Blue Sombrero http://www.bluesombrero.com Free Online Registration and Sports Websites Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:13:43 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.8 New Website Design ft. Demeter IIhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/new-website-de-ft-demeter-ii http://www.bluesombrero.com/new-website-de-ft-demeter-ii#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2018 20:17:37 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=41422 Introducing our Newest Website Design: Demeter II   We have yet another new addition to our expanding website gallery, Demeter II! This design is now available across all of our background options and color choices. Here’s a look at Demeter II from top […]

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FeatureFocus_July2018

Introducing our Newest Website Design: Demeter II


 

We have yet another new addition to our expanding website gallery, Demeter II! This design is now available across all of our background options and color choices.

Here’s a look at Demeter II from top to bottom.

*Hover over the following screenshots to have the highlighted features explained in more detail*

DEMETER II

Helpful Tip: You can update the header for most of your website modules under the “Module Settings” button on your homepage settings menu.

Learn how to select your website design alongside other website tips and tricks by visiting our Support Site, or contact our team anytime at adminhelp@bluesombrero.com.

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6 Easy Tips to Boost SEO for Your Websitehttp://www.bluesombrero.com/better-website-seo http://www.bluesombrero.com/better-website-seo#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2018 16:23:47 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=41374 “My website isn’t showing up in Google” Improve your SEO. Check out these six quick and easy tips to get you going on SEO for your Blue Sombrero youth sports website: Use Keyword-rich content, including words and phrases […]

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“My website isn’t showing up in Google”

Improve your SEO. Check out these six quick and easy tips to get you going on SEO for your Blue Sombrero youth sports website:

  1. Use Keyword-rich content, including words and phrases a search engine user would likely enter to find your site. This could be your organization’s name, sport(s) offered, and location. This can be used throughout all Page descriptions.
  2. Edit Page Titles in each page’s settings. Titling pages by the organization’s name followed by the individual page name works best.
    • If we were on the Programs page of Sombrero United Sports; the Page Name would be Programs and the Page Title would be Sombrero United Sports – Programs
  3. Update your site regularly; especially your homepage. SEO is constantly changing as algorithms are altered and Googlebot continues crawling to find new and updated web pages.
  4. Keep your Social Media accounts fresh and include links back to your site.
  5. Add keywords. Prior to building your pages, make sure each page has added keywords matching the titles of each page to your overall portal. For example, Sombrero United Sports would use the keywords Sombrero, United, Multisport, Atlanta, Youth Sports, etc.
  6. Setup a Google Analytics account. We’ll break it down for you.
    • Google Analytics is a free service which gives a website owner, or admin, information about incoming traffic. This data helps you learn more about site visitors. All reporting is in real time. You’ll see how many folks are visiting your site, where they’re coming from, which pages they visit most, and how long they stick around on each page.
    • If you are new to Google Analytics, here is a helpful get started guide from Google.
    • Once your account is setup, find your Tracking ID.
      It will be something similar to UA-000000-01.
    • Then check out where to enter that ID on your Blue Sombrero site.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you’re closer to getting a better ranking. Just always remember that fresh and engaging content is best, so don’t “set it and forget it.” If you would like more in depth information on how to improve your SEO ranking for your team’s website, check out these posts from our SEO Education Series:

 


Interested in better marketing your league? Stay tuned for our Think Like a Marketer series.


 

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July Playbook Editionhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/july-playbook-edition http://www.bluesombrero.com/july-playbook-edition#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2018 13:34:36 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=40971 Support Playbook July 2018 Edition   If you have not seen our past Support Playbook editions, we highly recommend taking a few minutes at the end of each month to browse these emails. They contain a recap of the month’s […]

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Support Playbook July 2018 Edition

 

If you have not seen our past Support Playbook editions, we highly recommend taking a few minutes at the end of each month to browse these emails. They contain a recap of the month’s product enhancements, administrator tips & tricks, frequently asked support topics, and more.


 

2018-02-26_9-58-35

July opened with the release of a new website design. Helios II is now available across our wide array of colors. Rounding out the What’s New? section, our Registration Listing module can have information shown or hidden when being added to a page.

Did You Know?, our new mobile app integration with GameChanger Team Manager is now live! This app is free for coaches and parents to download, and will sync posted roster and team information at the beginning of the season. Alongside the new mobile app, we updated our Team Page layout to coincide with GameChanger Team Manager.

Need help getting started with the upcoming season? Don’t worry, in our Market Your League: 101 section, we provide a pre-season checklist so you don’t miss a step this fall!

