Recruiting is the single most important aspect of ski team management. No ski and snowboard team can survive without a strong recruiting program. There are many ways for a team to promote itself without incurring a lot of expenses. One of the most important groups to target during recruiting are freshmen. A large group of freshmen will ensure that a team remains strong for several years. However, freshmen often are interested in joining many different types of activities so it is important to recruit them early before they commit to another sport/activity.
When placing recruiting advertisements, it is important to emphasize all of the great benefits that ski and snowboard team members receive. Here are some points to always include on all of your recruiting materials:
Discount lift tickets/season passes at Mammoth Mountain
Free Ski and Snowboard Race Racing at Mammoth Mountain on race weekends
Great prices on all types of ski and snowboard equipment, accessories and clothing.
Cheap lodging in Mammoth Lakes
Lots of fun events and chances to meet lots of other racers from Southern California schools, not to mention the chance to get in a lot of skiing and boarding!!
Make sure to copy recruiting flyers on bright colored paper such as yellow or red. After you have made up eye-catching posters/flyers, make sure to post them all around campus. Before posting, make sure your university does not require approval to post; otherwise you will be wasting time and resources from posters/flyers being removed. Most flyers are ineffective unless they are seen by someone at least three times. Here are some good locations to post flyers and banners:
On campus designated posting kiosks
On-and off-campus dorms
Off campus – Restaurants, Shops, Bars
Big banners and signs can also be a good way to recruit new members. You can usually buy inexpensive butcher paper at your local campus bookstore. Make sure to always list the benefits of being on the team, that all abilities of skier’s and snowboarders are welcome, and most important, the team’s meeting time, day and location. A contact name and number, as well as an email address, should also be included.
Freshmen Orientation Meetings
Many schools have a freshmen orientation week right before school starts. Other schools may have periodic orientations throughout the summer before school starts. Often, the orientation programs will include a special program on the sports teams/clubs/campus activities that are available for the students to join. This can be a great way to introduce freshmen to all the
benefits of joining a ski and snowboard team. Since the orientations are held before school starts in the fall, arrange a time to speak in person, make sure to provide the Orientation Programs staff with plenty of information about the ski and snowboard team.
Freshmen Orientation Booklets/Handouts
Many schools also distribute a booklet for all incoming freshmen that features useful information. This can be a great source for introducing incoming freshmen to the ski and snowboard team. Many Orientation booklets will accept advertisements and this can be a cost effective way to advertise in something the students will have throughout the year.
Student Activities Section of the Newspaper: Some college newspapers have a special section at the beginning of each week that is devoted to all of the student club activities that are going on during the week. Many of these sections will allow you to include your ski and snowboard meeting for free in the section each week. This can be a great way to get free advertising for your meeting. Contact your campus activities center to see if they have a weekly section each week in the newspaper.
Classified Newspaper ads
Classified ads can also be a great way to advertise your teams meeting. These ads are usually inexpensive and campus organizations/clubs may be able to get a discount. It is best to run the ad the day before and the day of the meeting. Make sure to include the meeting date, time, location, and any email or web site address that your team has. Also put a phone number in so they can reach an officer if they have questions.
These are big ads (1/8 page to full page) that can be expensive to run depending on your student newspaper. However, these ads can also be a lot more effective than a classified ad – and can give you the opportunity to list some of the benefits of a team membership. The best time to run a display ad is just prior to the day of your first orientation meeting.
Your school’s Activities Fair or Club Day is a great opportunity to distribute information about the team. Make sure to have a table near the end of the aisle or near other sport-related clubs to ensure everyone will see your booth. You should have plenty of informational handouts, race schedules, and team t-shirts or pictures available for people to look at. Bring props such as skis, poles, snowboards, and boots so as to draw attention to your booth. Also, bring a banner for the front of the table that has the team name so that everyone can find the table. If you have access to electrical power, consider bringing a TV/VCR/DVD to show ski and snowboard movies to get people excited about snow season.
It is a good idea to have at least two or three people from the team at the booth at all times to answer questions and talk to potential team members. Try to have both skiers and snowboarders at the booth. If you team has team shirts, it is a good idea to have everyone who is helping in the recruiting process wear their team shirts as this makes it easier for people to see you and you stand out. Make sure to also have an interest list where people can sign up with their name, email address and phone number. This will become your database for potential teammates.
Booths at the University Center
Most schools will also let you set up a table in front of the Student Union or University Center or other heavily trafficked area. It is a good idea to have two to three team members sit at a table at least three times a week during peak student traffic times such as 10-2pm. This is also a great opportunity to distribute information to potential team members and get the word out about how much fun being on the team is.
Ski Club Meetings
If your school has a separate Ski Club, it is a good idea to attend the first informational meeting and get permission to talk about the ski and snowboard team. This can be a great recruiting tool as many students confuse the ski club and the ski team and would really like to join the ski team instead. Again, make sure to have lots of information available to distribute. Other ideas are to offer discounted memberships for students who want to participate in both clubs, or consider merging both clubs together.
Another great way to attract potential members is to hold a recruiting event such as a BBQ or beach bonfire to give potential team members an opportunity to meet the existing team.
Team Website and Email
The SCCSC offers web site hosting on the SCCSC server, but we are not able to offer development services. Your website would be yourschool.sccsc.com. You may also want to ask your club sports office if they already have a site set up for club sports teams. Consider linking your page to popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo! so it can be brought up during web searches. Also, make sure to include your web page address and email address on all of your recruiting advertisements. Your team website must adhere to the SCCSC and USCSA online community policies and you must link to both the SCCSC website (www.sccsc.com) and the USCSA website (www.uscsa.com).
Word of mouth…tell everyone you know how great the team is!
Spreading the word about the ski team can be one of the best and easiest recruiting tools you have. Many potential team members may not even know that a team exists at your school. Make sure to tell everyone you know about the team, as you never know when they might know someone that is interested. During your orientation week and first week of school, try to get your teammates from the previous season to all wear their shirts. You can even have 1/4 page flyers that your teammates can hand out as they walk to class. If you belong to a sorority or fraternity, make an announcement at your weekly meeting about the ski and snowboard team, and post meeting information at the house. If you have team members that live in on- or off-campus residence halls, or apartment complexes, have them put up flyers and make announcements at their dorm/residence hall meetings.