Sponsoring youth sport teams
As a small business owner, you’re always trying to remain a couple steps ahead. Well, with the rush of the holidays now past, now is the time to start thinking about spring. (Yes, spring!) One of the most exciting things about spring is the warm weather it brings. And with warm weather comes youth sports like soccer, softball and baseball. Youth sports teams bring the community together as parents and families rally around its youngsters. And, it’s a great opportunity for you to join with them as a small business sponsor for one of the teams.Exposure and community support
Making the decision to sponsor a youth sports team is well worth your while. First, think along the lines of exposure: Your business name will be displayed on team jerseys and perhaps even a banner at multiple sporting events throughout the season. That kind of exposure is good for business, sure, but taking steps to become an active community supporter has always been good business.

Secondly, sponsoring a youth sports team is a way to generate leads because it will definitely curry favor among devoted team moms and dads. If they have never been to your place of business, they will definitely be more likely to drop by for a visit; if they’ve stopped in once or twice already, this may make them more regular customers. And, if they have a good experience, they’ll probably tell their friends and acquaintances about it, too!

Communicate the sponsorship
Now that you’re intrigued by the concept, let’s plan for some action-oriented decision making: Start by touching base with your local recreation department to express your interest in becoming a team sponsor. Or, ask among your friends and acquaintances, perhaps other small business owners, if they have any experience with youth sports team sponsorship.

Once you’re an official sponsor, let people know with good ol’ word-of-mouth marketing—it’s still one of the most reliable forms of marketing. All it takes is a passing mention when customers stop in. Display foldable or sticker schedules in your workplace. That way, your regular customers stay informed and show their support. And you never know: Your customers might have a niece or nephew on the team, or know a family with children on the team.

Post the news on your website and social media pages as well. The Internet is a very effective venue to share information and it ensures a wide audience, like customers and vendors who may not live in your community but may appreciate your philanthropic commitment.

Sponsoring the team, promoting your business
There are many ways to make your name visible beyond the jerseys and banners. Here are a few:

  • Your financial support will help pay for team jerseys, but what about hoodies? Wearing team apparel to school can help team members proudly display their team colors at school and identify with one another off the playing field. If it’s especially cold in your area, maybe sweatpants are also a smart buy.
  • Because parents are almost always a big part of their kids’ extracurricular activities, you might consider investing in a few items to help them cheer on their children. Things like bumper stickers for their vehicle or a frivolous pom-pom for game time.
  • Team-inscribed water bottles are great gifts to keep team members hydrated on game days.
  • And, at the end of the season, you could present the coach and one especially helpful parent with an embroidered team jacket.

You can go above and beyond providing financial support and promotional items for the team by attending weekly matches to show your team spirit. Or, if you really wanted to demonstrate your commitment to the team and the community, you could join the team as an assistant coach and mentor to the children playing on it.

Sometimes there is more to business than business. Sponsoring a youth sports team is one of those opportunities to do more than just business … sponsoring a youth sports team is an opportunity to give back.

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