Much of the time we miss out on opportunities not because we didn’t do the right things, but that we didn’t know what opportunities were out there. Everyone lives in a town, city, and State of some sort, and maybe you’re starting to think about planning some events. Maybe you think your area would benefit from a Floorball tournament, camp, etc., but you’re not sure how you’re going to pay for it. You’ve thought about sponsorships and potential partners, but you have a full-time job, limited resources, and time. For many, connecting with a local sports commission is the answer.
You may or may not know that you have a local sports commission already doing this type of work in your area. Their purpose is to bring in people to spend money in the areas they serve. It hinges in attracting and grabbing tourist dollars to help drive the local economy. These entities can be privately or publicly held, and can carry a lot of weight with them. So how does this potentially benefit you?
They’re already doing the leg work to make connections with local businesses and venues to host events in your area. In fact, they may have a better idea about the location and venue for your event than you do, and they likely know who to contact and the needs of reserving and operating in that space. One of the positive things to working with them is that they know who to talk to. They’re likely already planning many events throughout the year with the goal of bringing in more all the time. The Sports Commissions also work with the hoteliers and restaurants to sell their area as a destination. Because of these connections they can and want to assist in making your event successful. They can also help you with potential sponsors of your event. They have a lot of resources to help you, but it’s not always a simple plug and play process.
Many sports commissions operate using LTAC money, which is money raised through taxing hotels. Ever look at your hotel bill? Do it next time. I bet you’ll be a bit surprised at some of the taxes from that, but that money is reinvested into the local economy by bringing in and hosting more events. The access to that money is potentially the key to helping you get your event off the ground by defraying some of the costs associated with running your event (venue rental, etc.). There are a few things to think about when approaching a sports commission.
Time is not usually on your side. The allocation of the budget or funds will vary depending on the organization, city, etc. Sometimes you need to present a detailed proposal requesting funds and that proposal may only be granted once in the year. If you miss it, you miss out that year. Other times the allotted money may already be allocated to events, and while they may want to help they may not be able to at that time. It’s really important to get on that stuff early. If you’re planning a summer camp or tournament I’d recommend planning a year out, maybe more just for this process. At the very least you can connect with them and see what their process is.
Don’t let any of this discourage you from trying. If you never ask, you never get. A lot of times organizations are looking for new things to add to the mix. Give it a try, do some research, and see if your local sports commission can help you.