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Getting a Quality Logo isn’t hardhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/quality-logo http://www.bluesombrero.com/quality-logo#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2018 16:13:18 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=41208 “Our logo looks unprofessional” Building a strong brand for your organization is important. Youth sports are more competitive than ever, and increasing your brand recognition will attract new players while separating you from other local leagues. logo There are numerous […]

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“Our logo looks unprofessional”

Building a strong brand for your organization is important. Youth sports are more competitive than ever, and increasing your brand recognition will attract new players while separating you from other local leagues. logo

There are numerous ways in which to build a strong brand: setting up a custom Fan Wear store is one way, building a strong grassroots presence is another, but the most important way is getting your league’s members pumped about representing your brand.

But, before you can start working on building a strong reputation and setting up your inclusive Fan Wear store, take a step back to make sure your league’s brand is ready to go.

First thing’s first, get a quality logo. Some associations already have good logos, some may need an upgrade, and some organizations may not have a logo at all. It’s never a bad idea to give your logo a reboot. And, it’s easier than you may think.

Even if you are not a professional designer, there are countless websites where you can create a high-quality logo, such as Fiverr.com or logojoy.com. Fiverr is a marketplace for various types of designs and levels of designers, offering straightforward pricing set by the designers. Logojoy.com offers packages starting at a baseline price, with the ability to upgrade to more tools and services.

Plus, there are even quality freemium, self-serve options, such as Canva.com or Logopony.com; these types of services offer templates to help you build and download your own designs.


Want to shop around? We’ve combed through some websites for you.

Here are some websites offering similar services:

Make this your Fan Wear shop goals

Online Fan Wear Shop


Before your design is being developed, either by yourself or a professional designer, here are a few things to take into consideration:

  1. Simple – A good logo needs to be simple, legible, and direct, without looking crowded.
  2. High resolution – A high quality logo will look the best on any website or t-shirt.
  3. Sizes – Get different sizes so you can have the same logo for different uses. Our free Fan Wear stores accept logos that are 2500 x 2500 pixels with 300 DPI (dots per inch) for a quality logo for apparel. Learn more about DPI here.
  4. Transparent background – Meaning, no background at all. This way you can use the logo anywhere – this would be applied to a PNG file.
  5. File type – PNG files are widely used and accepted, and usually have a higher quality resolution.
  6. Colors – A good logo looks good in black and white, as well as in color.

 

Investing time in a good logo can greatly improve your website and online apparel store, so your members and fans can support and sport your organization’s brand!

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How to Maximize Fan Wear Saleshttp://www.bluesombrero.com/maximize-fan-wear-sales http://www.bluesombrero.com/maximize-fan-wear-sales#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2018 20:59:10 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=41058 Give back to your league. Start maximizing your Fan Wear sales.   A trend we’ve noticed is that high performing Fan Wear stores all have one thing in common: The league has done a great job creating awareness […]

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Give back to your league.
Start maximizing your Fan Wear sales.

 

A trend we’ve noticed is that high performing Fan Wear stores all have one thing in common:

The league has done a great job creating awareness about their store.

As a result, these organizations are given the chance to put money back towards new gear for players, buy field equipment, and contribute financially to other important projects.

How? Because every organization gets a contribution back, based on their Fan Wear sales.

Check out this list of strategies that are proven to be successful in promoting and increasing Fan Wear sales:


Use your Website as a Billboard

One of the easiest ways to create awareness is to put images of your custom Fan Wear items in your image rotator, located on your homepage. The rotator is prime real estate for whatever you choose to highlight, since it is seen by every visitor on your website.

You should also link this image to your store to make it a seamless click-to-shop experience for parents. The great part about this is both your website and online Fan Wear shop are working for you 24/7/365, so your fans can see this at any time.

Share on Social Media

One essential way to promote your store is through social media. We suggest signing in and sharing through your league page as well as your personal account, so no one is left out. Don’t have league accounts? We’ll be covering it soon in our Think Like a Marketer series.

You can easily include a direct link to the store and add images of your custom branded Fan Wear items to grab attention if you leverage multiple channels of communications, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This is your best chance to entice others to share your Fan Wear store too and do some of the marketing heavy lifting for you!

Show and Tell

Have any meeting, games, or events coming up? This would be a perfect time to share the word about your Fan Wear Store. Sporting your apparel on the field, or off the field, makes quite an impression—it provides an opportunity for parents and players to see and get a feel for your organization’s branded gear first-hand.

Something to Hold

Printing and passing out informational flyers at your next event would help bring a visual image directly to your parents’ hands. Remember to include your website’s URL on the flyers to make it easy for for them to find the store.

These don’t have to be elaborate. A simple image of some gear from the store with your website address is plenty. You can also do this throughout the year when you add new designs, celebrate specific holidays,  or new apparel becomes available.

Targeted Emails

Using our bulk email tool, you can select a targeted group of your members who are in-season, or preparing for the new season, and let them know about your organization’s Fan Wear store.


