Promoting Your League
Below are nine tips from local leagues and table tennis centres on how to promote, market and increase participation in your local league.
We are keen to share other successful ways leagues have done this. Do you have some tried and tested ideas? Let us know at [email protected] adding “league tips” in the subject heading and include links to any resources and articles that you are willing to share.
We’ve produced a handy guide to running a League which you can download here and at the foot of this page.
You may not even know they exist, but there are many social table tennis sessions taking place in community centres, church halls and Ping Pong Parlours throughout the country. Run by enthusiastic volunteers, many are 50+ sessions for adults who want to keep active and socialise.
Contact them, introduce yourself, see if there is anything you can help with, sources of equipment, bats, balls, sources of funding etc. Ask if they mind listing their session on your website. Confirm their contact and session details.
Promote these sessions and other sessions your clubs run on your website and to your current league membership. Some may attend social sessions already, but many won’t even know about them.
Some players will go to different sessions each week, improving their level of play and a step nearer to joining your league. Over time this two-way movement of players help link social sessions with league play and a potential new source of players for local clubs and your league.
Identify some key players who attend social sessions who could possibly help recruit keen players into local teams. It won’t be for everyone, but some may be interested.
Google Maps is often the first place someone looks to find a suitable local table tennis session. Try finding table tennis activity in your area on google maps. If you have a Table Tennis Centre or club and are not listed, you can see how to add your club here, including session details, images, contact details and a link to your website. See example.
Use your free TT Leagues or TT Clubs website as a shop window for your league and to promote any sessions you run. Add an article to your site on how to enter your league.
Don’t ignore local press and radio but use them to point people to your sessions, website and social media pages.
Ping! in the Community is a great way of helping new social sessions get up and running. Equipment and resources subsidised by Sport England can help new sessions become established.
To help find social sessions in your area see the find a place to play section of our website, type in your town/city, select 10 miles radius, click on show filters, select any filter options and apply.
Are you a University Town or City? If so check to see if they enter table tennis teams into the BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) table tennis league. Use google search and type in “University or College name Table Tennis” this will often list a key contact and a dedicated facebook page. Arrange to meet them to see how they could get involved. For example Lancaster University have four teams that play in the Lancaster League and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS Colleges) have three teams that enter the Bristol League.
It can be difficult to commit to play from 7 to 11pm on different nights of the week at different venues. Many women and parents in particular don’t like going to different venues in the middle of winter. So why not try a Fast Format League, a shorter two a side (2 singles and 1 doubles) league in a multi table venue, either in parallel with your existing league or as a summer league. There are many great examples of this throughout the country. Want to know more contact us at [email protected]
Many leagues have moved their fixtures and rules online, but some also produce a handbook, something players can easily refer to. Having a handbook as well as a website can help promote and raise awareness of your league and raise funding via advertising and sponsorship. Print extra copies to give to parents and sponsors. It’s cheaper to print a handbook these days particularly if you provide the content in pdf format.
The elephant in the room, is of course that it takes time and effort from volunteers to do all the above. You can’t do it all at once but being aware of what other leagues have done successfully can help. Try something new each year. Ultimately you are looking for people with enthusiasm for the sport to get involved, so keep an eye out for them and invite them to get involved when opportunity arises.