Little League®Marketing and Communications

Little League®Marketing and Communications

LITTLE LEAGUE MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS District Administrator Training 2016 Three things to remember 1. Why marketing and communicating Little League is important 2. A District Administrator is a protector and communicator of the Little League brand 3. Use tools to help your district and your

leagues What does marketing mean? To market means to educate, influence, promote, sell and distribute a product, brand, company, organization or service in order to affect decision making situations To market Little League means to affect the decision making of parents (players), volunteers and municipalities to consider, convince and buy Little League.

Why does LL have a Marketing Department? 1. To keep Little League visible as the leading youth sports property through marketing, branding, research and promotional initiatives 2. To promote participation through advertising and communication vehicles 3. To serve as a contributor of revenue to the organization and its annual operations 4. To generate relationships that offer a direct benefit to the Little League membership member districts, leagues, volunteers, parents

and players Marketing Little League Why are parents, volunteers, communities and corporations interested in Little League? Name Programming Rich History Influence

Mission / Values Reputation In short, they buy Little League Register their child Operate the program in their community Buy a corporate sponsorship

License the name Food for thought Would people say? May I have a cola? Pour the soup into the insulated mug. Put on a bandage on that cut.

Ride up the moving walkway. Or would they say? May I have a Coke? Pour the soup into the thermos.* Put a Band-Aid on that cut. Ride up the escalator*.

*Lost trademark. Now generic. Is all youth baseball and softball Little League? No. Does Little League operate other youth sports (e.g. football, basketball)? No.

Sowe must protect the Little League name (trademark) and we MUST promote the difference In other words, we must protect what people buy What is a trademark? A name, word, logo, image, tagline, slogan, that is used by an entity (such as Little League) to describe its product or service to distinguish it from others.

Little League Little Leaguer Little League Softball LLB Little League Southeast Region Among others

Trademarks are registered and great effort is taken to protect them from abuse or infringement The worst thing that can happen to an organizations trademark is that it becomes GENERIC. Little League Trademarks Logos and Emblems: Little League Trademarks

Using Little League Trademarks: Encourage Leagues and Districts to use Little League trademark, especially in the name Remember marketability; the name carries weight into local communities Follow the guidelines (e.g. rulebook, website) Little League + local league or district name in all instances No commercial association in any way Do not grant permission to outside entities (businesses, people, organizations, etc.) When in doubt, ask.

Little League Trademarks Using Little League Trademarks: Like This Not This Little League Trademarks Misuse of Little League Trademarks Classified as an infringement Examples Infringements Social media & crowdfunding

Little League Trademarks Use of 3rd party trademarks Little League marks Use fee called royalty Pins, Trophies and Awards requirements Permitted use of Little League trademarks

through licensed partners Not Permitted Licensing Program What is a license? Permission granted to a third party for the use of a trademarked name, logo, image, slogan, etc.

Why choose a Little League licensed product or service? Represents select companies that have products that have been evaluated by Little League Specific products held to compliance standards (bats, balls) Companies follow Little League guidelines and trademark regulations making it easy for leagues to follow proper procedures outlined in the Operating Manual

What can a DA do? Help protect the organization and its trademarks. The worst thing that can happen to an organizations trademark is that it becomes generic. Switching gears back to marketing why market Little League? Because all youth baseball and softball is not Little

League. Because parents are different today Because kids have more choices today Trends Affecting Participation Research has told us That the population has changed

Sports can be expensive. Economy affects sports participation 52% of parents have cut back on kids extracurricular activities to save money. Another 20% say they might if their financial situation worsens A satisfying sports experience trumps economics Other activities compete for kids time Trends Affecting Participation

Baseball is less interesting to younger parents Less likely to select baseball as a favorite youth sport Less interested in Major League Baseball Approach to youth sports has shifted More sports, more sports specialization, more nonsports activities Parenting styles have become much more protective in nature helicopter parenting style; Baseball is a game of failure Notion for college scholarship

Trends Affecting Participation Parents want the illusion of activity, particularly at a young age Sweat versus no sweat Time Commitment Overscheduled families

Coach Leadership The coach plays the crucial role in the players experience LLB has a meaningful point of difference that other leagues dont have Driving Participation

Support Network for Local Leagues Little League University Resources 1. Fun Ways to Promote Little League Registration and Increase Awareness 2. How to Use the Little League Name 3. How To Raise Funds to Support Your

League 4. Creating a Basic Marketing Plan 5. 5 Steps To Help Find More Volunteers Little League Marketing Services Our team is focused on developing programs that SUPPORT our districts and their leagues in impactful ways. Marketing tools to help leagues promote participation Opportunities from national sponsorships and other partnerships

