Home > Marketing > Marketing Updates for Club Administrators > June 2014

ABF Research - Non-novice players

At this year's Summer Festival of Bridge forty-seven generous competitors completed an ABF Research Survey form to help inform the development of marketing strategies and approaches.

'Intelligence' from this process is now available on the ABF website .

Some of the key findings from this program include:

  1. the majority of competitors are aged between 61-75 years (consistent with previous research findings)
  2. the overwhelming majority of responders started playing bridge between 46-50 years of age 
  3. family and friends continue to show up as the most common way for people to be introduced to bridge (this reinforces the imperative for clubs to create a pleasant experience for their members and to promote membership benefits);  and
  4. the most popular communication channels are 1) the ABF Website; 2) a person's club and 3) their State website.

Some of the improvements suggested included:

  • providing more opportunities and prizes for people competing in the open field 
  • address the need for improvement in bridge etiquette - stamp out poor behaviour, including slow play and noise levels;  and
  • increase the amount of professional development opportunities for Directors.

The research findings have been referred to the relevant ABF sub-committees for consideration.


Bridge etiquette

ABF research consistently reveals that the lack of table etiquette in clubs and at our tournaments is the biggest 'turn-off' to members of our affiliated clubs.  If we are to ensure that people enjoy their bridge (and TELL THEIR FRIENDS), then we must all work to improve this situation.

Those of you who attended the 2014 Summer Festival of Bridge may recall that every scorebook had information about appropriate behaviour printed on the back.  This has now been made into  two posters (available on the ABF website) which can be displayed on your club wall and/or at Regional competitions. 

There are two versions of the poster from which you can choose. These add to the previous Please be Considerate posters which were placed on the ABF website earlier this year.  (All posters in this series are available in either A4 or A3 sizes.)

We should all strive to ensure the people enjoy their bridge.  Hopefully, having a visible statement about expected behaviour will serve to demonstrate to both existing and potential members that our sport has a strict code of conduct to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Help stamp out poor behaviour!  

Create bridge ambassadors

ABF research continues to reveal that the most effective way for people to hear about bridge beginner classes is through existing members of your club.  The majority find out through their friends and/or family, not through print media advertisements.

Therefore, to create bridge ambassadors we must ensure that people enjoy their experience when playing in their club (by being exposed to appropriate behaviour) and that they are aware of the benefits available to them (who doesn't like to save money?).

Make sure that your members are aware of what is available to them - from the ABF Nationally, your State/Territory Association and through your Club sponsors (if you have some). 

An A4 flyer is now available on the ABF website showing the National membership benefits available for members of your club. These are gaining in popularity and people have commented that the saving on their travel insurance alone has more than paid for their year's membership fee!  

This flyer can be:

  • included in your club's 'Welcome' pack for new members
  • placed on your Club's Notice Board
  • included in your Club Newsletter;  and
  • emailed to your members for their information.

Remember, people need to see things many times for the information to 'sink in'.  

If your members enjoy their bridge experience in a friendly, well run club and can save money through a membership benefits scheme, they will become fabulous bridge ambassadors for our sport.  

They will tell their friends and family members!

Marketing 'Special Projects' Grants

At its December 2012 meeting the ABF Management Committee decided to cancel the GNP which released an amount of $30,000. This money was allocated to marketing under the heading of 'special projects' and guidelines were issued for those interested in applying for a grant under this funding.

The Ballina Bridge Club was successful in their application and were allocated funding to purchase equipment for use by their teachers.  The club has seven teachers and they are very pleased with their new equipment.  The club is confident that the new equipment will enhance the teaching experience for prospective club members and help them to 'grow' their membership.



Stimulating brain activities delay onset of memory decline

A paper on this topic was published in the August 2009 issue of Neurology.

The study showed that it is important for older people to engage in cognitively stimulating activities and to do them frequently; according to the study's senior author Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., associate professor of neurology and director of the division of cognitive and motor aging at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The results on the benefits of cognitive activity closely resemble previous Einstein research.  In a 2003 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and led by Dr Verghese, study participants who regularly played board or card games, did crossword puzzles, or read books and newspapers reduced their risk of developing dementia.

Our recent research findings show that the mental challenge of our sport and its social aspects are the two most popular reasons people enjoy bridge.  Therefore, any marketing material your club may produce should stress that playing bridge is important for a person's ongoing mental health - ie exercise the brain AND have fun!