Support Our Sponsors
The exponential growth of youth sports nationwide has subsequently made it both a significant outlet for kids to have fun and a target market for businesses. Companies whose products and services benefit that demographic are seizing the opportunity to invest in communities that provide these outlets. Yes, companies who supplied us with memorable Super Bowl commercials and have us constantly saying Dilly, Dilly! provide strategic opportunities locally. Top-notch athletic fields that boast turf and hybrid Bermuda grass come with a premium price tag. Many times private donations, select fundraisers and local businesses provide the monetary means to subsidize these play areas. Depending on where you live often determines the quality of that experience. The prime real estate and locale of our neighborhoods come with many costs i.e.; Mello-Roos, homeowner dues, taxes, insurance and mortgage payments. However, today's children participate in organized sports at the ripe old age of three (it’s true), so these expenditures make involvement in multiple sports, competitive clubs and the increasing number of extra-curricular activities a luxury. Ultimately, the family decisions to participate become a financial one. This is exactly where sponsors help reduce the monetary burden on such programs and affect us in more ways than you may know.
Besides the tireless efforts of volunteers, “our unsung heroes”, the absence of sponsors would significantly diminish the overall experience in many youth programs. The familiar names you see printed on your child’s jersey, banners and signs at the places our kids frequent most—school and the sports park, represent companies that provide excellent products and/or services. We know the preservation of life is embedded in the virtue of helping one another, and a critical principle of how sponsorships function to grow programs. Specifically, sponsorship money reduces the cost to you, the consumer, for uniforms, facilities, equipment, field use, and maintenance. At the end of the day most small businesses would love to financially assist the place they operate, but at what cost? I remember speaking to one sponsor who was gracious in support over the years, express to me, that if she gave to every group that approached she’d be out of business—a valid concern. To fix this problem, I initiated a collective effort of multiple corporations to share the financial burden. Let’s be honest, some have more than others, just as some need more than others. The success of our local businesses is crucial for them giving back. It’s cool when our favorite places to eat, drink and shop are also the ones that support our kids in doing the things they love.
Coaching has provided me numerous life experiences heightening my awareness of needs within our community. This is why I took on the highly coveted, often sought after position of Director of Sponsorships & Fundraising (now laugh) for not one but several organizations. My job description? Pretty straight forward; soliciting monies from local businesses to offset the rising costs of our athletic programs in exchange for marketing. In fulfilling my duties I have changed my designation to “Town Beggar.” However, I do it with honor and vigor because the results are priceless. Part of my duty is determining a value or worth of the organization I represent, to ensure the price tag of sponsorship is mutually beneficial to both parties. To be quite honest, it’s a pretty fair exchange—advertise to an affluent community to maintain profitability is a no brainer. Small businesses are what make neighborhoods like ours a great place to live, providing the necessities (coffee, food) in virtual walking distance. The very definition of “community” is a group living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. This detonation is fundamentally true because no matter our race, creed, color or religion we all want one important thing—the best for our family.
Local businesses, like Shay Realtors and so many others, provide financial assistance that increases the quality of our school-sponsored and independently operated activities. Ray Shay, the owner, has supported many of these programs for over a decade and our community as a whole in a very special way—by providing “The Hub.” Yes, their actual workplace, in the evenings and weekends to accommodate organizations monthly board meetings. Without a place to congregate and discuss business matters, our capacity to fulfill many goals and objectives would wane. In addition to financial assistance, national chains like Dick’s Sporting Goods donate athletic equipment, restaurants like Burger Lounge, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Yogurt Heaven have “dine out night” fundraisers. Community staple iOrtho, donate water bottles and mouth guards to entire leagues, all to ensure our families get the best value. From my viewpoint, sponsorship and community are synonymous. Reciprocal relationships between local entities mutually benefitting each other to address the specific needs of families that reside within. So the next time you see a local business logo on a banner or jersey know that the name represents support of what we love most…our children!