’ll get disorganized and things will start to fall apart. It’s important to take some time to think about what you may need to do with the data in the future and set out some of the major data points you need to be recorded.

3-4. Begin building your form

Once you have found a good foundation and set some time aside to take notes on your registration fields, it’s time to get to work building it out. Take some extra time to really make sure that you hit every point when building this out. Incomplete or difficult registration will only make the lives harder for yourself, coaches, volunteers, players, and parents. Building something simple and easy for parents to complete is the ideal goal when formatting. There is no need for anything too flashy on the registration side of things.

5. Run Through Tests

Now that your registration form is complete, have yourself and a few others run some tests. You may find you missed a data point or find you want to add or remove certain items. You also want to make sure someone other than yourself can run through these tests to get a good outside perspective on the ease of the process.

6. Begin Marketing

After the registration building process is complete, you aren’t done yet. Marketing your program is just as important as the initial setup. Marketing your program can be done either through social media, email marketing, flyers, or whatever your preferred method may be. The more your program is marketed, the more traction it’s going to get.

7. Launch, Promote, and Track

You’ve built out your registration, marketed it, and now it’s time to launch. Once your registration is active, it’s not time to slow down. You’ll want to keep active on things, especially in the first few days to make sure everything is running smoothly. Keeping a watchful eye on things as time passes will help you prepare for the actual program you run. This will also give you a good idea of things you may want to change in the future the next time you set up your registration!

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