We all know the fun parts of coaching. The X’s and O’s, drills, game night, building relationships etc…. It is easy to forget that every athletic program in the world requires funding in order to operate. nothing will crash a program quicker than a lack of funding. We need to remember that your athletic program; be it football, basketball or any other sport is also a business. That business is sales. Period. You have to sell the program to players, to parents, to the community, to the faculty, to the administrators and yes. You must sell your program to those who would donate, invest and purchase products offered by your program. If you are the head coach of a program, then you are also the CEO of your business. There is simply no way around this.
So knowing this, lets talk about the one thing coaches seem to dislike more than picture day…. FUNDRAISERS. You cannot operate a program without them, so get that out of your head now. Your attitude in the application of fundraisers will determine how much money your program can raise. Treat it with the same passion as you have for drills and games and you will raise a lot more than if you treat it with disdain. Its like anything else in life, you get out what you put in.
Even if we don’t outwardly acknowledge it, we understand its importance. So lets focus on some ways to make $$$ for the program. A really easy way what I call the Sponsorship Program, the link below will take you to a google form for you to down load and make your own:
The first part of the program works by selling advertising space. Many programs do this. You will sell banners to hang around the field as advertisements that companies can purchase. Here is a very valuable selling point, if you have access to a fence that faces out tot he main road people drive on… then that is prime time real estate! It is a very high traffic area and a very easy sell. There is a school in Brevard County FL that routinely raises over $15,000 a year just doing this!
The second part of the program is touchdown and first down sponsorship. Vendors can choose to sponsor a First down. For example, a sponsor that I used one time was Buffalo Wild Wings. Every time we got a first down, the announcer would say “That’s another Buffalo Wild Wings FIRST DOWN!” and then during the time outs, the announcer would do a 10 second plug for the various specials they had going on.
The phone is your greatest tool for doing this, you will have to cold call business or if you are the personable type, walk in face to face to sell your program. Get your staff to help with this too and use players as well once or twice a year to go out business to business (under supervision of course). when offering the sponsorship program always offer a choice of a simple donation as well. You would be surprised at how many businesses are more than willing to donate a monetary amount to give back to the schools in their community. (If you would like a script to use for doing this, email me or DM me on twitter here @thecoachvogt)
Other options you have are using outside fundraising vendors to help you push a product. Typically, I prefer to stay in house as I like to keep all profits made for the program… but that said. There is one company comprised of former athletes and coaches that is a major exception. They will raise more funds than any other vendor I’ve seen, and do it by a large margin. Enter, ADRENALINE FUNDRAISING!
They help guide you and your players in a step by step fundraising protocol that just works. All you have to do is get on any social media platform and search ADRENALINE, and you will see countless programs raising over $25,000 dollars on a SINGLE FUNDRAISER! That is extremely impressive. No matter how you slice it, that is a lump of cash that can do a whole lot of things for an athletic program.
They provide incentive for your players to produce, such as: hoodies, shirts and compression attire. They provide structure and demonstrate the “why” it is important to be a producer. Take it from ADRENALINE rep, Scott McMaster:
“A couple things that we love to see is just how fundraising is relateable to life and the sport. Men were built to be providers and for some men this is their first “practice” at providing. The way we see fundraising is it’s all about effort and mentality. Effort is on the kids and mentality is on the coaches. The years kids put forth good effort in card sales those same kids put forth good effort on the field and vice versa. We run a pretty consistent program and a lot of my coaches know how their season is going to go based off their players effort in the sale. On the coaches side, the coaches that make this important crush it. The coaches that get up there and say they hate fundraising usually don’t do well.
Do you want a company that’s in your corner? A company that’s compensated based on how much is raised so our reps are always thinking about how you can raise more money? We view it as being an additional member of your staff. Similar to a D-line coach or a running backs coach. We just do that for fundraising! We are YOUR Funding position coach!” -Scott McMaster.
The best part about ADRENALINE… you and your players DO NOT have to handle cash. It is all tracked digitally! Offering products from Discount cards, tumblers and food to a simple donation app that can be sent via text or social media. They really do make it easy. A product list can be seen here: ADRENALINE PRODUCTS
Say what you want about any athletic program and how to successfully run one. The underlying truth cannot be denied no matter how much one may try. You are in a sales business, as a head coach you are the President and CEO. You don’t every want to be on the other side of the table with administration when they start asking about funding issues. There is one thing that will get a coach canned faster than losing or doing something knuckleheadish… and that’s MONEY. Fortunately, if you understand that any athletic program is a also a business, you will always be fine!
Until Next time,