Svend Elkjaer is the founder and senior partner of Sports Marketing Network. Holding a Master in Business Administration, MBA, Svend has worked in senior marketing positions within large media organisations such Thomson Reuters and Express Newspapers. In 1999 he started his own marketing consultancy in Bedford and soon after he got involved with Bedford Athletic Rugby Union Club (‘The Ath’) as a volunteer Commercial Manager.
He then also learned that there is little difference between different clubs and other sports providers as how to attract new members and retain the existing ones, grow sponsorship revenue, increase your attendances, improve the social life of the club, increase media coverage, benefit from new technology and introduce new revenue streams etc. He then decided to launch an organisation where community sports providers could share best practice on how to become vibrant, visible and viable…hence the Sports Marketing Network.
What we do
We know there are great things happening in community sport and physical activity across the world, so here is a place where you can get inspiration from really great community sports enterprises and learn from all those great places and projects. We will also help you with checklists and action points.
Some of our work
Over the years SMN have worked with a wide range of organisations including local authorities, universities, colleges, community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, community sports, trusts leisure trusts, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, community groups and other community sports providers and professional associations.
We have run Grow Your Club workshops for more than 4000 community sports clubs across the UK and Denmark.
Grow Your Club: A complete package for you and your clubs
Increasingly, we deliver a comprehensive club inspiration support package for governing bodies of sport, local authorities and sports councils.
There are modules 5 in this package:
- Introductory 3-hour workshop(s). The club representatives are introduced to the concept of making their clubs more vibrant, visible and viable and to the programme.
- Application process for clubs to join the programme. Clubs complete a simple questionnaire where the main focus is on their culture and willingness and capacity for change. The clubs that are demonstrating the strongest desire to move forward are then selected to participate in a one-to-one mentoring and support programme.
- Bespoke club consultations. We then visit each club for 2-3 hours and using our bespoke tools we help the clubs areas where they can best utilise their current and future resources, be it volunteer development, member recruitment and retention, income generation or raising the profile.
- Remote mentoring. Having agreed specific action points with each club we then follow up and stay in touch using email, ‘phone or Skype.
- Possible webinars. In some cases we run specific webinars (online seminars) and in some cases the clubs participate in our regular, open webinars.
Partners and Projects – collaboration, creativity and competence
SMN partner with a wide range of major sports, community and leisure organisations across the UK and Scandinavia, delivering various innovative and engaging solutions
Partnership projects include conferences, study tours, training and support and inspiration. Each partner is different and each project is different and we adapt and develop bespoke services.
The SMN Principles and key community involvements
Working with professionals and volunteers involved with community sport and physical activity SMN provide
“I would recommend Svend Elkjaer of SMN to sports organisations looking to grow their community clubs and their membership. He delivers relevant and professional support and advice to help sport and clubs to grow and develop.”
Really enjoyed the seminar on Sunday, gave me plenty of ideas to try out. I must admit that a lot of the things you talked about I already know, but I have previously not implemented them because my attitude was that of being ‘just a sports club’. That attitude changed during your presentation, so I’m brimming with new stuff to do!
Svend has a unique blend of understanding what makes businesses successful and how community sports operates and manages to get the message of the need for change across in an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking way. Feedback regarding his sessions has been excellent. Svend has always been extremely supportive of what we are trying to achieve. He has been very flexible in the way he has worked with us, positive and extremely enthusiastic