Patrick Clark was confident when he presented his proposal to the booster club at Unionville High School (Penn.) last year. Though he was asking to add two football products, Assist and Sideline, to his normal Hudl account, Clark believed he could prove their worth.
“It was an easy sell,” Clark said. “When we talk about technology and having our kids prepared, I’m fortunate to have a booster group that does a lot of fundraising. It wasn’t a hard sell for our situation. I just told them it was going to make us more competitive and help our kids.”
The pitch may have been a breeze for Clark, but not every coach may feel at ease broaching this delicate subject. We’ve come up with a few ideas to give you the confidence to state your case in front of your booster club.
Show the Benefits
Know the ins and outs of what you’re asking for. If you’re rock solid on the specific services you’re asking for, the timetable you’ll receive them and what others have said about the product, your preparedness will impress the audience.
It always helps to have voices to back up the data. If you can get video or quotes of fellow coaches in your area singing the product’s praises, your odds of success greatly increase.
If you don’t have direct testimonials, feel free to use some of ours! We’ve spoken with dozens of coaches about both Assist and Sideline and the benefits they’ve received, and most of them are available on our blog.
“(Assist) saves us hours on the weekend. It’s like having a graduate assistant, to be honest with you.” - Jeffrey Vlk, head coach at Buffalo Grove High School (Ill.)
“You can’t put a price on time. Winning is finding the right kind of time.” - Mike Setzer, head coach at Lumberton High School (N.C.)
“It would probably take us a couple days to do the work, but (the Assist breakdown is) done for us in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it was done the same night. I just want to stress the importance of the speed and the accuracy and how important it was for us.” - Steve Erato, head coach at East High School (Wisc.)
Have Your Plan in Order
One of the top mistakes made by hopeful entrepreneurs on the hit show Shark Tank is that they don’t have all their information down pat. The fastest way to get rejected by a potential investor is by stumbling over numbers or forgetting key figures.
So come to the meeting ready. Have your budget completely set, and know the pricing for both Sidleline and Assist. Determine which package you want and be prepared to thoroughly explain why that package will help you succeed.
Have a Backup Plan in Mind
As prepared and convincing as you might be, the booster club may simply be too strapped for cash to make the investment at this time.
But your options don’t dry up there. Start a fundraiser, such as selling t-shirts, baked goods or candy bars. You can ask a local restaurant to donate a certain percent of proceeds from a certain night. Among those that participate:
Another option is starting a GoFundMe page and encouraging fans through social media, signs and word of mouth to donate to your team. A passionate fan base can hold even more power than the stingiest booster club.
Remember to Say Thanks
This might seem obvious, but recognizing your booster club for their contributions can go a long way towards building goodwill with that group. Don’t forget to throw some love their way to let your fans know how important they were in helping your team.
Hopefully this gives you a good start on how to get the funds to level up your team. We’ll leave you with one last quote from Clark.
“We at the high school level don’t have GAs to do the legwork,” he said. “Assist just absolutely gives you time back. And Sideline is a worthwhile change. The technology is right out of the box in terms of setup. It integrates pretty seamlessly. I think it’s worth the investment.”