Tag Archives: sponsors

Behind the scenes. Content for social media

Jim Long @newmediajim

That is my social media buddy Jim Long in the photo above. As a cameraman for NBC news in Washington DC who covers the White House, he has got to have one of the coolest jobs in the world. He also goes on press junkets all over the world covering the First Lady, Hillary Clinton and others.

And he is very active on social media.

One of the things I love about Jim is all the “behind the scenes” photos he shares on Twitter and Google+. One of his recent photo galleries can be found here. Almost every morning, he “greets” me by posting a photo of the sunrise over the White House or a Foursquare check-in at his favorite coffee place or just a quip about life in general. It almost always makes me smile and makes me feel like I am standing right there with him.
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Speeding tickets and soccer tournaments

Police stop at a soccer tournament

One Ohio soccer tournament made a bit of national news lately with a neighboring city setting up speed cameras and issuing over 900 tickets. The soccer tournament pled a good case, citing good will and economic impact for the city. The police from the neighboring city had not been in contact with them regarding this enforcement effort, even as the host city police were helping out directing traffic in and out of the park. That alone probably helped plead the case for “forgiving” the tickets.

Contrary to what most people think, the police don’t just ticket people for easy money. The first priority for the police is road safety and preventing accidents. When they see a car racing by at 40-50 mph on a road that is posted at 25 mph, they are going to do something about it. If they see many, many cars doing the same thing, they are going to sit there and pick you off, soccer tournament or not.
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2010 Hershey Invitational Charity Soccer Tournament

Special Olympics Hershey Soccer Club

The photograph above was taken at the Hershey Soccer Club meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

This donation was a result of the 2010 Hershey Invitational Charity Soccer Tournament played on June 19-20, 2010. The tournament raised $16,000 for the Special Olympics Area M and also $16,000 for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. The Hershey Invitational is organized and run by Kicks 4 Kids Charity Soccer Tournaments. To date, Kicks 4 Kids has raised $177,618 for organizations that serve disadvantaged youth.

The 2011 Hershey Invitational will be played on the weekend of June 18-19, and will benefit the Special Olympics Area M and Ronald McDonald House of Hershey. The tournament is expected to host 230 teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

The Hershey Invitational website can be found here.

What business are you in?

Soccer Tournaments Mean Business

There will be a special place in heaven for youth soccer tournament directors. These largely volunteer people give countless hours of their free time to help raise funds for their club and give kids a chance to play competitive soccer. They have to convince teams to play, armies of volunteers to work and sponsors to participate. There is no doubt that, at least on some level, tournament directors love the game of soccer.

But running a successful tournament needs more than just enthusiasm and “want to”. It requires the ability to remove yourself from the emotions and personalities and make real business decisions. Teams that sign up to play and the fans that follow them are real customers. Sponsors that support your event, even the ones who do it for good will purposes, are real business partners.

Our Advice: It’s time to realize that you are not in the Soccer Business. You are in the Event Management Business that happens to feature a youth soccer tournament. Highly successful events take a good hard look at every aspect of their event and make educated business decisions on what they should do, and what they should not. Those who leave things to chance, well, they leave things to chance. Being a volunteer does not mean you have to be an amateur.

Increasing a sponsor’s footprint at your soccer tournament

This morning I received an email from a tournament director to see if we could make the sponsor logo bigger. I took a look at the listings under the DEALS area and noticed the logo was already at the maximum size and in the top position. But I also noticed the sponsor had no Super Deal, no additional coupon, no links to their Facebook Fan page or posted video. Fortunately, there is still some time to get these things up and running.

For a player, parent or coach visiting the tournament website, there is no reason to click on the logo if there is no additional information. They know all that is going to happen is a visit to the sponsor’s website. But they don’t know why they would go there other than being sold something, so they don’t click.

Sometimes the easiest thing to ask for is to “make the logo bigger” but the more effective strategy is to make the sponsorship footprint bigger. Think what your sponsor means to the player, parent or coach. Ask the sponsor what special information they have for your audience and make that the SuperDeal. Then ask for a flyer or coupon This does not even need to be a discount, just more information targeted to your tournament-goers and their fans. And a video never, ever hurts. It could even be the sponsor welcoming the teams to your tournament.

If you want to go further, you can post a news story on your front page and email it to the teams. If your sponsor relies on foot traffic during the event, you could send text messages from the Team Applications Module to the team contacts, sparingly of course. You could also tweet out offers using your twitter account.

Think about how you can increase your sponsor’s footprint instead of just their logo size. Chances are, if they have success in year one, they’ll keep coming back every year.