How to organise a football tournament
Organise football tournaments that become a reference in your region and grow year by year with more participating teams. Learn to organise first class tournaments that attract the best teams and sponsors. Managing a football tournament doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow these steps to create a budget, find sponsors, recruit volunteers, promote your event, attract more teams and ensure great logistics.
Make more money with a proper budget
Like all good things in this world, tournaments cost money to create. Before spending any money on the event, a budgetary plan and goal needs to be set. Creating a budget for a youth football tournament can be difficult, especially for those who are hosting for the first time.
Figure out how much you’re willing to spend and get a better picture of the costs involved, such as renting a locations and purchasing trophies.
Create an excel sheet to keep all costs organised and easy to calculate.
- Sponsorships are ideal when it comes to funding a tournament because this could really take care of many costs.
- When finding a field, look for the lowest rental prices.
- Keep staff salaries in mind as well. Recruit volunteers so you can save money. Try to get parents, college students, and organizations that specialize in community service to help.
- Compare multiple estimates for trophies and fields to get the best value deals. Concessions could also bring a decent amount of money towards the overall profit, but make sure to have all permits needed. When purchasing supplies, such as trophies, concessions, food, signs, check-in materials, and t-shirts, wait until you have an idea about the number of participating teams. Make sure you do not miss any deadlines, as you might need to order some equipment in advance. Contact your suppliers to find out what you need to do to be ready on tournament day.
Find sponsors for your football tournament
Being a main organiser for a tournament can be exhausting and ultimately stressful. One of the biggest challenges that organisers face is finding companies to sponsor the tournament.
If you’re having difficulty to fund your football tournament, consider raising the ticket price, look for new sponsors or create multiple sponsorship proposals at different price points.
Before contacting any potentials sponsors, create a proposal that includes:
- Details of your tournament: name, date, location, age groups, brief description.
- What the tournament can offer: branding, sales, exposure, image of a socially responsible business, contribution to the community.
- Estimated exposure: attendance at the stadium, visibility on the poster, mentions on social media, web, mobile applications, appearance in a newsletter, etc.
- What materials does the sponsor need to provide: logo, banners, flyers.
- Price of the sponsorship: ideally create several packages providing different levels of exposure and different pricing.
Now that you have a plan, figure out who your ideal sponsor is. No brand is too big or too small! Keep local businesses in mind as well because you both could gain a good amount of attention from the neighbourhood. Don’t be intimidated by bigger companies, be confident in your approach.
When you contact sponsors, be professional to build credibility.
People like to know what they are investing and professional image will help you close more deals. One can establish trust with a strong brand built through social media, websites, and mobile apps.
Once connection is made, keep relationship intact and communicate often before event. After event is set and done, keep in contact so they will sponsor more of your tournaments. Also send a thank you note and mention any special achievements such as appearances in local press or television.
Remember the point of a sponsor is to contribute to the costs of an event in return for advertising. Make sure they are gaining business by helping you out. Sponsors are supposed to help organisers and the event is supposed to help the sponsor. It’s a win- win for everyone. Make sure to maximize the exposure of your sponsors through the website, mobile apps and social media accounts of the tournament.
Get volunteers to keep costs low
Recruiting volunteers will allow you to save money and collect more proceeds since you won’t have to hire as much staff.
- Contact local colleges and civic organisations to look for volunteers to help with serving concessions, providing directions to guests, monitoring the area, reminding people of the rules, etc.
- If you require teams to supply volunteers, inform them at the registration.
- It’s better to have too many volunteers than too few.
- Assign all volunteers a specific duty. Your volunteers need to know what their job is and how to properly do it. While some can do double-duty, don’t just expect your volunteers to do every job. Set them times to be on duty and where they should be working.
Stand out with great promotion and branding
When creating a tournament name, it should be bold but still relatable to the kind of tournament it is. Consider you unique selling proposition such as a special cause, your location, differentiation and showcase it in the name and logo of your tournament.
Align the poster and any other promotional materials for the event with the brand of your football tournament.
When designing a poster:
- Make it easy to read from a distance.
- Include all important information.
- Create multiple size versions for promotion in different channels.
- Don’t make it too busy in appearance. Less might be more, so keep the amount of text and images restricted.
- Place the name of the tournament in a larger font than the rest of the details.
- Answer the questions what, where and when.
- Include the logos of your sponsors.
When advertising, promote your football tournament throughout any available online and offline media. Don’t just post it to Facebook once, distribute it in other social media, sports websites and newspapers, online communities and discussion groups. Keep reminding people about your football tournament a couple times a week until the day of the event. Possibly tag your participating teams on social media to get even more exposure. Have printable versions of the poster as well to post them around your venues.
Having a strong online presence and promoting your tournament throughout the community can do wonders for attendance!
Grow your football tournament with more teams
Ask local clubs and schools if you can include your football tournament in their newsletter or if you can post the information in a location where football players or coaches will see it. Be sure to provide details on how to register the teams, such as your email contact and telephone number. If your area doesn’t have any football clubs, try calling the local athletics clubs or little leagues.
Have each team provide registration details, including the team name, a contact, and a roster of players.
If your football tournament is providing kits, it’s a good idea to have players submit their sizes during registration to make it easier to distribute their shirts during the tournament. If there’s not enough teams in your area, you can organise a drop-in football tournament. This way single players can sign up and form mixed teams.
After registrations are in, build a schedule and brackets for your tournament. Make sure that you have enough time for each game, as well as time to clean up between matches. When you finalize the schedule, make sure that everybody knows when and where to be. You can make printed copies and hand them out to the coaches, or even better publish your schedule online, so anybody can access it anytime from anywhere.
Avoid complaints with top notch logistic
When searching for a location for your football tournament, think about the field condition, how many fields are needed, where people will sit, and restroom condition. Choose a date that does not conflict with any other tournaments. Make sure the location you pick is available for the date you want. If needed, contact local government, schools, or federations to ask permission to use facilities. Make sure your fields are set up in advance before participants arrive.
Get out to the venue the day before your tournament to make sure all the facilities looks great. On the day of the event, get to the field early in the morning to get everything ready for the games.
Football tournaments gather a lot of players and fans, who need clear directions and rules. Your event needs order, so make sure that you fulfil the obligations that you agreed to when renting the field, such as keeping it clean and not destroying the turf.
You can also set standards for good sportsmanship and protect yourself in case of an incident. For example, having established rules can allow you to remove someone who is behaving inappropriately. Sample rules include: No littering, no hitting, no profanity, no altering of facility property, no alcohol or drugs permitted and no food on the field.
Depending on your country or state, you might need to contact local police and fire departments to let them know about the tournament in case of any emergency. Hiring security might be ideal as well to be cautious of anything that could potentially happen.
Depending on how big your tournament is, some teams may have to travel to attend. Hotels and car services will be needed, so accommodate them by finding a location that is near and affordable. Every player must have covered insurance and if they do not have insurance that is applicable to your location, you can offer them to purchase insurance when registering.
Get ready for your next football tournament
In these six steps you’ve learned how to organise a football tournament with limited resources. Above all remember calculating your budget, contacting local volunteers, finding sponsors and promoting your event both online and offline to register enough teams and grow your fan base.
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