On a glorious Sunday in November, I trekked into the city for the first ever Melbourne Sports Club Management Expo. The main reason I went in was to see the sort of information that is available to the ambitious local club volunteer or manager and find out more about what clubs need and the position they’re in.
After a little bit of a wait to get in, I was able to meet some of the people running the stalls, including Club Bid, Team Bus, Fan Fuel, All Sports 4 You and Sports Community. Soon enough it was time for the workshops, which were more like mini-lectures as there wasn’t really any discussion or interaction.
Here are some slightly disjointed notes I took from Steve Pallas’ talk about Sponsorship and Membership:
- When asking anybody for money, their immediate response is no. It takes communication and relationships.
- One of the main reasons why people join a club is to socialise and find a community to belong to.
- When looking for funds, clubs need to broaden the fundraising circle from those who have been immediately related to the club through previous relationships to the wider community. Steve believes clubs can build relationships with those not even in the same locality, just like the world’s biggest clubs.
- One of my thoughts: The Brandiose approach of making a local minor team famous is key to this. Having a clear and confident personality along with a big vision will help people to relate and connect to the brand – as long it is bigger than the locality (though this is a key ingredient).
- Social media: Clubs don’t often think they have enough content they can post to facebook etc. It couldn’t be further from the truth. From player suspensions to game results to upcoming games and other milestones, there is plenty to keep the social media accounts ticking over.
- Re: Sponsorship: Clubs often rely on 1 or 2 sponsorship managers to get or sell sponsorship packages. Spread the load, create a sale force from players and members.
- Clubs can do more to look after members, they’re the club’s most important resource.
- For Membership packages, one that is often overlooked is a past players membership. Past players can be an amazing source of revenue for any club.
- When applying for grants, clubs need to be specific – what will the grant pay for? Grant applications that use videos (they don’t have to be high-end videos) are creative and will stick out amongst all the other grant applications.
- A great way to build a local following is by creating traditions and rituals. Much like the Anzac Day AFL game gets a massive following, create your own traditions and rituals, tying into something seasonal will be more easily remembered.
Steve’s 10 favourite fundraising ideas
- Past player memberships best idea
- Player sponsors – player driven
- Photo books, cards
- Helicopter drop pin
- Mobile phone recycling
- Outdoor cinema
- Past players reunion
- Ladies dress up events
- Pre season tournament
I hope my notes have been helpful for you if you’re involved in a club! If you’ve got any great fundraising ideas let us know in the comments below!