Written by Dan Apostolos • Published 10th September 2020 • 5 minute read
The grassroots sports season is only a matter of weeks away now as thousands of players and teams up and down the country get set to return to action following the COVID 19 pandemic.
Whether it’s football, rugby, cricket, hockey or netball, players will be thinking about purchasing new boots and trainers while clubs will be in the process of buying new match day kit, training wear and equipment to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running and look their best when the first whistle blows.
For online retailers operating in the grassroots sports sector, the start of the new season is of course always a time for them to generate sales, but this year feels very different. The return to playing competitive grassroots sport again feels like a far bigger and more momentous occasion for everyone involved.
The highly anticipated return to action for hundreds of thousands of grassroots sports players presents a real opportunity for online retailers to stand out above their competitors. One way they can do this effectively is by ensuring they have a good presence in the media.
Not only will this help grow the reputation of the brand and drive direct sales, a well-executed PR campaign which delivers a regular stream of coverage in quality media outlets will improve the brand’s SEO and Google ranking at this crucial time of year, which in turn make it easier for customers to find them ahead of their competitors.
With several press opportunities available in the national, lifestyle and specialist sport press, there are a number of tactics a brand can employ in order to achieve this regular stream of coverage. For example:
- Targeting specific product placement slots that are being read by players (or parents) who are buying new kit.
- Using news hooks in the calendar to promote certain products.
- Highlighting good discounts or promotions in money saving pages.
- Running competitions to help reach your audience (and to data capture)
- Social media activations and influencer campaigns
- Interviews with founders and CEO’s talking about business success.
With all this in mind, we take a look at six online sports retailers who will be hoping for a bumper autumn as players up and down the country get back to playing the game they love best.
Perhaps the most recognisable and go-to place to buy football boots and kit online, ProDirect Soccer have grown to become the world’s leading online football store and one of the biggest names in grassroots sports. The brand boasts millions of followers across social media, they have their own YouTube channel and they have activated campaigns with some of the most famous footballers in the world. Launched in 1999, Pro Direct ship out of the UK, Europe, and the US to over 200 countries worldwide.
Based in Italy, but shipping all over Europe, Macron have long been established as one of the leading technical sportswear suppliers for men, women and children. From running to football, rugby and basketball, Macron work with both professional clubs as well as supplying kit and equipment to grassroots players.
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A subsidiary of Sports Direct, respected clothing and equipment brand Lovell will kit you out on and off the pitch with everything from football boots, to rugby kit, to netball trainers. With dedicated rugby, soccer and netball sites under the Lovell umbrella, the sheer range of products and accessories will ensure you have everything you need ahead of the start of the new season.
Net World Sports are on a journey to be the best sports equipment supplier in the world and have enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years. Whatever sport you play, wherever you are in the world, from football to golf, cricket to tennis they have everything you need.
Started in 2006, based in Scotland, PSL Team Sports was created to focus on providing kit, clothing and equipment solutions via a ‘one stop’ solution, online. They are certainly doing something right, working with over 200 organisations in the UK as well as suppling multisport teamwear and equipment to Cricket Scotland, Scottish Hockey and the University of Dundee.
Kitking has been supplying winning teamwear to grassroots clubs throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond since 1992. With nearly 30 years’ experience in teamwear across, football, cricket, hockey, rugby, basketball and volleyball. They have access to thousands of products across a range of brands including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Puma, they also stock smaller brands with a focus on affordable prices.
Want to hear more about how PR can help you effectively reach your target audience? Get in touch with our sport team now.