The advertising posters have been hanging since January 24th, the campaign "Your club: Sport, only better" has started.
The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) want to support mass sport with 150,000 sports club checks.
These are available for download on the DOSB website.
New members can then submit the vouchers when registering with the club and thus save 40 euros - the clubs, in turn, can cash the checks at the DOSB and get the money refunded.
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The club checks are intended to motivate people to register (again) in a sports club.
What service the new members get for the 40 euros depends on the amount of the admission fee and the membership fee.
At the TG Bornheim, the voucher covers the first two and a half months of club membership with an admission fee and membership fee of 12 euros each.
Setbacks in Corona times
The campaign is part of the so-called "ReStart" program, with which the BMI and the DOSB want to encourage people in Germany to exercise and at the same time strengthen the sports clubs.
The program is funded with 25 million euros from unused corona aid for professional sports clubs.
There was already a model for the nationwide campaign at city level: Last summer, Hamburg gave out vouchers worth 80 euros as part of its new member campaign.
The model turned out to be very successful.
Many clubs suffered a severe setback during the Corona period: "The loss of members that we lost through Corona set the club back about ten years in development," says Miriam Wolf, Managing Director of the Frankfurt Gymnastics and Sports Association 1847 ( FTG Frankfurt), one of the major popular sports clubs in the city.
Managing Director Thomas Völker from TG Bornheim also reports on the decline in membership during the Corona years: "We lost almost twelve percent over the two years of Corona, that was about the average that every major sports club lost."
Völker also refers to other programs.
The state of Hesse already had a member recovery program that helped a lot.
This allowed the clubs to apply for an amount for each lost member, which in turn could be reinvested in recovery campaigns such as open house days.
The club, which has the largest number of members in Hesse after Eintracht Frankfurt, uses such campaigns to attract new members, for example by waiving the admission fee.
This is one of the reasons why Völker does not expect negative reactions from existing members to the sports club cheques.
Regarding the sports club check campaign, he says: "I think the program is great, it's a step in the right direction.
You have to keep at it at that point.”
Appeal to Maccabi
Wolf is also happy about the action of the DOSB, her own efforts to recruit members are continuing in parallel.
Her club, the FTG Frankfurt, is still fighting back: "We lost a lot of members in the Corona pandemic and then Corona wasn't really digested and we slipped into the energy crisis - which actually puts us in the situation that we would have to raise membership fees to cushion this, but we made a conscious decision not to do so".
At the Makkabi sports club in Frankfurt, the sports club checks are popular just three days after the start of the campaign.
"This morning we received the first sports club check," says Lukas Gerhardt, head of the office.
“I'm curious to see how many of the club checks are handed in to us.
So we like to be surprised and hope that as many as possible will find their way back into the sports club.”