There are many different types of sports funding available to youth and recreational teams. Sponsorships from local businesses are one of the most prominent methods of youth sports funding; many corporations seek this type of partnership for both tax purposes and public relations. Some rural areas may also have grants available for sports funding in order to build new practice fields or team buses. Many teams also have fundraisers to cover additional expenses like uniforms, rental fees, and playoff trips.
Most of the sports funding for non-professional teams comes from various forms of businesses in the way of donations. A corporate entity is often more than willing to donate the cost of uniforms and travel in exchange for free advertising at the sports complex. In fact, this type of donation often pays for itself by increasing exposure of the brand or product that the company sells, which is why so many large retailers favor sponsorships.
When seeking sports funding from local area businesses, many team managers and coaches send out sponsorship letters several months before the season actually begins. These solicitations may ask for direct contributions or a cross-promotion where the team will advertise the business's products. Some sponsorships may also be exclusive within certain industries as well. For example, a restaurant may agree to donate resources if a team promises not to promote a local competitor.
Another popular method of sports funding is holding fundraisers. Many youth and school sports funding organizations use car washes, bake sales, raffle tickets, and other types of direct sales to gain money for the team. Some organizations may also choose to charge admission for home games and set up a concession stand with snacks from local vendors in order to raise additional funding. These types of sports funding are normally organized by a parents' association in order to offset the direct costs of including their children on the team.
If all other forms of sports funding fail, teams can also impose a direct charge on each player to cover the costs of the season. Many leagues have an upfront charge in order for a team to register within it, and this money is used primarily for upkeep, sporting equipment, and administrative fees. Tournament play is another example of direct funding; these costs are usually paid directly out of pocket by the athlete in order to compete. Some leagues even offer payment plans in order to reduce the burden of upfront costs to the players.