Summer is in full swing, but if your pool isn’t packed with families looking to cool off in the hot sun, then you might be thinking about ways to attract new patrons to your facility. After all, if you’ve spent the long winter months checking up on your pool and preparing to open it all throughout spring, you should be able to watch others enjoy your pool when it’s finally hot out.
Advertising may not be the most natural thing for people in pool management services, but it’s a necessary and often lucrative part of running a business. Rather than wasting your hard-earned money on garish billboards and ineffective radio ads, pool managers should focus on making their pools more attractive to kids, as The New York Times explained that USA Swimming is rolling out a massive ad campaign to increase the popularity of swimming across the country.
Focus on kids
Most businesses work because they target demographics with expendable income, but the major clientele of pools has been and always will be children.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41.7 percent of kids in the U.S. swim at least once a year. This makes swimming the third most popular sport in the country. However, this statistic doesn’t include all those children who participate on swim teams, in scuba programs or as part of a synchronized swimming team, so the actual number is likely even higher.
This is why USA Swimming, the governing body for amateur and professional swimming events in the country, has begun a nationwide ad campaign to raise the awareness of popularity of swimming among children. Minnesota-based advertising agency Colle & McVoy worked with the Minneapolis MDC Partners to create materials for the campaign, and Mike Caguin, chief marketing officer, told The New York Times that the ads were aimed at making kids feel more comfortable in the pool.
“When kids think about putting on a tight bathing suit and being essentially half-naked, there’s a bit of a stigma sometimes,” Caguin told the news source. “But we wanted to embrace it and say, hey, this kid is completely 100 percent comfortable in his own skin because swimming has given him that confidence and that swagger.”
Mike Farrell, chief marketing officer for USA Swimming, explained that parents already know about swimming, but it doesn’t immediately come to mind when they think of healthy activities like running or organized sports like football or baseball. The aim of the marketing campaign is to change how kids and their parents think of going for a dip so that swimming is no longer considered a special occasion.
“This [marketing campaign] puts swimming more in the game than [it’s] been in the past,” Joe Favorito, professor of sports management at Columbia University, told the NYT. “If you want to attract kids, you want to make it cool, and you want to make it fun.”