Sports Marketing for Physical Therapy

Sports are a seasonal activity that can generate big revenue for physical therapy practices. From preseason warmups to peak season practices and post-season workouts, most athletes are almost constantly participating in one sport or another. As a PT clinic, you can market to specific sports to attract new patients and help former patients get back in the game.

Think about your local community and region—what sports are popular throughout the year? A typical calendar might be:

Spring Sports

  • Track
  • Baseball
  • Lacrosse

Summer Sports

  • Swimming
  • Golf
  • Tennis

Fall Sports

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Field Hockey

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Ice Hockey
  • Skiing

Next, think about your annual marketing plan. What can you do to incorporate seasonal strategies, such as sports-oriented campaigns and promotions, into your practice’s plan? First, draw connections between the sport and its common injuries, preventative measures, and post-surgical rehabilitation. Then, develop a set of campaigns that target each sport individually. Remember, the marketing message needs to be targeted and clearly communicate to the desired audience. You will see better results and get more engagement, reactivations, and new patients from a promotion that clearly speaks to a specific sport. And, not for a promotion that tries to address three distinct topics at once.

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Sample sports marketing strategy:

Soccer: create a feature article on soccer and its related topics for your September newsletter. For example, leg and knee pain, head/neck injuries, agility training, running techniques. Also, include photos showing athletes with a variety of ages (high school to adult). Promote a Free “Back to Sports” Screening.

Football: this is often one of the most popular fall sports in a local area. Develop a postcard that speaks both to the athlete usually middle to high school age boys or college athletes if applicable. Additionally, you want to market to their parents. Emphasize safe techniques, muscle conditioning, and injury prevention. Send this in late August to align with the start of the season.

Field Hockey: while this sport might not be common in all regions, there is usually a women’s sport, such as tennis or track that is popular in the fall months. Research local training clinics or specialty camps that often meet weekly or on the weekends. Then, reach out to coordinate a partnerships or sponsorship opportunity where your PTs can come to the events and provide on-site support and counseling on injury prevention/rehabilitation. A community event produces lots of good PR about your clinic and allows the PTs to establish connections with parents, coaches, and athletes.

How can you measure the success of your sports marketing campaigns?

Start by tracking the responses to your newsletter, postcard, and event. See how many patients you receive from each promotion. This will help gauge your success for future seasons. Also track what team, league, or school the athletes are coming from—maybe there is a partnership opportunity where you can be the exclusive PT provider? Look for existing partnerships, often teams have a relationship with a local gym or training facility that enables them to use their equipment or staff. Could you coordinate with the partner directly to provide on-site support and PT services?

Using sports marketing for physical therapy can generate new patients and support clinic values / public relations. People forge long-lasting relationships and spread good word of mouth referrals about clinics that provided excellent care when they needed it most. You want your PT practice to be known as “THE” place to go for sports therapy and rehabilitation.

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