Marketing and Fundraising for Club Sports

Do you know what it takes to fund and run a club sport?

Clubs are mostly paid for by themselves. Players and members pay to play, and have to raise money to support their club. The Club Sports Advisory Council (CSAC) recently met to discuss the subject of fundraising. This informative meeting raised some good ideas for clubs to make money and market themselves around campus.

Fundraising

At the CSAC meeting, there were some interesting ideas thrown about for ways teams could raise funds for themselves. People are familiar with bake sales and car wash fundraisers, but it’s soon to be winter and nobody wants to wash a car when its 28 degrees.

The first thing a club needs to do when preparing a fundraiser is to have a financial goal. Next, develop a plan to market your event. A great resource is the Marketing Request form on GrizzOrgs, mentioned later in this article.

Some clubs have their own t-shirts for sale that generate money for them. A great way to go, if applicable, is to get a local sponsorship – Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham’s, Rex Ox to name a few. But the sponsor also has to benefit. Companies don’t just pay for a club’s shirts or equipment out of the kindness of their heart. It is, after all, a business.

A good way to go about it might be to talk to the owners, and tell them you will put their business’s logo on your uniform or shirt if they pay for it – that way the whole world knows which company is sponsoring the team, and it could lead to better business for the company.

Club Sports Program Assistant and Rugby Club President, Ted Tansley, has his own experience with club t-shirts.

“We bought t-shirts for a really cheap price, and then sold them for a more expensive price. We bought them at $3.20 a piece and sold them for $10. We made close to a grand.”

Prize giveaways or hosting events on or off campus are great ways to fundraise. For instance, many clubs have hosted events at the Rochester Buffalo Wild Wings where a certain percentage of customers’ food bills can go towards the club.

Marketing

A lot of Oakland’s clubs have been flying under the radar for some time. Some students may not know of our Water Polo Club or the Fencing Club, but they’re here. Marketing goes a long way in getting your name out there if you want to increase your participation in a club. Something as simple as tabling or passing out flyers can get your team known around campus.

You may have seen club members in the OC at tables handing out flyers and information about their club. Tansley, is a fan of tabling.

“The best that’s worked has been tabling because you get directly involved with the students. Sometimes a player will be at the table and not get involved, but when they are, we get a lot more people to come out to practice – which is pretty cool.”

New this year, every club is required to be registered on GrizzOrgs. Here, teams can go online and request to have themselves marketed in a number of ways. Simply log in with your campus ID username and password. Clubs can request different marketing services here. Some of the options are for a banner, a TV ad for OUTV, or perhaps a blog story about your club.

A little creativity goes a long way, and friendliness with some persistence can really put your club on the map! For those who aren’t in a club, and are looking for things to do around campus, check out Oakland’s clubs and give them some support.

Who knows – you might end up wanting to join one.

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