Relying too much on any one service for your sports academy’s cash can put your business at risk.
As I explained in this post, you can hedge against that risk by adding more variety to your services, which many sports complexes do by selling retail products or concessions. However, the easiest way to diversify your business might be to offer complementary services to your sports instruction.
Unlike adding new programs or products that can require more space, equipment or staff training, complementary services can be as added through partnerships with independent contractors, freelancers or even current staffers who have additional skills.
I’ve seen a few great examples recently that I wanted to share in case they work for your sports complex or academy.
Test Prep and Tutoring
If your academy is like mine was, many of your clients are high school athletes, and one of their biggest concerns is impending college admissions tests.
You probably know how important ACT and SAT scores are to the college admissions process, which is why test prep services have developed into a big industry.
Consider helping your clients out by offering test prep on-site if you have appropriate space in a quiet setting.
One of my eSoft Planner clients, Champions of Dalton in Dalton, Georgia, has an “Academic Center” at its sports complex, which is also home to a Parisi Speed School and elite travel programs for baseball, softball and volleyball. The academic center offers SAT and ACT prep “boot camps” for students. Their instructors are qualified educators who are active in local schools.
If this works for your business, you could also offer subject-specific tutoring or AP test prep.
Recruiting Videos and Web Sites
Even if you don’t offer a comprehensive college athletic recruiting service, you may be able to help with one increasingly popular part of the recruiting process: highlight videos and web sites for high school athletes.
You’re probably already familiar with web sites like BeRecruited that encourage student athletes to set up personal web pages with their service. Your clients may still need help getting that info online, and they still need great videos to post.
Video editing tools are getting pretty easy to use for the generally computer-literate, so someone on your staff might already feel comfortable enough to create and edit these videos. If not, you could consider a partnership with a professional videographer in your area.
Steve at the The Reaper’s Den has had a lot of success with creating recruiting videos for his athletes, and I plan to devote an entire post to the topic — watch for it in the near future.
Senior Portraits and Team Photos
As the popularity of social media sites like Instagram have grown, families and athletes are becoming increasingly invested in buying professional photos.
To meet the demand, many more independent professional photographers have cropped up.
Why not partner with one who specializes in sports photography, or in senior portraits with a special angle for athletes?
You could work out a mutually beneficial agreement where the photographer helps take pictures of games, training, or entire teams. You could run special promotions where athletes who attend a certain camp get discounts on photo packages, or vice versa. Or, you could simply collect a commission for referrals to the photographer.
The nice thing about all these services is that they’re truly adding value to your clients’ lives. Getting into your clients’ heads to understand WHY they’ve come to you for sports training — whether it’s to prepare for the college level of athletics, pad their college resume, or just have the best and most memorable high school athletic experience possible — is a great place to start when you’re considering how to expand your service range.
If you have suggestions for other types of partnerships that have worked for you, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment or contact me directly.