If you check out our sublimation printing gallery, you’ll notice a lime green hockey jersey with the words “Puck Cancer” in the line up. This was a custom project we created for a fundraiser for cancer patients. We were really proud to be able to join the fight against cancer, and it got us thinking about how sports teams have frequently been able to harness the power of their audience to do good deeds.
What Is Sports Philanthropy?
Sports philanthropy is the fancy way of saying “using sports to do good things or support good causes”. It’s not at all new to the world of sports. Everything from the Red Cross 5k in tiny towns across the nation, to the NBA’s NBA Cares program that connects pro athletes with children and communities in need, counts as sports philanthropy. It’s a fantastic way to give back to the people who cheer you on, and here are some ways that you can do it with your team.
First: Pick a Cause
It’s usually best to narrow your focus to a specific cause, person, group of people, etc. This is primarily because it makes it easier to explain to people where their support is going. On the Puck Cancer jersey, everyone who showed up to the events, bought merchandise, or supported the event in other ways, knew that their money was going to help cancer patients. “Puck All Sickness” might not have gone over so well. Picking causes that are locally relevant is always a good idea, such as volunteer firefighter support in areas with wildfires.
Donate Old Stuff
If you aren’t sure about jumping into a big fundraiser right away, consider donating old team gear, training equipment, or the time of your team, to a cause. For example, old equipment could be donated to an underfunded youth center in your city. Your team might consider donating their time to help clean up a city after a natural disaster. These are things you can do right away without asking your fans to chip in.
Sell Special Merchandise
Another way you can easily give back without having to schedule a big event is to create some alternative merchandise to sell at games or other events. When your fans show up at the merch table, they can choose to have some of their money donated to the cause or charity you’ve chosen by buying the alternative jerseys or T-shirts, for example. Not sure what you’d want in an alternative jersey or shirt? We can help you get some amazing new pieces to offer your fans in no time. Head on over to http://www.theinkfreak.com to get started.
Create Sponsored Events
Charity runs often work by having runners ask their family or friends to sponsor them. For every mile they run, they get a set donation from their sponsors. This helps raise money for the charity, but also puts a bit of a competitive spin on things – and there is nothing that a sports fan loves more than competition. Consider asking fans to sponsor their favorite teammate, and then pit teammates against each other in a race, push-up contest, or some other physical feat. Don’t forget that custom merchandise to commemorate any kind of sponsored event like this is always a big seller for sports teams.
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get your team involved in giving back to the community, and it can only raise your audience’s opinion of the team when you do so. Give one or more of these ideas a try and you’ll probably find that you have tons of other ideas for philanthropy in no time.
Visit our friends over at Puck Cancer Inc. - https://www.facebook.com/PuckCancerNEPA/