Booster Clubs Raise More Money by Building a Brand

by Jim Connelly, founder of BoosterSpark

Do you know what a "brand" is? A brand is a feeling, a vibe, or a reputation associated with a name or logo. Booster club brands are communicated with a logo, colors, fonts, and words. Some booster clubs have a logo, but most don't have an established brand. Good news: it is surprisingly inexpensive and easy to create a booster club brand!

When your club has a well-received brand, more people will want to be a part of the club through donations, memberships, volunteering, etc. And, you'll be able to offer exclusive benefits to members and sponsors. A brand can make your club something people want to be a part of which makes it a lot easier to sell your club to potenial donors.

What makes a good booster club brand? Your brand should be fun and professional. It should convey that it is easy & popular to be involved with the club, and being a member is an exclusive honor. It could include a tagline such as "creating opportunities for TOWN_NAME children/students/athletes" or simply say "proud member" or "member." It should use similar colors as the organization your club supports (use your team's colors, for example).

There are many places online where you can buy professional logo design services very inexpensively. One source is 99designs.com. For around $300 you can get dozens of logo design concepts from multiple designers around the world. Revisions are included, and the logo you choose will be provided in various file formats suitable for signs, apparel, print, and web use.

Once your club has an established brand, you can sell exclusive branded benefits such as shirts with your club logo. In fact, anything you can put a logo on becomes a potential revenue stream or membership benefit! You won't be competing with any other apparel vendor in your school or community because your club is the only one who can offer items branded with your logo. These items will be available only and exclusively through your club or membership program.

Consider some branding success stories from the real world. People worldwide pay money to wear shirts, pants, and shoes with the Nike swoosh on them. Not only does that generate revenue for Nike, it also turns these customers into walking billboards for the brand. Offer a branded shirt to your members, available exclusively to paid members, and turn them into your local walking billboards!

You can get quality shirt designs and low volume clothing production from places like customink.com or local apparel or sign shops.

Turn your club into a brand and watch your membership, volunteer list, and sponsorship program grow!

Who Wrote This? Jim Connelly, founder and lead developer of BoosterSpark, is past president of a booster club in the Chicago suburbs that donated over $40,000 to his children's high school annually. The Illinois State Board of Education presented Jim with the Those Who Excel Award of Meritorious Service in 2017 recognizing his extensive booster club service. During his tenure, he created and coordinated an annual 5K fundraiser, managed an engraved brick fundraising campaign, created a sponsorship program, enhanced an existing membership program, increased sales of spirit wear, initiated new volunteer recruitment programs, guided the volunteer team that won the $5,000 Buffalo Wild Wings Spirit Challenge two consecutive years, launched an informative club website, ensured the club was properly insured, researched 501(c)(3) compliance, and increased annual club revenue. Professionally, Jim has been a business consultant trusted by companies in over 100 industries since 1996.
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