Remember the inaugural Hendricks County Youth Sports Fair that we co-hosted with Macaroni Kid - Hendricks back in January?
Youth sports programs paid an entry fee to be a part of that fair, and after all the dust settled on the expenses, They're Our Kids wound up with a little bit of coin in our pockets. The question then arose, "What do I do with this money?"
I contemplated retiring off of the earnings and buying my own private island somewhere in the Caribbean where I would spend the remainder of my days living the life of luxury. But then I found out how much private islands cost, and I scratched that idea off my list.
It finally struck me, though: I made this money from youth sports programs. The logical thing to do with this money is to give it back to youth sports programs!
So They're Our Kids entered the world of sponsorships.
It felt so darn good to give money to a couple of youth sports programs that participated in the inaugural Hendricks County Youth Sports Fair that I'm going to continue doing it. Here's how it's going to work:
It was easy to determine who I wanted to give money to after the first youth sports fair: Tri-West Youth Softball League and War Tribe '06 -- a travel softball team out of the Danville Girls Softball Association. Both organizations were at the fair in January, and I bet you'll never guess which two youth sports organizations my daughters play for...
Now you'll find the They're Our Kids logo hyperlinked to our website on the front page of Tri-West Youth Softball League's website, plus there's a real nice banner hanging on the outfield fence on Diamond 1 on the fields next to North Salem Elementary School (pictured at the top of this post), AND we appear on the back of the shirts (right) that all coaches in all age groups wear.
Since our logo includes our website (we're clever like that), hundreds of girls' families in the North Salem-Pittsboro-Lizton metroplex -- plus any parents from other communities who visit those fields -- now know about They're Our Kids.
Check out War Tribe '06's website, and you'll find the They're Our Kids logo hyperlinked to our website. Additionally, they've created a banner (above) that they clasp to the back of their dugout at every game that they play when they travel all over the state. We're talking 75 to 100 games' worth of exposure to countless parents by the time the travel softball season ends.
Most importantly, helping to keep youth sports programs thriving keeps OUR KIDS doing something constructive and productive with their free time, rather than getting into trouble. As a former long-time employee of the corrections system, it's huge to me to see OUR KIDS avoid the criminal justice world altogether.
So it should be pretty evident by now what They're Our Kids gets out of providing sponsorships: keeping OUR KIDS out of trouble, plus exposure and (hopefully) new Villagers for TOK.
What do youth sports programs get out of it? Money, of course. What youth sports program doesn't need money? No matter the sport, there's always equipment, supplies, insurance, officials, tournament fees, plus any of a laundry list of expenses that have to be paid, and you can only squeeze so much money out of parents. Sponsorships are vital in the youth sports world.
What do parents get out of it? By attending our youth sports fairs, they get to see the incredibly wide variety of Hendricks County sports programs available to OUR KIDS. Did you know that there are rugby clubs for both boys and girls? How about a lacrosse program? An equestrian club? Running clubs? Flag football? Special needs sports programs? And many many others? If you attended our inaugural youth sports fair in January, you know.
It's a win-win-win situation, and oh how I love me some win-win-win situations.
So how does your kid's youth sports organization get in on this sponsorship gig? It's easy.
So what should Villagers do? First and foremost, share this blog post with the powers-that-be in your kids' youth sports organizations! Share it on the organization's Facebook page. Call them. Email them. Text them. Show up on their front doorstep. Basically bug them into agreeing to participate in the next Hendricks County Youth Sports Fair.
Second, share this blog post with all of your friends who have kids in youth sports programs around Hendricks County. Why? Because the more organizations we have at our next fair, the bigger the sponsorships will be for the two winning organizations!
"But my kid doesn't play sports," you might say. Valid point there.
Sports aren't the only productive, constructive activity that benefits OUR KIDS. Macaroni Kid - Hendricks and They're Our Kids are also talking about putting together a youth fair for non-sports-related organizations in the near future. When we get that arranged, I'll make the same sponsorship offer to those participating organizations.
Start spreading the word that They're Our Kids is in the sponsorship business now, and then stay tuned to this blog for details about the next Hendricks County Youth Sports Fair this fall!
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