Information and training Equipment donations or discounts Discounts on products for families and teams Fundraising ideas Benefits for parents Grant programs Volunteerism Revenue benefits districts and leagues Revenue generated from marketing services benefits member leagues in many ways Free background

checks Low charter affiliation fees ($10/team) Little League University / Trainings New Data Center

Challenger Game at LLBWS Grant Support Camps/ Clinics Support HQ shipping of info to leagues Research Studies

PSA / Commercials Boundary Map / League Finder Capital projects / Facilities Upkeep Tee Ball and Coach Pitch

Curriculum League Presidents Resource Guide Tournament Expenses LITTLE LEAGUE COMMUNICATIONS District Administrator Training

October 2016 WHAT WE DO Original Stories, Printed and Designed Materials, Media Relations, Video Production, Online Solutions, Social Media Distribution, Newsletter Creation, Oversee 100+ Little League World Series Games on the ESPN Family of Networks, Little League Magazine DIGITAL LittleLeague.org LittleLeagueU.org LLBWS.org

Videos.LittleLeague.Org Social Media Emails CONTENT Heartfelt Stories Educational Content Press Releases Media Relations Support

Important News and Updates CREATIVE Printed Materials Development Brochures Promotional Templates Local League Resources Toolkits Who Do D.A.s Communicate

With? DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS Media Parents Your Leagues Volunteers Little League

International Staff What should you communicate? Little League is the biggest name in youth sports, the general public will want to know whats going on locally. One of the best ways to be an ambassador for Little League International and your local leagues is through communicating with the media and your communities. Importance of Online Presence for

Your Leagues and District The main source of information for parents, volunteers, and media Keeping schedules updated with details is important for all your core audiences Utilizing websites to link to important updates from Little League, and to your social media accounts for news and important updates. Social Media Best way to connect with a broader audience Promote your events Connect with your leagues, volunteers, and families

What is Your Districts Online Presence? Does your District have a website? Does your District maintain any social media accounts? Is there someone on the District staff dedicated to updating your website and/or social media accounts? How Districts Can Use Online Resources District Website

Information about leagues Information from Little League International Information about tournaments District Social Media Promote league and district activities Connect with current and future parents/volunteers Distribute important updates

How to Help Your Leagues Encourage them to maintain their website and social media accounts with important information, schedules, forms, and updates. Suggest for Leagues to have a dedicated volunteer for these activities. Encourage leagues to use model release forms and get parental permission to use photos. The most important resource for communicating with parents and volunteers.

Little League University Resources Dos and Donts of Social Media for Di strict Administrators Fun Ways to Promote Little League R egistration and Increase Awareness Communications Tools to Promote an d Share Your League Communication is Crucial to a Well-R un League Communicating With the Media

Local Media (television, print, and online) will be interested in Little League activities in your district. Establishing a good relationship with media can help promote your district and leagues activities. In the event a crisis arises, be prepared. Crisis Communications 101 In the event that a concerning incident arises: If youre notified by a league or volunteer, gather as much

information as possible about the situation. If you find out from a media member looking for an interview, politely decline the invitation to correspond with members of the press until you have all the information from the local league. Immediately contact your District Administrator and Regional Office. If the situation requires Little League Internationals involvement either the Regional Office will reach out to us, or contact us directly. Responding in a Crisis Situation

All statements should be considered public, craft your message carefully. Its best not to comment on a situation if theres a criminal or civil case pending. Inform your parents and volunteers with the same message youre providing to the media. Crisis Communications 101 Local Board Member Embezzles Money Rest of the Board Communicates the situation to parents and

volunteers Media finds out, approaches league president League president contacts Regional and Headquarters Offices League President Interviewed: Rangers, Community Support the League: A Bad Example of a Bad Thing Local coach and board member brings a firearm to a school meeting, unrelated to Little League, and is arrested.

Media reports on it, region staff contacts the D.A., D.A. reaches out to the league. Individual remains a coach and board member at her league. Misinformation gets into the media and a controversy ensues Activity You Get the Call In small groups, outline how you would handle the following situation. A reporter from the largest newspaper in your town calls you about a League President who has been arrested for a

D.U.I. You are friends with this individual, but this is the first youre learning about the arrest. The reporter is looking for a quote from you about the situation How can Little Leagues Communications Staff help you? Online Resources: LittleLeague.org LittleLeagueU.org

Social Media: Facebook.com/LittleLeague; Twitter.com/LittleLeague; Instagram.com/LittleLeague Direct Help: Our staff is here to help! Please feel free to reach out with questions about: A media relations issue Your website and/or social media accounts Broadcasting/streaming your games Finding templates to help promote your leagues Sharing great, heartfelt stories from your district

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