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Discussion: Sponsorship of Senior Softball

Posted Discussion
Dec. 13, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
346 posts
Sponsorship of Senior Softball
How many teams do you know that have sponsorship in Senior Softball? Last year I played for a self sponsored team, 2010,but this year,2011, I played for a team that had full sponsorship. I know how much of a difference sponsorship makes for a team. Why are there not more teams sponsored? I would like to know your opinion on this.
Dec. 13, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Mario, I have never played on a full sponsorship team. It must be nice. I have played on a partially sponsored team and that was sweet enough.

The big question for a potential sponsor, who is asked to put up big bucks (if we include travel and lodging payments), is "what's in it for me?"

If the answer is that the requesting team is one that his son plays on...and the sponsor has a very profitable business...or if it isn't a son but himself that plays on the team, then the answer is emotional joy. I would suspect that most partly sponsored teams are in this category—the sponsor is making a gift to the son (or to Dad!) and enjoys living vicariously through this family connection. Or it's his own team and the sponsorship is a tax write-off and benefits him and his teammates. A close corollary to such sponsorship is the company team where several employees play on the team and the company sponsors it for good will and employee benefits.

But if the answer is that marketing, name recognition, new business, a trophy or two on the shelf, is the reason, very few sponsors gain much benefit for the thousands and thousands of dollars that go to a sponsorship. Who hasn't been in a large tournament and been baffled by the names of some of the sponsors, names we've never heard of, names we have no idea what kind of a business it is. How does this name recognition benefit the sponsor? It doesn't.

Team sponsorship that might have some results with increased business? Miken; Combat; a sports creme, Gatorade. Team sponsorship that has no result? A local realtor 500 miles away; a local pub 1000 miles away; and many, many others.

It's easy to see why so many teams are self-sponsored. There is little to no advantage for the sponsor, unless the sponsor is a national concern or there is a personal connection.
Dec. 13, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
There are many around, 50's through 65 that I'm aware of.
I'd think they can pick and choose who plays, and those I know do. They have great winning teams.
Only had the pleasure of playing on 1 team that paid the entry fees, but that was awesome over the time period, knowing that they are.
I see possible misuse on the full boat being paid and the sponsor being used.
Also see a possible plus sign for that sponsor if he has a business and the team sports his name or logo.
Would be nice to play on one like that, but they are rare, yet are there.

Omar, did you go to NCSSA's general meeting on the 3rd?

Happy Holidays.
Dec. 13, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
346 posts
Omar, there is no benefit for any sponsor except for the tax write off. My question is why are sponsors not sponsoring us in senior ball like they do the young kids? There is no difference in the 2 if you are a sponsor.
Dec. 13, 2011
garyheifner
334 posts
Yes, my team is fully sponsored by the United States Government Social Security System. The feds make monthly deposits towards our travel fund. You younger guys please keep paying your monthly contributions to SS.
Dec. 14, 2011
tinman
Men's 50
75 posts
My current team is self sponsored.A sponsored team is recruiting our players and one has left so far.
Dec. 14, 2011
steve65
Men's 65
175 posts
2011 I played for a team that the sponsor paid entry fees to several tourneys--I asked a local businessman to sponsor us also and he said he would sponsor me because I traded with him and that he would get no return from tourneys several hundred miles away--with youth teams they mostly play local so having their name in front of the public is advantageous---the advantage of self sponsored is up front everyone knows what tourneys you are going to -hence travel arrangements can be made earlier therefore getting better prices---downside is everyone on team COULD think they should play every inning of every game---
Dec. 14, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
There are not more sponsored teams because there aren't enough benefits for a sponsor, and there are far too few souls kind enough to just "donate". The majority of sponsors are active in the game themselves and have put themselves in a position to be able to spend the money on a team.

Mario and Omar: I am one of the local small business few that fully sponsored teams and it was more than a write off, it was a HUGE business advantage. Portland Oregon had 720 softball teams when I opened my business in 1965. I went after every one of them, didn't get them all, but got a bunch! I opened a pizza parlor, seating for 350, and catered to softball teams. For whatever reason, Portland teams socialize by going out to eat or drink after league games.(probably because of the short nice weather season). We were located in the heart of most softball locations, easy to get to,lots of parking, and always lots of other teams to trade "war stories" with. We established ourselves as one of THEE places to patronize after games. That spilled over to the off season, and spread to later in life when players left the game. It was the vehicle that helped spread the word. I sponsored both men and women in slow, fast, and co-ed(fully sponsored team was mens slow).

I did the same with auto racing as far a sponsorship. The combination of the sponsorships has given me a lifetime sucessful business, still going strong after 46 years.

Omar was correct in my thinking, it was a means of marketing, name recognition, and new business. It's not a business model that would work for every business for sure, but it's worked well for me. Kind of like hitting a ball, timing, timing, timing.

Dec. 14, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
curveball, sometime back I knew of a few pizza parlors doing that but later stopped. I do know of one that did it about a year ago but not sure about now. I had one about 5 years ago but when the park folded here, Granite Park, Fresno, Ca, I could not fulfill my end for them and returned the check.
Sponsors can really help a team or an assn too.
I agree with the 'what's in it for me' side. I bent over backward with my proposal to get mine and it would have worked out well for both sides. Times are different now.
Kudo's to you for doing it.
Dec. 14, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
Mario, very good topic. One answer to your question from 6 posts above might be younger players/teams are more energetic in doing the dirty work in going out and securing sponsors than senior players are---at least here in Detroit the young guys are. Even at that most times it's only a partial of what they need.
Overall a part of the problem might be softball isn't as popular a sport as it used to be. We can safely blame playstation for that!! lol
The main problem here is the economy. People don't have extra money to burn like they used to. Even bars and restaurants aren't sponsoring like they used to thanks to the state of Michigans no smoking ban on bars and restaurants.
Dec. 15, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
curveball, your business success story warmed my heart! How nice that the support you showed with sponsorship was returned by teams wanting to give you their business. I can see that could work well in an urban area like Portland.

