How to Retain Sponsors by Your Local Team

Funds are essential in the management of every sport team at all levels, some of the common ways of acquiring funds by local sport team are by individual donations, payments of team and membership dues, selling game tickets and seeking financial supports from notable members of the community. Another effective way of generating funds for a local team is to get sponsors. Every team either at the grassroot level, local level, state level or international level requires some degree of sponsorship, and this can come from local business organisations or international companies. Donations by sponsors might not always be monetary, it could be in goods or material forms, some sponsors may donate food items and refreshments after games, other bodies may offer sponsorship in form of services.

basketball team banners

Many articles online and in the newspapers would describe how to attract sponsors to your local teams, but only very few of them would explain how to keep and retain this available sponsors, this is the purpose of this particular article. Sponsors are not only in the giving business, they usually require something in return because sponsorships are mostly marketing investments. Sponsorship are offered to gain publicity, to create awareness about a particular brand of good or service that the company offers( thereby increasing their sales and profits) and to increase customers loyalty. Local teams can help to increase their sponsors publicity by wearing their names and logos on their jerseys and banners. Soccer team banners contain sponsors names and logos can be made by local soccer teams to aid publicity of their sponsors, basketball team banners could be made, baseball banners, softball banners, almost every kind of sport that are played locally can offer some level of publicity and can gain and retain sponsorship, it is left to the team to show their potential sponsors how partnering their team would improve their businesses. (more…)

Impromptu Olympic Triathlon

This year for me is focused around running 15 official marathons, a few of the majors and few smaller events such as my first in Anglesey. It’s great fun to be in official events; I always get excited when I pin my number to my kit and line up on the start line alongside hundreds or in some cases thousands of runners, with ability ranges from amateurs to world record holders (seriously excited to race in London with Paula Radcliffe AND Dennis Kimetto!)

This blog is about making another training day or free weekend your OWN event. Why do we need to wait for an event to pop up to compete? Why do we need to pay their entry fees? Why do we have to feel the pressure of the event we’ve been telling everyone about for months? Each and every time you put your sports gear on you have the chance to adventure into your own event. Pick an event/distance you saw during the Olympics and GO FOR IT, you’re guaranteed a GOLD, living outside your normal training plan/official event will give you physical and mental development as well as a sense of accomplishment in pushing yourself into a new experience.

In the summer of 2014, two years on from memories I will cherish forever from the London Olympics I ran two events in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; the inaugural ‘Hackney Half Marathon’ and the ‘Anniversary Run’. On both occasions post race I took the chance of to relax on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Olympic Park, this is when for the first time I went inside the velodrome. This was the one venue I was gutted to have missed out on during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I pictured cycling round the 250M track to the roar of 6,000 spectators with everything feeling so close and alive, Team GB excelling being a bonus. From this moment I decided I was going to cycle on that track in the worlds best velodrome.

velodromeAt the end of last year I booked an introductory track session with a work colleague. I haven’t got a great deal of experience in the saddle and was going into this more for an experience rather than seriously thinking I would make it as the next Sir Chris Hoy. He is a keen road cyclist so when he mentioned he had no idea what to expect it gave me a little boost. We were actually quite early for our session, so watched Commonwealth champion Alex Dowsett train ahead of his attempt at the ‘Perfect Hour’ (attempt to break the world record for distance on a velodrome track in an hour, currently 51.852Km) His intensity and speed was ridiculous as it was inspiring.

As I walked out into the middle of the track from beneath the seating area, I had a smile on my face trying to recall all the professional cyclists which had made the same walk. (more…)

I’ve found my LIMIT…

A few days ago I attempted my first triathlon, it was an Ironman, it was the Welsh one, yeah THAT one…

I signed up for the event nearly a year ago, my life is now very different and as much as I wish I could have crossed the finish line to hear those words, often spoken of as immortal – ‘you are now an Ironman’, it wasn’t to be. There is a list nearly as long as the event itself as to why I didn’t make it; reasons, excuses, same difference, right?

