Another summer of sports is upon us: test cricket, Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, the British Grand prix, for many people these events mark out the tempo of the British sporting summer. Add in one-off events such as the football world cup, and dedicated sports fans have a busy summer coming up.
There are many ways to use these events to drive your business, strengthen your team and helping you to engage with your customers. Here are some of our favourites:
Work with what your team likes:
Of all the summer’s sporting events the football World Cup has the biggest popularity, but as always in business it’s important to know the people working with you. If your team includes half the members of a local hockey team, they may be far more excited by the women’s’ Hockey World Cup, which starts in London on July 21st.
Knowing your staff is also important if you plan to make arrangements to allow workers to watch matches, either with time off or in the workplace – German team members for example will want to watch different matches than English staff. This is not just about giving people what they want, it also makes sure that you don’t accidentally discriminate on grounds of nationality.
If your business needs allow it, offering flexibility for staff to be able to watch their favourite sporting events is a great way to show that your company thinks of their needs, in the same way you want them to think about the company. One approach to flexibility is flexitime. Allow staff to finish early, start late, or take an extended lunch break to watch a lunchtime match, with the time made up either on the same day or another day that week.
If your team works on shifts or rotas, flexibility could mean working with staff so that super-fans can swap shifts with those who have no interest in the event, or your German and English team members can cover for each other when their teams are playing. One important thing to consider is that once you have decided on the rules you must be consistent, that way staff and management know where they stand and you can apply them fairly for all employees.
Bring the events into the workplace:
There are many ways to bring the excitement of sporting events into the workplace. Most obviously you could think about showing the events on screens. This could have benefits in customer-facing areas too, for example a car showroom could connect with its customers by screening the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race in the showroom. If you do this, make sure that you have the appropriate TV Licence, or other authorisation. Even if this is not a possibility you can still engage with staff. Perhaps you could hold a sweepstake or relax the dress code to allow team strips on match days. You could even decorate the building with national colours of participating countries.
Create promotions and special offers:
Sporting events offer more than an opportunity to engage with your staff; they also give you the opportunity to reach out to your customers in a new way. This is an area where knowing your customers is vital. Thanks to tools like social media, most business have some idea of who their target customers are, and what they enjoy. Tailor your advertising, using the event to grab their attention (do remember that organisers such as FIFA tend to be very protective of their official logos, since official sponsors pay millions to use them). You could also use the event to encourage purchases. Perhaps by offering a discount for those wearing team colours, or if the local or national team wins.
Team up with your staff and sharing the fun with your customer. This lets you take advantage of a packed sporting calendar to give your company a real boost. What sporting events does your firm embrace, and how do you celebrate them? Let us know in the comments.