Patience and persistence is key when it comes to building your organization’s reputation and maximizing your Fan Wear sales. Don’t get frustrated if you try one strategy and the results aren’t great. Hang in there! It takes about three selling touch points before you start making an impact on someone’s buying decisions.

We want your club to be successful with Fan Wear sales and will do whatever we can to help. We’re also always on the lookout for great ideas from our users, so don’t hesitate to give us a shout at adminhelp@bluesombrero.com!

Don’t have a store? Learn more here.

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New Website Design ft. Helios IIhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/helios-ii http://www.bluesombrero.com/helios-ii#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:48:26 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=40761 Introducing our Newest Website Design: Helios II   The newest member of our website gallery, Helios II, offers a new look and feel to the original Helios design. Here’s a look at Helios II from top to bottom. *Hover over […]

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FeatureFocus_July2018

Introducing our Newest Website Design: Helios II


 

The newest member of our website gallery, Helios II, offers a new look and feel to the original Helios design.

Here’s a look at Helios II from top to bottom.

*Hover over the following screenshots to have the highlighted features explained in more detail*

HELIOS II

Helpful Tip: You can update the header for most of your website modules under the “Module Settings” button on your homepage settings menu.

Learn how to select your website design alongside other website tips and tricks by visiting our Support Site, or contact our team anytime at adminhelp@bluesombrero.com.

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Marketing 101: Growing Your Leaguehttp://www.bluesombrero.com/marketing-youth-sports-league http://www.bluesombrero.com/marketing-youth-sports-league#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2018 20:41:20 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=40702 Marketing essentials to help your league grow.   Welcome to part one of the Think Like a Marketer series! Before we dive into the technical details of how to grow your league, lets go over a quick high-level […]

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Marketing essentials to help your league grow.

 

Welcome to part one of the Think Like a Marketer series! Before we dive into the technical details of how to grow your league, lets go over a quick high-level lesson of Marketing:

 

What is Marketing and why is it important for my youth sports league?

 

What is Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Why is Marketing important: As the youth sports industry continues to grow, properly marketing your league will become as vital as running your league. You can’t start an organization or more importantly, grow it without effectively getting the word out.

This can be done strategically, when taking the following into consideration:

 

The 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, & Promotion

 

The 4 P’s of Marketing are coined as a process to describe the way all companies, small or large, target their audiences, while differentiating themselves from their competitors.

Here is an outline of what the 4 P’s look like for most youth sports organizations:

Product: The service of providing youth sports activities to consumers, such as youth baseball/softball programs
Price: The costs of registration, equipment, time, and fan wear parents pay for
Promotion: Relevant content and channels for advertising your youth sports league
Place: Sports leagues are seasonal, so advertise your organization in the right place, at the right time

As intimidating as they seem, every organization utilizes these points instinctively. For example, as your league’s season approaches, your team might start to pass out flyers at local schools around your community, or your organization might host a car wash to raise money for your league. Marketing your league can be done at all levels – whether it’s a grassroots approach or you decide to focus on a digital strategy.

What’s most important is how your organization executes your marketing game plan, while seamlessly taking the 4 P’s into consideration.

Work smarter, not harder.

 

No matter how big or small your youth sports association is, there is always room to grow; meaning, you will always need to be marketing your league. But, marketing your league doesn’t need to take up all of your time.

Stay tuned for our upcoming posts in our Think Like a Marketer series for tips on how to brand, market, and grow your league!

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June Support Playbookhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/june-support-playbook http://www.bluesombrero.com/june-support-playbook#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2018 20:14:33 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=40443 Support Playbook June 2018 Edition   If you have not seen our past Support Playbook editions, we highly recommend taking a few minutes at the end of each month to browse these emails. They contain a recap of the month’s […]

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Support Playbook June 2018 Edition

 

2018-02-26_9-58-35

If you have not seen our past Support Playbook editions, we highly recommend taking a few minutes at the end of each month to browse these emails. They contain a recap of the month’s product enhancements, administrator tips & tricks, frequently asked support topics, and more.

June was another feature-heavy month as a few big items were released. Fan Wear is now included in the registration process, we added a new email group to assist with player retention, it is now possible to opt players into payment plans when a bulk transfer is initiated, and our Registration Listing module now features a new countdown clock!

A new Playbook and blog series, Market Your League, kicks off in June and July, and is geared towards helping volunteers learn best practices around gaining exposure for their leagues. Stay on top of our blog page and future playbook editions to gain helpful tips and tricks from our marketing experts.

Finally, Don’t Forget about some important guidelines around our Mass Text feature. And for the accountants, or non-accountants doing an accountant’s work, there are a series of reports built into Team Sports HQ that will give you insight into your revenue and organization’s bottom line.

