If you have been tasked with setting up a sports tournament for your organization, it is important to realize that you are not alone in this endeavor. Numerous people before you have set-up and organized a wide variety of sports tournaments, and there are lots of sources of advice you can turn to for assistance with organizing your first sports tournament. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
#1 Give Yourself Lots of Time to Plan
It can be really difficult to pull together a sports tournament at the last minute, especially your first one. A sports tournament generally takes months of planning, as you have to secure funding, bring on sponsors, secure venues, advertise, and register teams to participate.
You should give yourself anywhere from six to nine months to pull together a proper sports tournament.
#2 Know Your Budget
If you are pulling together a tournament for an organization, you need to know your budget. Your budget will directly impact how large the tournament can be and the type of amenities that you can offer participants.
As you plan your budget, be sure to plan for sponsorships as well. Think about the type of sponsorships you need to help you round out your budget. This will help you create a more targeted plan for securing sponsors. For example, a sponsor that will donate a location for holding the tournament can save you a lot of money. Or a sponsor that will provide a form of advertising for the event can cut down on your marketing budget.
Knowing the budget that the organization is going to give you to work with can also help ensure that you keep the tournament profitable. You don't want to go into debt for the tournament.
#3 Find Sponsors
Once you have established your budget and you know where you need sponsorship help to offset the cost of putting on your event, you need to start the process of finding sponsors. This can be one of the most time-consuming parts of putting on a tournament.
Before you start cold-calling sponsors, you need to have a detailed plan for your tournament. You need to know when you want to hold the tournament, the types of teams you want to recruit, and the type of attendance you are aiming for. Of course, these are all estimates, but you need to have a tournament plan before you approach sponsors like you would have a business plan before you approach a bank.
You need to show the sponsors that your event is worth investing in and you need to be able to show the sponsors how the event will benefit them as well. Larger corporate companies with a national base generally have more specific processes for applying for sponsorships and may even have limited times during the year where they accept sponsorship applications.
Local organizations may have a more laid-back approach to sponsorships, although the more organized you are, the better your chance of gaining necessary sponsorships.
After you secure the sponsorships you need, shore up the details of the event, such as the location and time. Then, start the advertising and recruiting process to bring in teams. Once you have the teams signed up, you need to start on the logistical planning of the event, bringing together a team to help run the event. For more information, contact a company like America's Finest Kickball League.