Ben Newton Photograph

Thanks for coming

I’ve been practicing graphic design since 2008 and since then have started a digital design studio, a mini grassroots sports design operation, and worked for a couple of studios. The things that get me buzzing are top sport branding and design, great typefaces, digital marketing and content production and fresh approaches to UI design.

I’m currently employed at the Melbourne Racing Club as Digital Producer (my views are solely my own), as a Creative Direction Consultant for Centre Square Development and for the Dandenong Baseball Association as the Website Content Manager. On top of that I dabble in some freelance work, having closed down my business Flag Digital in April 2015.

Apart from work I play baseball and sit on the committee for the Chelsea Baseball Club. You can also hear me as a previous co-host on episodes 1-63 on the Web Agency Podcast.

If you’d like to get in touch at all please don’t hesitate.

closebuttonBack to the Blog

Get in contact

Phone

Or find me on the following networks:

LinkedIn Instagram Dribbble

closebuttonBack to the blog

How to Start a New Baseball Club: The Grassroots Sport Experience You Never Hear About (Part Two)

June 28, 2015

After part one, I wanted to ask a few extra questions on top as a follow up. Originally I planned to head down to meet Tim (now the Miner’s secretary) at the club’s first home match at their home ground, however as you’ll read things haven’t been going so smoothly for the club on that subject!

When you first decided you wanted to start the club, how many people did you approach to help? What was the feedback from those people you approached?
At first I did it all alone: if it failed, no one else would have been let down. Once I had a field placing and council approval, I then had a come and try day in which I also advertised the requirement for committee members and managed to achieve a committee to back me up on things I needed help with. The feedback was very positive as they all wanted this club on the field. As it turns out, now we are halfway through the season and have had massive dramas with the cricket club we were trying to share a ground with, and subsequently we have had to move down the road to a new field. It’s meant that the whole committee has had to do a lot of extra work to get funding applications updated so we can hopefully get our field sorted. At this stage all our home games will be getting played at another club’s ground.

Once you had your core support group, what issues did that raise? Was it hard to keep everyone focused on the goal?
I really have had no dramas or issues with the core group of committee or players. Everyone is focused on getting bigger and better while understanding it is going to take time. Our first goal was try and get a win (which we achieved in about round 5) but now it has flicked to getting more consistency in every game we play.

What did you do at your first meeting?
First meeting was at that stage working out numbers for the first game whilst trying to get a juniors program up and running. Also trying to get our field sorted out with the cricket club which has since fallen over. We are now working with a cricket club about 100m away from our original site, and the reaction couldn’t be any more different: they’re very excited at the opportunity to have us at their site. We just have to keep at it and the hard work is almost done.

How did you come up with the name for the club? What were some of the names left on the reject pile?
I really wanted a name that may mean something to locals from the South Gippsland area. Most would know that coal mining is big in the region, so the Miners seemed like a good fit. There is a cricket club with the same name in the region, but I think our branding will set us apart. Some of the names scrapped were:

  • TITANS
  • GIANTS
  • SHARKS
  • GLADIATORS

My fiancee made up mock uniforms to see how they would look on a uniform and how it sounded but none of them seemed to work. I think we made the right decision with The Miners. We recently heard from a guy who had grown up in the area but was now living in Perth and he bought a few playing tops and caps just because he loved the name and logo of the club. That to me is proof that it’s a good name that fits with the character of the area.

What paperwork is required to start a club? Which of those things is the most difficult to complete?
The main document required to be a club is your incorporation, which you cannot obtain without the basic requirement of a committee, President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Once they are all in place, have a meeting and get document signed asap as it can take up to 5 weeks to go through. All the paperwork is pretty easy but can be time consuming. There are companies around that can help (see part one) and they are the best to talk to as they know the exact process you need to adhere to. Once they are on the case it’s really easy.

The main thing I take away from this whole experience is to fight for your club. I have been fighting for this club for 18 months now and got the wind knocked out of my sails by the cricket club making it so difficult for us. However it has lead us to try another avenue which has now paid off – but not without a lot of extra work. I would recommend that you make sure you try and have a good relationship with any sharing club, and get a proper understanding of what you require of the site as far as clubrooms go, and then clarity about what works will be done on the ground. For instance we hit a wall because the cricket club didn’t want to give us access to their kitchen to sell hot food. Their opinion was that we would have to drag a BBQ from the balcony 100m across a wet oval and cook it there.

When we went to primary school with this and they were sided with us, but the cricket club made it that hard to try and rectify it that the fight just stopped being worth it. We felt things started getting more unfair, especially after a request for $1000 a week in hire costs so we started looking elsewhere. As I said earlier, fight for what’s right but don’t give up if one door closes. Keep an open mind and have a backup plan ready to activate if required. I had approached this new cricket club right back at the start and asked them about the possibility of having ground at their facility, so they knew of the possibility of us being there and weren’t shocked when I rang.

Good luck to anyone starting a club!

 

Well that’s the second and last one in this series – I’ll get an update about the Miners at the end of their first season to see how things are progressing. If you’ve got any questions you’d like to ask Tim leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure he knows to get back to you.