To date I’ve run ten marathons this year and you may have seen a happy me with a medal at the end of each one, yes I’ve made it to the finish line but of those ten, four were painful experiences. My second, I entered the ultra distance but so broken I could only make the marathon finish line in testing wintry conditions. The London marathon, the one I had always wanted, well I experienced the worst cramp I’ve ever had and it destroyed my race. Edinburgh, I hit the wall at mile 16 and then had to run the hardest ten road miles of my life. The following week, the fourth in four weeks, my body was feeling it, a tough marathon course in the beautiful but hilly Lake District, I ran my slowest marathon time and felt wrecked. BUT I made it to the finish line, so would think okay, that was tough but you got there, so keep it up, you haven’t been beaten, defeated yet…

Four weeks prior to Sunday I was in John o’ Groats, Scotland finishing my length of Britain cycle, it was a special moment, a proud one, a happy one, a momentous one in every sense of the word. Great. Fantastic. Are there any limits as to what is possible? NO!!!! Well, maybe, sometimes, occasionally..

It’s been a surreal four weeks, the first I was still elated and living off of probably the biggest high of my life. Ending with a camp, good people and getting me back into the wild, much needed after a week in London. It was my birthday a few days later and as fun and rewarding as that day was it feels like a turning point. Since turning 26 I’ve been stuck in a rut, I’ve lost my zest for life and it hasn’t been great in all honesty. I thought I was ‘resting’ but looking back now I was just being lazy. I lacked discipline and any sort of forward thinking, my training and attention to diet wavered, therefore lacking energy. That low you hear about sports people or adventurers getting after a high is now relate-able. 90% of my thoughts since returning to London have been about my ride and planning another one at some point in the future, rather than focusing on what I’ve already got coming up. On the state of my mind, I had concussion the weekend prior to the Ironman, I’ve never experienced that before and it certainly has knocked me in more ways than one. I’ve had headaches come and go, it’s been a tad scary when you expect to wake the next day with everything back to normal and it just isn’t.

So, enough with the excuses (reasons) – what actually happened at Ironman?

I believe the human body is capable of some incredible feats by doing two simple things; ‘train it & fuel it’ as straight forward as that. I did neither sufficiently. This year I’ve run ten marathons (including a 100Km ultra), cycled the length of Britian solo and unsupported, created a FUN-RUN series and tried to make it to Project Awesome as often as possible. An Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim (in Wales case, at sea), 112 mile cycle, 26.2 mile run. I have done very, very little swimming this year, one swim in the calm Adriatic sea off the coast of Croatia, two weeks beforehand does NOT compare in any whatsoever to the Welsh coast. I walked by the sea on Friday evening and in stormy conditions, nerves of fear shot through my body. It really hit me how awful this could be. Thankfully, skies were clearer Saturday morning, although everyone in town said conditions are changing all the time, so nobody has any idea of race conditions, great. (more…)

Running Highlight of 2014

In 2014 I competed in an event of some description every month from February through to November. This was in part to maintain motivation in training, knowing how to train and bringing variation depending on my upcoming event. There are many classic and in terms of marathons ‘Majors’ events which attract thousands of entries, which can be exciting especially the iconic city landmarks you pass on their courses. However I often find the key to my most memorable events is taking a plunge into the unknown, be it location, distance, setting or the event itself. My running highlight of 2014 ticked all these boxes; ‘Wings for Life – World Run’ – unknown distance, Northamptonshire countryside, based at Silverstone racing track and the inaugural event.

I signed up to this event not sure what to expect, even on the start line I didn’t know how far I was going to run! Not because I hadn’t trained or was feeling ill; this is the only race in the world without a finish line! A ‘catcher’ car sets off from the start line 30 minutes after the start at a gentle speed of 9.32mph eventually reaching 21.72mph! It really is a race which a parkrun 5K runner can happily line up alongside an ultra runner and both ‘win’ their own races!

