Rebuilding Courts In Mississippi

There is a group that is looking to rebuild two racquetball courts in Mississippi. The flooring and glass front walls are already in place. They need to rebuild the wall separating the space back into two courts (taken down previously to make one large space) and to redo the front and side wall panels.

What are some creative ideas that they can use to fund this restoration?

1)
Crowd sourced fundraising.

a)
My #1 choice would have been a Kickstarter campaign. This would allow big money donors that have concerns about meeting the full goal needed, to pledge the amount they are willing to provide, while not requiring them to turn over the funds if the goal is not met by the deadline.

They unfortunately didn’t make that choice, they’ve gone with a GoFundMe instead, so those big dollar donors are private and waiting on the smaller donations to add up to a significant amount before making their amounts public.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-mississippi-racquetball-stay-alive

b)
Publicize the crowd source campaign via every viable social media platform they have access to.
(Mississippi Racquetball Discussion Group on Facebook)
I’ve posted this page to Reddit. They’ve done an interview with Sudsy Monchik and John Ellis. That interview has been shared in the 20 largest Facebook discussion groups and to many regional discussion groups as well. The video interview couldn’t be embedded (likely because of some music played for ~4 minutes while all of the parties got started and tested everything out), but if you are on Facebook, you can watch the video here:

https://www.facebook.com/RacquetballGuy/videos/1205747749757773/

Now available on Sudsy’s YouTube Channel and embedded just below.

2)
Sell Advertising.

a)
Sell court stickers for a year. Expand your business card to a 24×36 (or 18×27) sticker and pay them $1,000 per court to have it displayed for a year.

b)
Sell naming rights for each court. Paint the name of the advertiser in the service box (and keep it freshly painted for a year) for $4-5,000.

c)
Pre-sell tournament naming rights. Get advertisers to pick a tournament date and get 3-6 months active advertising on the website, R2 Sports tournament page, Facebook discussion group, etc. Since this money would be used primarily to prep the courts, some portion of it should also be set aside for tournament prize money or tournament shirts or food etc. I’d go with ~%40 set aside for the later event.

d)
Pre-sell league naming rights. Run an 8-12 week league multiple times per year. Sell the naming rights for each of those leagues in advance, promote the leagues on all of the social media accounts, and use that advertisers name every time it is mentioned.

3)
Who would I sell that advertising to?

I would start with the Jackson, Mississippi Chamber of Commerce. (Not as a potential advertiser, but as a lead source for businesses close to the court location that could benefit from a relatively small advertising opportunity.)

In particular, I would target racquet stringers (if the club won’t have a pro shop and an in-house stringer), insurance agents, massage therapists, chiropractors, restaurants, local printing services (that handle t-shirts and court stickers specifically), car services (taxi/limo rentals specifically but also oil change places), local internet service providers, and lodging companies (but not in this case, as the courts are attached via a parking garage to a hotel).

4)
Sales

a)
Get professional racquetball players to sign items and put up an auction, similar to the one done by the United Healthcare US Open every year.

b)
Get commitments from racquetball coaches to do a training session (at a higher than normal price) and to donate the differnce to the building fund. (i.e. Coach A charges $500 for a weekend session. Schedule one for after the club is built for $700, and sell attendance now. Get the $200 difference donated to the building fund.) This may be harder to arrange than 4a.

Mississippi Racquetball has been able to do this one, with exhibition matches and private instruction from Marty Hogan. Check it out!

https://www.32auctions.com/MississippiMartyHogan

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What would you add?

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JT RB

I am a racquetball enthusiast in Redondo Beach, California.