45-60 years ago, there was a fastpitch team in Redwood City called the Redwood City Merchants. That was their name and the title on the front of the jersey, but on the back they carried the name of the individual merchant who sponsored them! Was a fully sponsored team because each player only had to get one merchant (it also helped that they were a softball powerhouse in the area and usually drew a crowd of around 100 fans to watch them play).

Dec. 15, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
Thanks taits and Omar. The Merchants idea used to be quite popular, almost every area had a merchant team like Redwood City. I wonder why we don't see many anymore? Seemed like it would still be a viable way to raise team money. Almost everyone has 1 merchant that would pay for an individual sponsorship; way less expensive per merchant, but still involved in a community team............
Dec. 15, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Curveball, Where I am the vast majority do the soccer, T ball stuff & girls FP. The last time I looked into it as mentioned above I looked pretty much all over and that was what I ran into.
I'm not a sales person withe the gift of gab for that. Example: I sold cars in the early 70's for a SHORT time bet if the customer asked about the car I was honest about it. My last one was when he asked about a specific car i knew was flawed mechanically & knew there was one across the street just like it but another color I told him about it and lost a sale. For me it was honesty and not the money I might have made.
Dec. 15, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
taits, you may not have a sponsor but you're my kind of guy, HONEST. One of the best traits.
Dec. 16, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
Curveball, Thank you very much.
By any chance did you played against the Blackhawks in Vegas about 6-8 years ago at a park I think was sE of town near the outskirts. Think it was two layers with a school on the top area. Nice fields 300 ft fences. Park name may have started with a H.
Perhaps we competed against each other then. I know #6 & #19 on here did.
Dec. 16, 2011
curveball
Men's 65
395 posts
No, but I may have played against you in the 2005 CA Cup about that time, when Bob (maddog) was with the Blackhawks.(got to know Bob pretty well because we parked our motorhomes/campers next to each other at several tournaments) I pitched for The Palm Springs Heat, we won that tournament and went onto win the Worlds in Phoenix that year. We played the Blackhawks several times that year,maybe in the Worlds also.
I saw several familiar faces from that era Blackhawk team in Vegas at the Winter Worlds a few weeks back. I played against them at Big League Dreams. Said hello to a couple of them and reminded them of our games of the past...............
Dec. 16, 2011
DaveDowell
Men's 60
1030 posts
taits ... That's the 2-field Hollywood Park Softball Complex ... On Hollywood between Sahara and Washington, above the Hollywood Community Center and below the School, on the 'second shelf' ...
Dec. 16, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Hi taits, No, I did not attend the NCSSA's meeting on December 3. I'm not a manager, and my manager was going, so I would not have a vote and whether a non-manager is given consideration in discussion is a controversial question. Some non-managers I know have attended and been incredibly frustrated because they were dismissed and their comments overridden because they had no "standing." They felt the board, or at least some on the board, were rude and already had an agenda. Other non-managers I know have attended and found it interesting and were surprised that non-managers had a vote which is against the by-laws. I was going to go to find out for myself, but the non-manager I would ride with decided not to go in the interest of his blood pressure! He was a previous attender.

I am frustrated that the minutes are not yet posted almost two weeks later. Rules decisions are made at this meeting, some in regards to rosters, and this is a key time of year to know the actual rules when trying to shape up next year's team. Don't know why NCSSA is so negligent in posting minutes, but it is not new. Sometimes the minutes have not appeared for months! Sceptics tell me it is very convenient because it allows the board to rely on their memory...which differs among those who attended.

Dec. 16, 2011
E4/E6
Men's 60
850 posts
Dave can you be a little more specific? =)
Dec. 16, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4251 posts
DD, thanks for the name of the park. I thought it might be but didn't want to say that and be corrected...lol

curveball, I was a PU for Ernie's Blackhawks, only played in a few T's for him. Bob wasn't there.
I did play in a Cal Cup at Maidu park but do not remember the year, it was with Tommy's Get R Done team. That was a bad day for any team that played at the park what was being renovated and is was a plowed outfield field.

Omar, Nor I a mgr, but had proxies for two other teams I did for them. Not the 1st time doing that but i have missed the last few years.
The can speak about the issues, but can't vote on or offer a motion to vote on.
Many issues were debated most all went unchanged and most all votes were very close votes as i recall.
I agree on what you say, a friend told be it's a good old boys club which is how I too feel that about it but they aren't given the chance to be elected either. many go every year. This year Camille (Ernie's wife); Blackhawk's and some new team now, don't know name) requested to be put into the #3 area Rep vote, and John R. didn't know if it was legal... and he should have know it was. Same guys won all of them I believe.
I feel that is the way it pretty much is im many of the assn's. But they also need time for them selves to think it over Ummm, before they get there but do feel that pretty much know their vote when they do get there.
I ran into the same thing in ASA as a newbie to them. Many of the people voting didn't even play the game... maybe they did sometime back, but did they evolve as the game did, I have no clue there.
That is another reason I would like to see more voting player reps in the process.
I've been looking for the minutes also.
That would likely be the Secretary's job to write them out and forward to all members and Bob s. for posting on the new. I communicate w\ him on occasion and he is timely w\ replies to me. You might ask him.
It's sad that only about 36-38 team reps were there out of the 100+ Some teams had 2 for that team there, but can see why the long distance mgrs weren't. And there are a lot of them.
Seasons Greeting to all.
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