For years as a child I watched Michael Schumacher race around Silverstone and once I got into running the Silverstone half was one I’ve wanted to do, that now seems a little boring in comparison! Silverstone as a setting was lovely, we were based in the old paddocks, which are still in good condition and there was a buzz about the place, like there would be in the lead up to a Formula 1 race. The course itself involved a lap of the racing track as well as winding in and out of various other tracks – Silverstone is more than a simple loop! Once we had ran around 10K the course lead us into the rolling hills of the Northamptonshire countryside, I never expected this! As we passed through various small villages, the locals came out to play their part and cheer everyone through on what was one of the hottest days of the year to date. I had set myself a target to reach half marathon distance and with that achieved anything else was a bonus! Shortly after that I heard a wall of sound and “the catcher car is chasing you” from the megaphone on board…I dug deep and picked up the pace…after a few nervous turns behind I started to see the car. It was soon hot on my heels and I was squeezing out the last embers of energy I had in me, eventually the time came and it inched past me and my race was over! Advised by the crew the nearest ‘bus stop’ was a few hundred metres behind me I took a few minutes to recover then made a slow walk back towards it. On board everyone was delighted, if not a little shattered by what had been a unique race. At least we were heading back to the paddocks to collect our medal, a finishers tee (one of my favourites!) and free drinks at the post race party!

One highlight in particular was meeting former Formula 1 driver Aussie Mark Webber pre race, not to sound cliché but he is a driver I’ve always liked, mainly due to his interests outside of Formula 1. This is taken from his website “Mark is equally well known for his high level of physical fitness and is a true lover of the great outdoors environment. One of his great passions is seeing people push their limits and setting goals outside of their comfort zones and this extends to Mark himself.” It was great to actually run with Mark for around a kilometre out on the course and push myself to keep up with him! Watching the banter between him and kiwi runner with a Southern cross draped around him was great fun. Another huge draw in me signing up for this run was this was a worldwide event and every runner starts at the same time! Running in the UK meant a 11:00 start, whereas in New Zealand that was a midnight start and out in California a 3AM start! With those start times and the conditions, it is likely the UK event was one of the hottest – who would have thought!? One little note I would add is in terms of aid stations, the ‘energy’ drink of choice was Red Bull – yes it is heavily sponsored by them and they wonderfully support the world of extreme sports but I’m yet to meet an endurance athlete who would choose Red Bull…On a brighter note everyone runs with a chip and there is live tracking on the website for friends and family (and to compare yourself with the famous faces running around the world!)

This years event takes place on Sunday 3rd May and unfortunately I can’t make it but would love to return next year if possible. I considered this as a marathon earlier in the year…but I’d need to be running a 3:08 marathon time! More information on the race can be found here

The support for my #15in15 challenge is meaning a lot and certainly keeps my productively busy! If you would like to donate to Macmillan Cancer Support you can do so here

What’s next for Adventure Adam? The FUN returns with the next London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series event – London Bridge(s) 10Miler – Sunday 22nd

Marathon No.4 – London

The day had come, something I’ve been wanting to do since first watching the London Marathon on a spring Sunday morning in the nineties. I never planned to run regularly, certainly not run marathon after marathon, but to run the London Marathon was an ambition and something I planned to do, something to tick off on my bucket list. The London Marathon is actually how I got into running, I decided my one off marathon was going to be in London’s Olympic year, 2012, I entered the ballot after the 2011 event, waited months, then got the rejection letter. However, I had trained up to a half marathon and discovered something I enjoyed, I went on to run a marathon in the Olympic year, just not in London.

With my ongoing challenge, I’m trying to involve as many people as possible. As the marathon was in London it was time to invite friends along to cheer and party post race. I thought this was a great plan a few months ago, although with three or four days to go it struck me for the first time in my life I had quite a few people coming to cheer, some I hadn’t seen in quite a while! I actually felt some pressure on me to run well and make their efforts worth it, I had to remind myself they were coming to support and not judge. A trip to the expo to collect my bib and pre race goodies was the perfect chance to talk with other’s about the marathon and turn those nerves into excitement!

