Sponsorship supporting the community club, kicks the opposition into touch
We are always flattered and delighted when local companies or organisations close to our heart ask for help with their branding or communications. Cranleigh Rugby Football Club (CRFC) approached us in 2019 to see if we were interested in a sponsorship opportunity and so we decided to support our local rugby club. Situated a few miles from the studio in leafy Surrey, CRFC is a well established and successful club, with three senior sides including VETs who play in the Surrey leagues and an active youth academy, including minis and micro minis (U5s!). In fact, a couple of the next generation of Silverbacks have played in the Youth teams over the years! In total the club has 850 members and is proud of its inclusive nature and involvement in the local community. Aside from playing rugby, they actively fundraise for good causes and support their community. For example, ‘The Big Pitch In’ was set up with the aim to raise money for pitch renovations but also to support members who had suffered a sudden loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis. The clubhouse is also used for venue hire for community events.
Stuck in the mud
In the past, amateur sports clubs would use templated marketing materials but in recent years, the landscape has shifted and organisations have started to see the importance of having a clear identity of their own. Potential members are far more marketing savvy these days and are attracted to professional looking clubs. With the increased use of social media, it has become even more important to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive market. CRFC realised that to stay relevant and attract a younger demographic, they needed to give their identity a bit of an overhaul and so knocked on Silverback’s door!
New kit needed
CRFC already had a clear strategy for the club but needed some help bringing their vision to life in order to attract new members and a younger demographic. They needed a more consistent way of presenting themselves so that they were immediately recognisable to their members, potential members and other stakeholders.
We started by looking at their visual identity. The first thing we noticed was that there were several versions of the logo. CRFC was keen to keep the existing logo and we agreed that it had heritage and equity but we created a consistent logo lockup to be used on all communications. Next, we took the recognisable red and blue colours of the club and used solid blocks of colour to design a flexible visual identity system. Bold use of typography and a gritty photographic style give the club a strong, recognisable design system. We also built on the #GoCranes hashtag and created a hand-scripted device to add a personal touch.
New players needed
The launch campaign uses the new look and feel and we came up with the memorable copyline ‘Cranleigh needs you’ to talk directly to past, present and future members and stakeholders. We designed a set of leaflets, recruitment and event posters, targeted Facebook ads and social media templates that were easy to use and roll out.
We were thrilled to attract interest and positive feedback from England Rugby who reported “The advertising campaign seems to have brought increased numbers at every age level…”
Nick Hendy says “Silverback has helped Cranleigh RFC bring a professional but consistent look to our branding. We have seen our demographic target market shift in our recent player recruitment campaign. Our previous demographic on social media for player recruitment was 35-year olds to 60 year olds plus, but now we are reaching a target market of 17-35-year olds in the latest “Cranleigh Needs You” Campaign.”
More than an online presence
On the back of this success, CRFC asked Silverback to update the website design. Historically, they had used an off the shelf website but they found that it limited what they wanted to do. After in-depth discussion to discover their real needs, must haves and wishes, we provided a tailored solution which solved their administrative needs whilst providing an impactful, easy to navigate and easy to use website. The bespoke functionality includes woocommerce integration – encasing a shop, events booking and a layered membership and subscription booking system. The templates were created to house a hall of fame and club history timeline demonstrating their impressive and heartwarming story.
The club needs to update and inform fans/members on a regular basis so we created a fixtures/results and events page which was easy to update and reactive to the scores. The club also relies on its fan and members for donations so we added a donate button to keep encouraging this support; the community and sponsor pages allows other associated clubs to showcase their events and list their profiles. The overall look is clean, bright and bold, the colours chosen provide a high contrast and complement real club photography giving over the personality and heart of the club.
This is a great example of partnership in action and we look forward to many more years working together. #GoCranes #Troopwork #YourCreativePartner