Using Sponsorship to get your uniforms for FREE!

This is our blog series on tidbits and thoughts on all things sports in general.  We will be writing articles on all sorts of ideas to help your club and players from raising money to kit and equipment hints and help.  This first article is about how you can use your kit to raise money!

One of the great things about sublimation as a form of printing your uniforms, is that all logos and numbers and names are included in the price from Tahi. (We also include delivery so there are no hidden costs at checkout!)

This means that you can use your shirt as a sponsorship platform and raise money for your club, which pays for your uniforms themselves - hence "free"!  OK so we accept it's not that easy but the principle is pretty simple.  To help you see the idea better here is an example of a shirt we produced for a charity game with lots of logos!!!!

As you can see, this shirt has 8 logos (other than ours).  So one of them is the club logo and another is the charity event logo, which leaves 6 others logos that the club was able to sell as sponsorship.

Here's an image that shows how many slots you could fill on a shirt, shorts and socks combo:

Now bear in mind, some of these positions will be taken up by your club logo, numbers and, yes, our logo, so not all positions are available on every shirt or pair of shorts or socks, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of opportunity to raise money!

This is a big question and a lot of small clubs often puzzle over what it is they can offer potential sponsors.  Let's face it on a cold, wet day in November for a division 3 game in the Pacific Northwest for example, you are hardly going to get a crowd of supporters!  But that doesn't mean your club can't offer potential supporters lots of opportunities.  Here are few we have thought of:

These folks are always looking for opportunities to sit down with people and sell their wares.  In return for sponsoring your club, offer them an opportunity to sit down with the club players and members for an hour so they can make their sales pitch.  You will need to get your club members along but work with the potential sponsor and set up an event with drinks and snacks and tell your club members how important it is.  Then it's up to the sponsor to do the selling!

Car dealerships are always looking to sell cars.  Ask your local car dealer if they could be interested in sponsoring the team.  They may also offer special deals for members and players.  It never hurts to ask.

Local bars, hardware stores, restaurants and fitness clubs are all good companies to approach, particularly as club members are already customers.

The great thing about sublimation is that you can have literally anything on your shirt.  This means, for example, you could offer a space on the shirt for individual names.  Offer these to past players, club supporters or parents.  this is how it might look:

Our view is don't be afraid to ask anybody.  The worst answer you will get is "No thank you" so no harm done.

Ah - how long is a piece of string???  The answer to this question is really: as much as you think you can get!  The only two pieces of advice we would give are:
i) Try to be precise about what you are raising money for.  What kit do you need sponsoring? Is it just kit or are you looking to raise money for tours or club facilities? And have an idea of exactly how much you need, so you can break down what each logo position might cost eg the main front logo is going to be a lot more than a name on an arm.  Think about exclusive deals when doing this, so you can offer individual sponsors the opportunity to sponsor single items eg polo shirts, warm-up tees or the jerseys only.
ii) Try to aim for longer term deals.  Tahi uniforms are built to last and don't fade or peel. Ideally you don't want to be ordering new kit every year!  So look to ask sponsors for deals that last 2-3 years.  This gives you the opportunity to ask for more.
We also recommend preparing a presentation about the club, what the club does and its role in the community.  It's always a good idea to show potential sponsors what they are getting eg the insurance company sales pitch above.  Try to include imagery of the club and action shots.  It's also advantageous to prepare a mock-up with how potential sponsors logos might look on the uniforms, which we can help you with.
The more professional you appear, the more successful you are likely to be. If you'd like help in putting together a presentation then hit us up - we are more than ready to help.

Finally here is a rough rule of thumb to give you an idea of what you need to outfit a small club.  In this example, we are going to assume the following:
a) The club operates one men's team and one women's team.
b) The club has 60 playing members.
c) Playing members need to have and will need to buy their own club shorts and socks.  However rugby players being rugby players, it is also assumed several numpties will lose theirs during the season!
d) Playing members need a club polo for post match socials
e) The club has 100 or so past players, wives, girlfriends, partners, kids and general supporters.
f) Getting supporters and families to buy tees or polos is good for raising money!

Given these numbers we would recommend a combination of rugby uniform sets and stock of shorts and socks. Here's what we think it would cost the club:

25 x Elite Pro Mens Rugby Uniform sets
(Check out the product here)
25 x Elite Pro Womens Rugby Uniform sets
(Check out the product here)
25 x Elite Mens shorts
(Check out the product here)
25 x Elite Womens Shorts
(Check out the product here)
50 X Elite Rugby Socks
(Check out the product here)
100 x Mens Polos
(Check out the product here)

100 x Womens Polos
(Check out the product here)

TOTAL COST: $14,850

Obviously this is a hell of a lot of money for a small club! But this is a start up cost which gets the club into a stocked position for the beginning of the season and so they would only need to top up their shorts and socks and polos stock each year.  And then of course, they are selling the shorts, socks and polos to recoup costs!

So let's round this out by making some sales assumptions and seeing what's left to raise from sponsors.
Let's say the club sells the shorts and socks for $7 profit and sells 65 sets.  And the club also sells the polos for $5 profit and sells 60 to the playing members and another 40 to supporters etc.  The total raised would be $7,405 which would leave $7,455 to raise from sponsors which feels like a much more realistic target.  And even if they managed to raise $5,000 that would cover the costs of the two sets of uniforms which would be a great start!

So there we go!  Thoughts and musings on how you can get your uniforms paid for.  We hope you got you some ideas about raising money for your club.  Now all you have to do is start designing your uniforms.  Check out our great uniform designer here.

If you'd like to learn more about Tahi and what we can do for you then drop us a line to

Thanks and don't forget: Play United!

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