The Marketing Department is often asked about best practices for marketing to social players. Targeting social players is a worthwhile endeavor because the potential of capturing their business is far greater than that of someone who doesn’t already understand the mechanics of the game.
If you want to get in the minds of social players and better understand their needs, simply read 95-year-old Maggy Simony’s blog, the Bridge Table Chronicles. Simony is not an ACBL member, but her passion for promoting and sharing the game of bridge – whether serious or social – is undeniable. After being sent an email about a new program strictly for social players at Sagamore Bridge Club in Syossett NY, Simony promptly wrote a blog post and said she “loved the idea of an official ACBL bridge club acting as a kind of ‘meet up’ place for bridge players to find one another – often difficult for social players.”
Here are three ideas you can use at your club, class or tournament to create a more welcoming environment for social bridge players:
- Offer open social play. There is no scheduled social game at the Sagamore Bridge Club, rather players are invited to drop in any time. With a $10 card fee, players get a buffet lunch, private room and a teacher on hand to answer any questions, if desired.
- Provide “Play and Learn” sessions. Weekly, the Bridge Academy of North Dallas has a “Play and Learn” session where social players are invited to come shuffle and deal. Between 12:30-3:00 p.m., teacher Sharon Lux is available to answer questions and guide the group in playing as many hands as the time allows. Lux says that “Play and Learn” has encouraged numerous players to take more formal lessons from the club.
- Hold a relaxed game at your tournament. The Labor Day Regional in Atlanta has offered a “Duplicate bridge game for social players” the last four years, resulting in about 22 tables at each event! This game allows new and social bridge players to attend their first duplicate game in a party bridge style environment. Visit the ACBL Educational Foundation’s website for more information and resources for holding a similar event at your upcoming tournament.
What does your club, unit/district, class or tournament do to encourage the inclusion of social players? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Each submission receives an entry for a $50 Baron Barclay gift certificate!
Our graphic design team made templates for the Frequent Player Card mentioned in last week’s Tricks of the Trade blog post.
Download and customize your way to repeat business today!