Thanksgiving is a time to gather the family and give thanks. Many of us get together and eat a ton! But for a significant amount of sports organizers, the dinner table isn’t their primary focus.
Sports has always played an important part of Thanksgiving tradition – starting way back in 1934 when the Lions played the Bears in the first televised Thanksgiving Day football game. And many families work up their appetites with a good ol’ game of pickup football.
For many of our partners, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to organize sports events – especially tournaments. As examples:
All West Lacrosse is hosting their annual 8th Grade 7v7 Lacrosse Tournament in the Bay area: http://bit.ly/1P6YyHU
Comeback Sports is running a Soccer Tournament in Vancouver, WA: http://bit.ly/1OqMTAw. This event will help raise money for a local food drive, in which each player donates at least $10 or 10 items of non-perishable food in order to join the tournament.
Holiday-themed runs are also a popular pastime for competitive and casual runners to participate in with their families. Here is a list of all of the Thanksgiving-Themed runs being organized all over the country: http://bit.ly/1OqMVbr
But knowing you, you are probably the one who is setting up these events.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when organizing a sports tournament on Thanksgiving:
Email your existing members and let them know about the event or tournament. If each person brings 1 person, you have doubled the attendees. Use Hashtags to make it a more broad search. Reach out to leagues in your area to see if there are teams that want to join your tournament. This is a great way to expose your sports organization to new players who normally don’t play with your organization. Once they are registered, you can market to them in the future.
2) Market your event!
Set up a social media page and make sure that everyone is sharing this event on their facebook pages. Take pictures, post them on instagram, and put the link to your web site in the comments and details of the picture. Have your registrants share this event or tournament on social media to create awareness.
3) Register in Advance
People will register for your event way in advance. You will have family members coming from out of state for the weekend. So let them sign up online. Don’t worry about registrations the day of your tournament or event, because no one wants to be pushing paper the day of the event.
4 ) Reserve your field time way in advance
With the growth in organized sports, field time is at a premium. Typically once you are in the system the municipalities like to work with the same people year in and year out.
5) Establish a cause
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Partner with a charity or a food kitchen and ask your attendees to make donations or bring a food item. Donate that food item or donate a % of the fees collected to the charity of your choice.
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!