Case Study

How Pierce County Soccer Association used Facebook Advertising to grow their registration numbers.

Dwindling Numbers

Pierce County Soccer Association (PCSA) is a member of Washington Youth Soccer and US Youth Soccer serving the Pierce County area in Washington.  PCSA’s primary role is to help it’s 11 member clubs Recruit, Register and Retain players in the sport of Soccer.  Due to a variety of factors the last 5 years has seen the number of youth players registering to play soccer in Pierce County steadily declining.  

Traditionally players are recruited through word of mouth or flyers being distributed at the local schools.  With changes in how public schools handle outside advertising the flyers were not reaching the families as often.  PCSA’s Executive board wanted to address this issue so it was suggested to use Facebook Advertising as a way to reach families directly.  This was not something any Youth Soccer Association had tried before in Washington State.  They needed an expert on Facebook Advertising and Dave Miller of Golazo Services, also serves on the PCSA board and suggested they hire his company to manage the campaigns. 

Our Approach

To understand how we structured our campaign we must first give a little more information on how Youth Soccer is organized.  US Youth Soccer (USYS) is one of the largest the National governing bodies in youth soccer. Washington Youth Soccer (WYS) is one of 55 State Associations (some states are big enough they are divided into 2 Associations) affiliated with USYS.  Pierce County Soccer Association (PCSA) is one of 27 local associations affiliated with WYS.  Inside of PCSA there are 11 member clubs.  Each club has a geographic area they must stay within when advertising/recruiting for new registrations.

We wanted to make sure the users who saw any advertisements and clicked through to a landing page went directly to the club in their neighborhood. If the users simply went to a landing page that listed all the clubs they would have to figure out which club was in their neighborhood and then click on that clubs link to find out information on registering.  That was too many steps so we needed to keep it simple and minimize how many clicks a user had to make to get to the registration page.

The Strategy

The goal was to bring in new families that had not been involved with youth soccer in the Pierce County area for the last few years.  Ideally this would be families with children in the range of 4-7 years old.  A typical family spends a minimum of 3 years in youth soccer while more than half will play soccer until U17/U18.  The goal was set to have 750 new players to be registered in 2018. 

With a few years of registration data PCSA has a email list with almost 8000 unique families. The idea was to grow the numbers by targeting families who were not already in their database.  We used the email list to generate a look-a-like audience in Facebook.  We also used the email list to exclude anyone already in the database.  This allowed us to create a “warm” audience of families who were not part of youth soccer in Pierce County for the campaigns to target.

Each of the 11 clubs had it’s own campaign and landing page and based on the potential families location they would receive an Advertisement specific to their neighborhood. When they clicked on the Ad it would take them to a landing page that told them cost, what they received for that cost (uniform, ball, games), when the season started plus a link directly to the registration page.  Making it simple for the families to make a decision and jump right into the registration process. 

The Results

We didn’t have the luxury of setting up a true sales funnel.  The decision to move forward with Facebook Advertising was right at the same time the clubs opened up registration for the upcoming Fall Season.  So the goal was a long term Brand Awareness campaign.  We started in April and ended in July when the clubs closed registration and each month had a themed campaign. 

  • April – introduced the club and youth soccer to the target audience
  • May – Most clubs had a May 31st/June 1st early registration discount so this month emphasized “hurry and save $$ before the deadline”
  • June – Most clubs closed registration June 30th/July 1st so now it was an emphasis on “hurry before it’s too late”

In the end, the Campaign run by Golazo Services allowed the organization to reach 1295 new players. Exceeding their goals and expectations by more than 76%:

Impressions

Reach

Ad Clicks

Conversions

New Players Added

Conclusion

The goal was 750 new registrations we reached that goal and then some so all in all it was a successful campaign.  PCSA is excited and happy with the results and is working on the campaigns for the 2019 season. 

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