Whenever you look at sports, you may notice an innovation in the use of materials, rules, gadgets and much more. The goal behind these developments is to become better and getting ahead of the competition.
A simple technique used in sports, which I wasn’t aware of is for example putting tipex on the nails of the catcher in baseball. By applying this it is easier for the pitcher to see the signals on a distance of 18 meter (60ft). In the Tour de France of 2009 there was a big discussion whether the cyclists were allowed to have radio contact with their team managers. The International Cycling Federation (UCI) introduced a ban on radio communication, but the riders protested and the ban was soon canceled.
We have seen the referees in soccer for some years already with their headsets on the fields, and in tennis they now also analyze video images during the play, whenever a referees decision is doubted. And the list goes on and on….
But can we apply similar innovation in sport management, can we think outside the box? YES WE CAN !
There are different ways to call for, participate in and take minutes of meetings. Have you for example already experienced meetings by skype?
The approach of sponsors could also be more innovative. Interview some of your (young) athletes, and make a video of them. Track the marketing manager of the potential sponsor on facebook, and send them a link to the video. I bet you will be the first one approaching them this way.
Website & Social media
A website is more than just a medium to communicate ‘one-way’. There are simple and free tools, to interact with your viewers by giving them the opportunity to participate in surveys, give comments and ideas. It doesn’t matter how big your sports organization is, just be sure that you don’t miss the boat on implementing social media!
Setup your website (blog) with functionality for free at www.wordpress.com
Whenever you have a competition, workshop, trainingscamp or a fundraiser, it is utmost important to evaluate how it went. Your participants will feel more involved, and you will know what to improve next time. A simple interview could also be done online, by setting up a survey and letting your athletes, parents and volunteers fill it in. There is no need anymore, to print evaluation forms, get them back, and then spend hours to count all of the responses, and calculate the percentages. You’ll have your report with a click on the button.
Communication is very important whenever you are part of the management of a sports organization. I think that is the area where we can be most innovative. You can make the first steps by analyzing what instruments and media you are using for your communication. Which ones are the most effective, and which one have the lowest costs for you as a organization?
I have made this diagram, so you can also evaluate whether your communication is successful or not.
I know that there are a lot of ways of making the management of a sports organization innovative, fun and modern. If you have any suggestions, please leave them as a comment.