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Fan Wear in Registrationhttp://www.bluesombrero.com/fan-wear-registration http://www.bluesombrero.com/fan-wear-registration#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2018 18:14:16 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=40291 Fan Wear in Registration is here. Being a youth sports administrator requires dedication and patience. The work doesn’t stop after you set up your organization’s website, create programs, or run your season. The extra effort put into promoting […]

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Fan Wear in Registration is here.

Being a youth sports administrator requires dedication and patience. The work doesn’t stop after you set up your organization’s website, create programs, or run your season. The extra effort put into promoting your league to new families is also a year round task and we want to make this as easy and pain-free as possible.

As we’ve rolled out our brand new (and free) Fan Wear stores, we’ve made it even easier for parents to place their orders for gear; making this is a great opportunity for parents to promote your league’s brand by wearing your apparel at games or around town.

We are excited to introduce Fan Wear in Registration. Not only is it quick and easy for administrators to set up and activate a Fan Wear store, but now parents can seamlessly place their orders for branded gear at the same time they register. Prior to the final checkout screen, parents are shown a handful of recommended products from your league’s online store to add to their shopping cart.

It’s a total win/win! Your organization has another avenue for earning money, since you get a contribution back on all sales, AND it’s convenient for parents to place their orders for branded gear before their season starts.

If you have any questions about the Fan Wear in Registration process, check out this support guide.

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June 2018 Product Updates and Enhancementshttp://www.bluesombrero.com/june-2018-product-enhancements http://www.bluesombrero.com/june-2018-product-enhancements#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2018 21:30:59 +0000 http://www.bluesombrero.com/?p=39585   Every month we strive to reach a goal of pushing new customer-facing enhancements to better our user experience. Here’s a quick update on the exciting things that our team has been working on through the month of June! What’s […]

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ProductEnhancements_June2018 (1)

 

Every month we strive to reach a goal of pushing new customer-facing enhancements to better our user experience. Here’s a quick update on the exciting things that our team has been working on through the month of June!

What’s new with Team Sports HQ?


Registration Updates


 

Registration Listing Module Countdown Clock

Administrators can now use our Registration Listing website module to tease upcoming programs before they are open to register. If a program has a future registration open date, a countdown clock will tick down and then turn into a ‘Register Now’ button when families are able to sign up. Once the program is open, the registration listing will display the season dates (start date and end date).

2018-06-19_23h52_18


 Communication Updates


 

New Email Group Helps Retain Players!

We recently added a series of reports to help address player retention, including the Inactive Participants Report. This month, a new email group, “All Inactive Participants”, has been added to help administrators take action and communicate to players who have participated in the past, but are not signed up for any current activities.

The goal of this report and email group is to identify players who may be slipping away from an organization and help administrators attempt to retain them. Communicating open registrations or upcoming activities to these players can keep them involved before they drop out of a sport or go to another neighboring organization.

Edit Custom Email Groups

Creating custom email groups allows administrators to combine multiple pre-created email buckets into one list, or to add individual email addresses to a list such as email subscribers, board members, or extended family. Once a custom email group is created, administrators can now edit and remove recipients from a list. This way, if a recipient was added to a group by mistake or no longer wants to receive emails, there is no need to start over and create a whole new group.

Simply select the custom group and click the “View/Remove Members” option that appears next to the group name.


 Order Management Updates


Bulk Transfer Players into a Payment Plan

Bulk Transfer saves lots of time when large groups of players need to be moved into another program or division. If an administrator initiates a bulk transfer into a program that supports payment plans, each player included in the transfer can be opted into one of these installment plans. Whether you are transferring one player or one hundred players, we want everyone to benefit from the convenience of spreading out costs via our Automated Payment Plans.

 


 Schedule Updates


 

Archive Schedules

Once all events from a game or practice schedule are completed, administrators will want to remove this schedule from being visible. However, deleting the schedule entirely will remove all historical data related to those events, such as scores, standings, and match-ups. A new option to Archive Schedules is now available for this purpose.

Archived schedules will be hidden from view, but the history of those events will be maintained. To view data associated with these archived schedules, navigate to the Archived Schedules page to unarchive or delete these schedules.

Additional Recipients for Schedule Notifications

Administrators can now add additional recipients to a schedule so that they can receive schedule notifications. This may include referees, additional team personnel, extended family, or anyone that may need to be included on event updates, cancellations, reschedules, or postponements. During Step 1 of creating a schedule, add email addresses into the new Additional Recipients text box, with multiple email addresses being separated by a semi-colon (;).


When our customers want something, we listen. Our team wants to hear from you, so we can help provide the best user experience in the industry. If you ever have an idea on where we could improve, you can always submit an enhancement request. We appreciate all feedback!

 

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