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How We Turned A Sunday Football League Into A Real Brand

A proper identity, no more wasted time, and growth, were the 3 key outcomes needed from the Herts Ad Sunday League (HASL) when we joined forces over a season ago.


When they came to us here at Craftsmiths Consulting, they had no identity, they were wasting hours a week running the league, and that meant their chances of growing were very slim.


This is how we turned a Sunday football league the brand it is today.


If you have no identity, it is almost impossible for your audience to engage with you. Imagine trying to have a conversation with someone over the dinner table, and they have no face. Weird.


We needed to give the league that face and identity, and we designed and delivered a logo that was relevant, modern, and showcased their brands’ heritage built up of over 6 decades:

Herts Ad Sunday League Logo

We went for a circular logo that will be well-formatted, and will look great across all their social media channels, with easy-to-read font that makes it clear who they are.


The league is based in St. Albans, so we made sure the well-known Cathedral was a priority feature of the logo. The football, well, because this is a football league, and the stag is to represent and respect the rest of the surrounding Hertfordshire areas that make up the league’s constitution.


The league is sponsored by The Herts Advertiser newspaper, so the stag and football sit within a very subtle newspaper shape to credit them.


The logo is now proudly across all their social media platforms, resources, advertisements, everything.


As a result of this, they’ve been able to really raise their brand awareness, build their community, and secure trust with their audience and league members who are now all bought into the brand, and its mission.


Onto wasted time, and the difference between this season and last is stadiums apart.


There used to be countless messages in a league Whatsapp group, with the same repetitive boring questions asked, no calls to action, nor with a hub of information where members and visitors can get the help they need when they need it; and their website used to be their Facebook page - which is fine for sharing match day photos, but it wasn’t taking away their pain.


So, we built them a website: hertsadsl.co.uk:

This new website has played a vital role in the league’s success. Here's why:


The website features league tables and fixtures, so that the league’s community can join in and engage with seeing how their team is doing each week, and who their next fixtures are. This means clubs can be more organised on a weekly and monthly basis throughout the season, with minimal league support, and with maximum excitement.


One of the main bits of feedback from clubs to the league, was that previously all the league’s referee’s details were in a handbook given out at the beginning of the season. There is 3 problems here:

1. Some handbooks go 'missing'. 2. You cannot update information in a physical handbook.

3. The league referees base will continue to adapt and grow throughout the season as they support more referees with their qualifications and brining them into the game.


To solve these problems, we introduced a referees page on the site which means that when a referee has been assigned to a fixture, the club can now obtain their referees' contact information themselves immediately.


This has reduced the number of weekly enquiries by 95%.


This also highlighted the need to progress the handbook from a physical to digital hub of information, so we also created a 'resources' page to store all the league’s documents, rules, and forms, which meant a further reduction in admin time, and more time to focus on growing this brilliant league.


What's the best way to grow your audience?

Let them grow with you, by engaging and bringing them on the journey.


Having a website now means the league can showcase its weekly newsletter, and match day media, and the league are leading and driving traffic to their site for people to view their content.


Here’s the proof, with some impressive hertsadsl.co.uk stats:


Site sessions: 2,237

Unique visitors: 1,039

Average session duration: 2 minutes 56 seconds

Top traffic source by destination: Direct to website (1,579 sessions)

Top session by device: Mobile (89% / 2,071 sessions)


And it doesn’t stop there, now they are a brand which has content behind them, the league has an opportunity to create and deliver that content at a limitless rate.


All their pillar / major content now goes onto the site, and they can repurpose that content and deliver it into micro content across multiple channels:


1 newsletter (pillar content) all of a sudden could be 5 pieces of micro content;

Delivered across 4 or 5 social media platforms; and,

They’ve gone from 1 post to 20/25 posts increasing engagement, following, and reputation.


Delivering all of these elements, and with a structured content plan and team behind it, has of course led to their incredible organic social growth in just 1 season.


Their Twitter following increased from 700 to over 1000 followers.

Their Instagram following increased from 200 to over 800 followers.

Players signed this season have increased from 1,500 to 1,800 players


This really is a truly remarkable brand growth story.


We’ve also supported numerous clubs within the league this year with their match day graphics such as Blackberry Jacks FC, Herts Lions FC and AFC London Road:


If you want help growing your brand, or for design help, email: elliot@craftsmithsconsulting.com


Don’t forget to follow the butterfly @craftsmithsc!


Thanks for reading.


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