Home > Marketing > Marketing Updates for Club Administrators > October 2015

Contract Bridge - Happy 90th birthday !

Whilst aboard the cruise ship Finland in late October 1925, travelling with three friends, all of whom were auction bridge enthusiasts; Harold S Vanderbilt (1884-1970) tested an idea for making the auction bridge version of the game more interesting.

He decided to make it more challenging by requiring a partnership to actually bid to the game or slam level in order to receive a bonus.  Since this refinement made slam risky to attempt, he also increased the slam bonuses.

Vanderbilt devised the first unified system of bidding, and he was solely responsible for the articifial 1C bid to show a strong hand, the negative 1D response, the strong (16-18 HCP) no trump on balanced hands only and the weak two bid opening.

He authored several bridge books and was a member of the Laws Committee of the Whist Club of New York that made the American laws of contract bridge (1927, 1931) and the first international code (1932).

Is your club celebrating our sport's 90th birthday?

'Lucky Draw' Sunday

During one of my marketing seminars in Western Australia I learnt of one club which runs a 'Lucky Draw' Sunday once a year.  The day is intended as a fun day where members get to play with someone who they would not normally play bridge with.

The process - people place their name in an entry box and the Club management committee matches them up with another club member of a similar level (and with a similar bidding system).

This has resulted in club members getting to know one another better in an enjoyable environment. 

If your club is organising its calendar for 2016 consider trialling a 'Lucky Draw' Sunday for your members.

2015 ABF Marketing Grant - Friendship Day

The Ballina Bridge Club was successful in its application for a 2015 marketing grant. To encourage new players within the region to participate more widely in club congresses and special events, they offered a 'Friendship Day' of bridge for new players and rising stars (0-50 masterpoints). 

24 pairs from Ballina, Brunswick Valley, Lismore and Byron Bay Bridge Clubs competed. Lunch was provided and prizes were awarded, including a beautiful engraved glass, an impressive pen, free entry into a novice event at the 2016 Summer Festival of Bridge and a bridge book authored by Joan Butts!

This green point event was run along the lines of a pairs congress but in a shortened, more friendly, non-threatening enviornment.  Participants got to experience a double session of bridge and an opportunity to interact with other players in both a social and competitive manner.

The event met its prime objective of creating an opportunity for new players which enhanced their enjoyment of the game as well as giving them more experience and confidence to participate in many more club and regional events in the future.

This may be something other clubs could trial in their region?

Liz Jeffery, Director (on the left) and Rebecca Rogers, Ballina Bridge Club President - getting ready to start the competition.

Well done to the whole team involved in this initiative - and thank you for making me feel so welcome.​

Some of the keen competitors - play is under way.

Ballina Bridge Club President Rebecca Rogers has advised that given the success of this initiative it is likely to become an annual event!


Melbourne Cup - Tuesday 3 November

The 'race that stops the Nation' provides an excellent excuse for a celebration at your club!

Champagne  / fascinators / sweepes / best hat competitions etc - provide your members with some fun, pre-race entertainment and competitions.

If planning an event, let your local community newspaper know as you may get some free promotion for your club.  What better than showing people having fun at their bridge club? 

Tips on how to obtain free promotion can be viewed here.

Remember to inform me of any coverage you may receive - at marketing@abf.com.au.

ABF Marketing Officer

Please note that I will be unavailable from 17-26 October and from 8-22 November as I will be on leave.