29 November 2021


Best Practice - Membership Development


The corona virus pandemic is not over yet and for the judo family it has been a very difficult time. A lot of national federations and clubs have lost members. So many have had to pose the all important question – ‘what can we do to get them back or to find new judoka?’

In our new series Best Practice we would like to show you different campaigns from different national federations, perhaps some of these measures are useful or can be adapted to your special situation.


Current Situation

The total amount of members of The Dutch Judo Federation was in January 2020, 36,395. One and a half years later, in June 2021 the total amount of members was 30,120. Mainly because of the corona crisis they lost more than 6,000 members. Since July they have managed to gain back or encourage more to take up the sport and have increased their membership to 30,604, however they still lost approximately 17% of their membership.

There was not a specific age group that they lost, the total amount that had unsubscribed was not wildly different from previous years. The biggest problem was that the recruitment of new members was much lower than the years before the pandemic.


The name of their campaign is “Gun je kind judo”, translating to “Your child deserves judo” or “Award your child with judo”.

Together with the numerous clubs – approximately 600 – they offer the children free try-out judo lessons. With a total of 100,000 lessons, their campaign and message triggered lots of national, local and regional media which resulted in a lot of exposure. An example is an item on Dutch Television which reached more than 1.5 million people.

Their main target group are the parents of young children in primary schools and to reach this group we created promotional items. This was also done for clubs, sending them a toolkit containing videos, photos, banners and more to share via their own channels. Collectively, they shared the message which strengthened exposure and redirected all promotional items to the webpage https://gunjekindjudo.nl/.

This is the website where parents of young children can find information regarding:


Dutch Judo believe in the power of judo. With this campaign they hope to connect with the parents of young children in an accessible way with their judo clubs.


Social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube), television, newspapers, magazines.


25,000 Euro.


This campaign created of a lot of specialist work for their association. Therefore, they are working together with a creative sport marketing office and a company which is very good at building websites and creating website flows which result in high conversion rates between providing information and encouraging that parent to book a free lesson.

For more information please contact Thomas van Gestel – t.vangestel(at)jbn.nl

Author: Sören Starke