How to Become a Youth League Sponsor

by Linda Ray

Youth athletic teams rely on local businesses for support. Many of the costs associated with the teams, such as uniforms, referees and umpire salaries, travel and field rental are paid for by local sponsors. In return, your company wins goodwill in the community and usually gets substantial marketing exposure on the team uniforms, on signage around the field and in team programs.

Find a local team that you want to sponsor. Go through the local community center, Boys and Girls Clubs or your city recreation department. Or, you can search the websites of national organizations such as Pop Warner Association football or Little League Baseball Inc. for a team in your area.

Ask what levels of sponsorship are available, how much they cost and what benefits you receive with your level of funding. For example, Jewish Community Center leagues nationwide support soccer, baseball and t-ball teams with sponsorships ranging from $225 for one league to $600 for year-round advertising exposure.

Fill out an application and turn it in to the appropriate agency. Include your business name or the name that you want to publicize on team uniforms and signs. State the level of sponsorship you are signing up for and your contact information.

Donate equipment or concession discounts to a local team instead of directly writing a check if you have a business that provides the types of items players need, like soccer balls, uniforms, bats or snacks and sports drinks. You can get a host of marketing opportunities through any kind of donation that you make when you support Little League baseball, t-ball and community soccer youth teams.

Tip

  • You don’t have to be a business to support a local youth league. Individuals volunteer and contribute to youth leagues for a variety of reasons, primarily to support community efforts. You can ask that your name be mentioned in a program and forgo the signage and uniform naming rights.

Warning

  • Your financial sponsorship does not give you any rights to interfere with how the team is managed or who plays. According to the Little League website, you won’t be buying any rights to choose managers or officials for the games nor will you be able to use the word “official” in any of your own publicity.

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