tips & advice for marketing to youth sports leagues

Discussion in 'Sports' started by eyeforpix, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Greetings all,

    Four months ago we enrolled our 9-year-old into a cheerleading squad through the city Parks & Rec dept. I asked
    the coach if anyone had offered photo services and she said no, but asked to see samples of my work. I showed
    her photos of my daughter in uniform plus I ordered some of the Sports templates from MPIX.com. She ran it by the
    parents and they liked the idea. Since then I’ve shot 3 squads from our city, plus the coach’s 5 other squads from
    another city and I may get an opportunity to shoot her high school squad too.

    This is my first experience with sports/team photography and I really like it. Now I’d like to try to find some
    customers in other youth sports leagues like soccer, baseball, football, etc. Of course I can always enroll my kids
    and try to work my way in that way, but I was hoping some of you veterans can share some tips for landing one
    those gigs.
    What’s the best way to approach the league? Who should I approach? Should I offer kick-backs?

    Thanks in advance.

    Andres
     
  2. Do you want to do portraits or action or both?
     
  3. Portraits mainly.
     
  4. Every league and organization is completely different. Most leagues are getting an extremely cheap package, around 3.25 per child and expect you to beat that price, or match it and give them more. Honestly a lot of leagues dont really care about quality of pictures, they care about their bottom line. Offer kick-backs only if you feel it necessary. Try and keep most of the money for yourself as you are doing all the work and paying for prints. If you do offer a kick-back, nothing more then 10-15% on additional items. I have worked with about 20 leagues ranging from 60 kids up to 1000 kids. Every arrangement is completely different. With your first approach, try and get a feel for what they are already getting, or are interested in getting. Have a few packages worked out ahead of time, but be ready to think on your toes. Some leagues will want coaches plaques thrown in for free, some leagues want you to donate picture packages to their fundraising raffles. You really have to be ready for anything when you approach a league or organization. Hope this helps!
     
  5. Start small. You do not want to land the big league, and screw it up.

    Make sure that you put everything in writing. Make sure the person you are speaking with are the ones that can make the
    decision. I shoot mostly sports, but I do some T&I for local towns. It is profitable, but here I am four months later still dealing with "I
    didnt get my trading cards."

    Work through friends and neighbors. Check out every person you know with kids in sports and see what is going on. Put
    together a pitch for the organizations and send it to the president.

    You will stumble upon your first job, and then the soccer league will turn to the hockey league, and then baseball, etc.
     
  6. Casey, Richard,

    Thanks for the excellent advice. I completely agree with "start small", plus I'll put together a sample package to present to person in charge of photography.

    Andres
     

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