Custom Footballs are a unique but overlooked fundraising opportunity for football clubs. You can’t play football without a ball, and you can’t run a football club without annual ball purchases. When looking at annual ball requirements, every club equipment officer is juggling quality, reliability and cost. Custom Footballs are a way to turn an annual club expense into a new fundraising opportunity.
So instead of adding on new balls as a “fixed cost” each year, use Custom Footballs as a unique opportunity to raise funds. In this article we outline some simple ways to put these fundraising opportunities into practice.
Adding sponsor logos is the most important opportunity to raise funds. Approach your current or new sponsors and “sell a spot” on the ball. Custom Balls have 30-panels so there is room for up to 8 sponsors. Alternatively, target an existing or potential large sponsor and offer them sole sponsorship and naming rights to the ball.
Emphasize to potential sponsors how visible their logo will be and how important the ball is to the fabric of the club. Then follow this up by recognizing the sponsor’s contribution (more on this below).
Make it Work for Sponsors
Always provide maximum benefits to sponsors by supporting their investment with marketing. We cannot overstate how important it is to recognise sponsors commitment to your clubs. Too often clubs put in overtime in securing sponsors but then forget to recognise the sponsors once the money’s come in.
If you want sponsors to come back next year, make it worthwhile for them! It takes just a small amount of effort to show your club's appreciation towards sponsors.
- Always add their logo to your website and regularly mention them on social media;
- When the balls arrive, make sure you mention the sponsor’s contributions on all club marketing (social media, emails, website). Don’t just tag the sponsor at the end of a long Facebook post, give them at least one dedicated post where you thank them for their contribution to the ball (don’t just put up a generic post of their logo). Thank them personally and take a shot of them with the ball.
- If you have an exclusive deal with “naming rights” make sure the sponsor is tagged in every social media post featuring the balls, call them the “2022 Ball Sponsor” and make sure everyone in the club refers to them in the same way.
- Create a competition for members to win a custom football each month and when announcing each winner, tag the ball sponsor.
These are small but important things that will make the sponsor know that you have valued their contribution and gives them some genuine marketing benefits from their investment.
Add to Sign Up Packs and Merchandise
Custom Balls are a unique product and can build loyalty and connection to your club from players and supporters. Encourage this community passion by making custom balls a core part of the Club’s Merchandise range. There are a few easy ways to generate revenue from the sale of custom balls:
- Include in the cost of registration packs for new members
- Add the Club Ball as an optional purchase at registrations time and / or for sign-up forms for new members.
- Add it to Club Merchandise range and make it and “easy” weekend purchase for parents and grandparents waiting and watching the weekend fixtures. Keep them visible at the canteen at an accessible price point. Don’t hide merchandise away where no one can see it – make it easy for your community to buy Club Merchandise.
There are more options for making the most of Custom Footballs in the club as both fundraisers and building club branding
- A different type of trophy: replace the club participation trophy with a custom ball and give your players a memento they will actually use.
- End of year gifts: set your Club Balls aside as something special and provide them as gifts for your best performing teams.
The numbers below show how Custom Balls can provide a much better financial result for the club compared to purchasing standard training balls. These are an example only and of course depend on the club’s ability to attract sponsors and implement the fundraising suggestions above.
Custom Ball Fundraising Example
100 custom footballs
100 regular training balls
Club purchase price
(8 sponsors at $200 / spot)
Member purchases ($20 x 30 balls)
Excess funds for Club