How to sell youth league baseball tickets
This ThunderTix "how-to" post shows parents how to sell youth league baseball tickets just like the big nonprofit organizations. It's easier than you think!
The easiest sale of all
The 2013 season of youth league baseball (also known as "little league") is underway and parents across the country are doing everything they can to help fund raise for their children's teams. Unlike the big nonprofit entities that have a professional staff, fund raising can be a challenge for busy parents. Grassroots efforts like bake sales have their place, but more and more hometown baseball teams are using alternatives to augment league membership dues - selling game tickets being the most productive.
In much the same way the Girl Scouts generate their funding, youth league baseball teams sell game tickets door-to-door and at parent's workplaces. Selling game tickets door-to-door is not only a great way to raise money, it teaches valuable skills to the young players.
Recently, grandfather Dick Sparrer wrote of his experience with how to sell youth league baseball tickets in the San Jose Mercury News. The quaint OpEd called 'Hitting the streets to raise funds to keep youth baseball teams swinging' Sparrer chronicles the door-to-door salesmanship of kids in his neighborhood:
When [kids] come to the door looking for some kind of donation for a fund-raiser, I try to do what I can to help...
...We were likely [the] easiest sale of all, but we were also good practice for him as he prepared to sell the rest of his tickets. You see, I'm a firm believer that there's more to fundraising efforts than just collecting money. Children can learn valuable life lessons by actually going door-to-door themselves to make their sales pitch to strangers.
Sparrer goes on to write that he and his wife prefer the entertaining experience of having little players come to the door, in-person, and make the "sales pitch." Of note to parents tasked with selling tickets to their children's games is Sparrer's statement about unsolicited emails. The self-described "booster" of neighborhood youth baseball says "an email from Mom doesn't cut it."
Mud hens, brick city bears, oh my
Up one level in sophistication from the neighborhood little league are regional youth baseball organizations' ticket sales. Regional youth baseball have just as much need for funding as local neighborhoods, if not more, since they often have small stadium facilities and other overhead costs.
One of the ways regional little league teams raise funds is to coordinate appearances by players from the minor league players. The appearance can be anything from an autograph session to multi-day "camps" that teach the young players new athletic skills.
The Mud Hen minor league baseball team in Toledo Ohio is participating in an upcoming camp this summer and tickets are already on sale. Parents can look to these ticket sales for inspiration for their local fundraising efforts and adapt it to an appropriate smaller scale. Tickets to the camp with the Mud Hens are being sold using a tiered pricing structure. At the camp, kids will learn from their big league heroes at one or three day events and there is even a day for children with special needs:
During every Mud Hens baseball camp, Mud Hens players and coaches will teach kids what it takes to become the best ballplayer they can be. Campers will learn basic fundamentals (like hitting and pitching) and specialized skills (like bunting and turning double plays). Mud Hens baseball camps are a great way for kids to improve their baseball skills, make new friends and, most importantly, have FUN!
Similar to the Mud Hens' camp, but at a lower cost, is the youth baseball camp with the Newark New Jersey Brick City Bears. The Bear's baseball camps are single day events, occurring once a month, over the course of the entire Summer.
Using these regional team examples as a guide, a neighborhood little league team could ask minor league players to donate their time and be part of a camp for just one day or merely an afternoon. The tickets sold would generate more money, much faster, than bake sales or other tried and true ways of grassroots fund raising.
How to sell youth league baseball tickets
If you are wondering how you can raise money for a little league baseball team through ticket sales there are a few things to consider.
If the youth baseball league is already charging membership dues, augment that resource with special events that are presented when membership dues payments are being made. This assumes you can coordinate a few events in advance, before the season begins, but know you can add more later, as the season progresses.
With membership dues and special events in place you may wish to consider emulating the big leagues and their lucrative preferred seating. Parents will make every effort to see their children play, but their hectic schedules may cause them to show up late for the game. Unreserved bleacher seating will be full by the time the first pitch is thrown, so any late arriving parents will have to stand, or worse, not see the game at all. You can offer guaranteed seats, right behind home plate, for a nominal "piece of mind" fee.
If the idea of guaranteeing seats for late arriving parents works out, or if demand is much higher than seat availability, you can make all bleacher seats available in advance. The "stampede of parents" is a phenomenon known to occur when a team progress further into the post-season. By putting reserved seating into place now, chaos can be avoided during a championship game.
Of course, all of these will need some form of online ticketing software. One that is easy to use, can politely prompt ticket buyers to donate money above and beyond the price of a ticket, and is affordable for a small budget.
ThunderTix sports ticketing software offers you and your youth baseball team the tools to do everything mentioned in this post and more. Our technology powers some of the biggest concerts in the country but we pride ourselves on being able help grassroots fund raising efforts like yours. Our optional reserved seating will help keep the stampede of parents at bay and we can help reduce the amount of time you spend fund raising.