Sports are an expensive hobby for everyone involved. A sports league costs families, coaches, and members of the organization who make it all possible. To have enough money to kick start the sports league is one thing, but finding a smooth monthly or yearly budget that’ll keep your team going is an entirely different problem. Keeping a budget and managing the league’s finances is essential if you want your league to operate smoothly and succeed. Even expensive sports like Lacrosse can operate within budget!
Here are some ideas when trying to procure youth sports equipment on a budget:
Try second-hand sources.
So you want equipment in great condition but don’t want the brand new, high-end stuff that’ll cost you far more than you’re willing to pay. One of the most useful ways to find more affordable sports equipment has to be the good old second-hand sports retailer. There are plenty of locations that specialize in used sports equipment and most make sure that everything sold is in a perfect state.
A quick search online will show you all the places you can find second-hand sporting goods locations near you. If you get lucky, you may find someone selling quality equipment that they bought but never even used!
Buy out of season.
The best time to look for sports equipment in stores is after a sports season has ended when all the stores try to clear out last season’s merchandise with big discounts. Finding great deals postseason gets you a head start in preparation for the next.
Be sure equipping your team is done well ahead of your season so that your youth sports club isn’t impacted negatively by a late start due to lack of equipment.
Everyone pitches in.
A good way to ensure that your budget doesn’t get drained is to ask the parents to make sure that their children have their equipment ahead of time. This way, it’s not the league’s responsibility to supply all the youth athletes with equipment, the burden is shared with the parents. It gives you more money to use for the competitions and the quality of the training space.
To buy or rent?
Renting is usually associated with saving up some money or temporarily using something at a low cost. But if you are planning on having a successful league, buying your equipment is the better option. Buying your equipment one time is a lot better than renting your supplies month after month, especially if you are aiming for a long-term team.
Renting all of your equipment burns through cash fast. On the other hand, buying it all in bulk can be a hefty one time expense, however, if you are buying reliable quality equipment, it shouldn’t be a frequent repurchase.
Fundraise for your purchases.
Fundraising is a good way to get extra money into your pockets, whether for better equipment or whatever the expenditure. They help increase player involvement and can even encourage the spirit of the local team.
There are many directions you can go with your fundraiser, but a few things always need to be clarified before joining in on the fun.
- What is the goal of the fundraiser? How will you allocate your funds?
- What is the enjoyable part of the fundraiser? It needs to be enjoyable for people to want to participate.
- Who is in charge of the fundraiser? Someone needs to be point.
Also, try to make sure that the team is involved so that people can see what is being worked towards. It’s great for the local community to know and understand their own team.
Here are some fundraising ideas:
- A local competition: A great way for people to be excited and ready to help is for them to be familiar with the sport. Holding a local competition is not only fun, but a great way to find interested parties ready to help and support the team. Tickets and beverages offered at the competition should be reasonably priced, while still being profitable. You can offer free things as well, such as promotional merchandise or snacks for viewers.
- A bake sale: Everybody loves a light-hearted bake sale. Yummy pastries, homemade or store bought is delightful for everyone and it goes to a great cause. Try involving the kids here by having them bring in some sweets and treats, organizing the function and managing the tables. It is a great way to make sure that everyone is involved with the project.
- Meet the Team: This is a great way for everyone to meet the athletes of the area. It can be displayed as a meet and greet for those interested in the league. Admission should be free however, you can set out a jar to collect league donations. It is also a good way to kick start the idea of having the sport locally, learning about it and meeting those who are dedicated to the sport. You can also meet everyone behind the scenes, who work to make all of these sports leagues happen.
No matter the fundraiser you choose, make sure that all of your fundraisers are well advertised beforehand and have a promising enough audience to satisfy your needs. Making your fundraisers fun and interactive leave a positive impression with people about your league!
There are many tricks you can use to stay within budget. Hopefully, you can find a way to keep your youth sports club budget in check and be ready for the next game.