The day before felt different to any other marathon, I’d never spent the night before a marathon at home. I found myself with a whole day with not much to do, no travel, no expos, no hotels/restaurants. I had lots ‘to do’ but apparently you’re meant to rest the day before a marathon!? I’ll concede I went for a 10 minute run in the afternoon, followed by an hour of stretching. I just wanted it to be race day – I was excited to be have a 9 O’clock bedtime on a Saturday!

DCIM101GOPROGOPR1514Sunday 26th April 2015. 5:30AM. This is it. London Marathon. Get up Adam. Today is the day you run a marathon in your home city. YES! So it is, after a good sleep I made light work of shovelling down porridge, croissants, bagels – oh how I love how much you can/need to eat when running a marathon! As I made my way on the tube you could tell it was marathon day, no other Sunday morning at 7AM do you see runner’s everywhere, nervous and excited faces amongst them and of course fancy dress – more on that later. As I got off the train at Greenwich, I really got the marathon vibes, following the crowds towards the park, the light drizzle eased and I started to think about just how big an event this really is. I entered the official ‘runner’s only’ area, had my final sips and nibbles, dropped my bag off, listened to nature’s call and then soaked in the atmosphere. A gentle warm up and dynamic stretching and then I headed for my starting pen. I was now in the crowd of runner’s I had seen for years. The minutes ticked away and then you hear the elite intros, Wilson Kipsang – current London champ and former WR holder, Dennis Kimetto – WR holder, just ahead of you these legends of the sport, WOW! (more…)

London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series – Olympic Park 10K

At the turn of the year I made a personal commitment to organise and host my own event, this coincided with using 100% of the ‘entry fee’ to further my goal of raising £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. I plan to give everyone the belief they can run further than they think they can, so let’s make running FUN!

Team

My first FUN-RUN in the series was an Olympic Park 10K. I really wanted everyone to enjoy themselves so started proceedings with a quick round of speed dating to get everyone talking to each other.

It was then time to get the blood pumping with some star jumps, followed by press ups and finishing with lunges. Once everyone had a spring in their step, we ran down the stairs beside the Aquatic Centre and began!

It was exciting for me to have runners from outside of London and as far away as Los Angeles and Melbourne visiting the famous park for the very first time.

A late but brilliant addition to the starting line up was Milton, the lovely dog you will be see in all the photos. He genuinely made everyone’s day brighter and I think he may well now be a vital member of the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series team!

Early on in the run, we found the outdoor climbing wall in the park, which of course had to be scaled, only to come back down and continue on with the run. With the tunes pumping everyone was definitely living in the moment and none of the fears or difficulties which can be associated with running were spoken of.

At each photo opportunity such as a venue or kilometre mark I would throw in a little circuit training to keep things interesting. We would be doing squat thrust burpees, squats, hopping and lunges to name a few.

It was great to run in the quieter areas of the park by the River Lea and the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, we even had a runner who plays hockey on that very pitch! We then made a loop back towards the Velodrome, naturally running a lap on the elevated section to take in wonderful views of the park. We here attempted a photo of air cycling à la air guitar, results were let’s say interesting.

Having clocked up 7KM we were now running back towards the Aquatic centre, not before taking in a quick face off in ping pong. I say quick, if we actually had bats and a ball, the rally may still be going on now, not in respect to the skill levels, more that it appeared to be a quadruples match. The carefully planned route then lead us towards red telephone boxes, where we split into British and American telephone boxes. Those tourists and their fascination with a red telephone box. The telephone boxes are in a tranquil area of the park designated as the Wetlands. This is one of the many reasons I love the Olympic Park, the different environments which have been included truly make it an outdoors area for everyone.

As we re-entered the Olympic Park by Westfield shopping centre it was time for our best Michael Phelps impressions with the manta ray resembling Aquatic centre in view. Everyone pushing on for the final 500 metres was a joy to see. The finish line between two trees at the top of a small hill was soon alive with high fives, hugs and the most amazing smiles. (more…)