In 2022, Square Holes was approached by local organisation Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club (ALSC) to conduct research into the community club’s branding.
Boasting more than 300 playing members in 22 teams across three different codes (cricket, netball, football), the club located in Adelaide’s inner-south parklands sought key insights from stakeholders to help shape the future strategic direction of the 50+ year old organisation.
Scott Babolka, Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club Strategic Committee Member, said the club wanted to assess if its members thought a brand refresh was needed as it prepares to enter an exciting new chapter.
“We are proudly a member-driven community club, so the voice of our members matters. We needed a survey that would help us gauge how our member base views the ALSC brand and identify where we can improve as an organisation.”
One key component of the study was the Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club name and assessing if the moniker presented barriers for current members.
“Our club comprises multiple demographics, including people of different ages and different backgrounds. A question we posed ourselves was: ‘Does the Lutheran label still reflect the values we pride ourselves on?’” said Babolka.
“How do we continue honouring our heritage but incorporate the contemporary opinions and mindsets of people of today?”
A key outcome from the survey was that what really drives the club isn’t the name, but rather the shared values of inclusivity and togetherness that were founded in the Christian beginning of ALSC and carried on today by members of all denominations.
What was suggested by the Square Holes team was for ALSC to refine and bring together a consistent vision and mission statement that is steeped in those shared values and can be easily communicated – something that has been taken on board by Scott and his fellow representatives.
“Key takeaways from the survey results include presenting a new Club mission and vision statement,” said Babolka.
“We’ve proposed a branding guide to ensure consistent branding across the organisation, including merchandise and our logo. Then, for the Club board, we’ve proposed official club values.”
With more than two-thirds of the club coming from rural or interstate backgrounds, the Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club community is a home away from home. Scott, himself originally hailing from rural South Australia, says the club offers wonderful flow-on effects for the City of Adelaide by attracting families to the city center, helping keep new residents healthy and engaged, and honing the next generation of community leaders.
“The first year of moving to the city from the country can be daunting for many, but a caring support base makes the transition easier. That’s exactly what Adelaide Lutheran offers.”
“Fellow members can relate to what you’re experiencing and guide you on how to adapt. This is really important because if you’re comfortable with your surroundings, other aspects of your life will benefit. You’ll perform better at work, you’ll do better at uni, and there’s probably a greater chance you’ll stay in Adelaide than returning to the country,” said Babolka.
“Having that supporter base at a club is actively helping keep people in Adelaide. This boosts the city council’s local economy through increased local spending and workforce talent.”
Putting the core values at the forefront of Adelaide Lutheran Sports Club’s messaging going forward is a vital step in growing the club and helping to attract new members that align with their current base.
“You want people to feel proud about the organisation they’re part of. Happy, invested people help organisations grow; and ultimately, people attract like-minded people, which will further strengthen our club,” said Babolka.
“The lifeblood of any community club is its members, but every member has a lifespan. Having a greater understanding about what makes our members tick, and creating club messaging around that, will help us continually attract new members to ensure the club’s longevity.”