Summer Of Fun Contest

See More Martial Arts Marketing and Management for Summer Camps

Program Goal: 

To increase summer attendance and encourage students to bring buddies with them to classes (don’t send your friend home because its time for martial arts, bring them with you!).

When to start:

The program can start anytime from May 1st on and can end August 1st.

The Rules:

Every time a student attends class, they receive a ticket for a weekly and monthly drawing.  If they bring a friend to class, they receive 5 tickets. If a student successfully tests for new rank in May, June or July, they also receive 5 tickets.   

All of the tickets are put in a large ticket container in the school. The school owner one drawing each week, one monthly and a final grand prize drawing at the end of summer. 

The weekly prizes consist of tee shirts, water bottles, Frisbees, and other small inexpensive items (all emblazoned with the school logo). 

For the once a month drawing, the prizes consist of things like in-line skates, skate boards, movie passes for 2-4 people, a pizza party for 10 people (hosted by the winner), dinner for two (if the winner is an adult), or a free testing or tournament.  

The grand prize drawing might be an amusement park admission for 2-4 people, a weekend getaway for the family to a local resort, a Black Belt Club membership or a deluxe sparring gear or training equipment package. 

The prizes are limited only by the imagination of the school owner, but not necessarily the budget –as many of the items are donated by local business. 


Scott says that his in-house promotion of the contest played a big role in building up student enthusiasm. He created a Hawaiian theme in his lobby with mannequins dressed in Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses and he had a CD playing summer-style music.  

He acquired vacation posters from a local travel agency and hung them around his school. He even put up an old surfboard on the wall to get everyone in the right frame of mind. Scott advises posting prizes and the contest’s ticket container in the school where students and their parents won’t be able to miss them. 

He also recommends pumping the contest up with in-class events like having crazy shirt days, water balloon carrying drills (for the Little Ninjas) and even giving out Popsicle’s in Saturday classes to everyone who attends. 

How Much?

“My last Summer Of Fun Contest cost me less than $150” says Pettit, “and it had a significant effect on my student retention. The summer before I started this program my active student count dropped 30 percent. This year I saw a decline of less than 10 percent.  I also added more than fifteen students a month as a result of the contest, so as an added bonus it became an unexpected profit center for the school.”