Attracting and retaining club members in times of changing societies: The case of cycling in Australia
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Previous research revealed that sport clubs increasingly experience problems regarding the recruitment and retention of members. Demographic shifts in Western societies (e.g. low birth rates, more females, and old people) and an increasing number of leisure substitutes and sport providers on the market contribute to decreasing club memberships. Also, the pay as you play trend combined with increased opportunities to play sport in a more non-organised fashion intensifies pressures on clubs to sustain their viability. By applying the sport development processes framework, this study examined the attraction and retention processes of cycling members in Australia. Data were gathered via interviews with cycling representatives at a national, state, and club level. The results suggest that cycling clubs experience difficulties offering value for money. The findings have implications for club management. Club managers should actively engage in marketing activities that highlight the social value of sport clubs as well as skill development.
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