Every spring, kids from Kindergarten through middle school look forward to playing for their community’s Little League teams. The season officially starts every year with the first crack of the ball while players, parents, and grandparents cheer their team on.
Yet, Little League teams wouldn’t be successful in their communities without business sponsorships. Manheim Central’s Little League teams, in south central Pennsylvania, are lucky; they’ve 31 businesses sponsoring Little League tee ball through junior teams.
Since the Little League’s start in 1939, in Williamsport, Pa., the teams have depended on local sponsorships. Matter of fact, the first sponsors for Williamsport’s teams were Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber, and Jumbo Pretzel. Each sponsor paid a $30 donation for team uniforms.
“Sponsorship of local Little League teams by businesses in the community is vital to the financial health of many local Little Leagues around the world. The funds from these sponsorships help pay the significant costs involved in the annual activities of a local Little League,” says the Little League (www.littleleague.org) website under sponsorships.
But what exactly do these sponsorships pay for? They pay for
- Team uniforms
- Field upkeep
- Field equipment
- Sports equipment
- Concession stand supplies
- Equipment and facilities needed for Opening Day
- Various fields opened for practices and games throughout the season
- A team’s Little League affiliation
- Accident and liability insurances.
There are five different ways your business can support your local Little League teams:
- The Single at $250 gives a business an internet sponsorship banner on the league’s website and recognition on Opening Day.
- The Double at $500 allows team sponsorship with a business’s name on the team’s jerseys or caps; an outfield banner; a plaque with the team’s picture; recognition at Opening Day; and a website sponsorship banner on the league’s website.
- The Triple is the option for sponsoring a team for two years at a discounted rate and includes the same benefits as the Double.
- The Home Run is the option for a commitment to sponsoring the same team for three years. A business that invests with a Home Run gets home page recognition, website banner, outfield banner, recognition on Opening Day, and two plagues with the team’s picture given at the end of the season.
- A la carte options include team sponsorship; outfield banner; recognition on the league’s website; recognition on the team’s program; recognition during Opening Day ceremonies; plaque with the team’s picture; in kind donations, such as lawn equipment, concession stand supplies, field materials, athletic equipment, etc. or the opportunity to set up a booth or stand during Opening Ceremonies.
Granted, your business’s purpose in sponsoring your local Little League team shouldn’t be for the kudos that you receive for a donation. Rather, it should be for the benefits that it provides families, children, and the local community as a whole to enjoy Little League baseball.
Hondru Auto in Manheim has had the honor to support Manheim Central’s Little League teams since the mid-1980’s. To learn more about sponsoring your local Little League, go to www.littleleague.org.