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56 West Main St.
Norwich, NY 13815

Quarterly Strike Newsletter Volume 12

How Good Is Your Release?

No, not your fastball release but your press release. Just by operating such an interesting business venture you probably had done something noteworthy. If you plan on repeating these noteworthy activities then let people know about it. A simple write up of your activities the previous year and your plans for the coming will catch some interest. Remember, your business is unique and serves the interest of the reader. If you have some events planned be sure to make a point of mentioning it. In particular are your activities involving youth leagues. Once printed, the press release will greatly help in your pursuit of other events and you should get plenty of calls as well.

Now! Now! Now!

Plant The Pitch-A-Thon Seed Before The Thaw

I just came back from the annual District #8 Little League meeting and expo and it's a great reminder that early planning for your fundraising is prudent. In this case the district meeting allows related vendors to display their services for the various teams in the district; about 30 teams in all. What an opportunity to give a face to face presentation of Pitch-A-Thon to those directly involved. It sure beats cold calling or the expense of mailings. This kind of opportunity is very rare so for most of you, a solid game plan needs to be in place NOW. Most of you probably know someone in a youth league and NOW is the time to get information to them. A follow up in a few weeks assures you got your foot in the door early and that follow-ups won't be too late. There's nothing worse than hearing "we'll consider it for next year. The time is NOW! NOW! NOW!

Windows Of Opportunity

It has never really taken hard work to make money with a speed pitching booth but to be successful and consistent with the level of income requires a willingness to attend events and a minimal amount of pre planning. There is a certain "window of opportunity" which is inherent to all successful ventures.

Being in the right place at the right time can only happen if you make an attempt to be there in the first place. Events are not soley judged by dollar amount generated but also by the contacts made at an event. Particularly as you are starting out and are constantly looking for new opportunities.Once you establish a consistent yearly calendar you can back off the number of events you attend and concentrate on only those that prove profitable.

Pre-planning is an area I always seem to fall behind in. When is the right time to make the right contact. January & February should be set up times for your coming year. Particularly when dealing with spring sports leagues. First contact is important but follow-ups are what get results. Don't wait and wait for someone to call you. Getting information early is another pre-planning must. Call or send for events calendars, Many are not published yet but find out when they are expected and call promptly at that time. Even if it's to early to book an event you can plan out a rough schedule of potential events.

Sometimes windows of opportunity pass because you were late arriving or you left early. During peak hours it is hard to network with other vendors or patrons but at down times people are more at ease to talk and you certainly have more time to concentrate on what is being said. So, enjoy the relaxed down time and stay a while longer.

5 Events and How They Make Money


The first rule in a mall is to not sublet space from the mall but through an events promoter for like a sports card show. About $50 a day is what I'm comfortable paying. Malls are long days full of peaks and valleys so be prepared for spurts and ways to create them. The all day price method is great for keeping activity going at the booth. Most events are held on weekends so offer to use your booth as a promotional tool for the event by setting up on a Friday. Passing out fliers and hanging extra signage for the weekend event could prompt the mall to let you in Friday for free and Friday nights are big on teenage traffic and movie goers. Staying centrally located is another paramount request.


Beer! it's a very important word at fairs because if there's a beer tent then there's men waiting to prove their manhood! Being well lit in the evenings also makes a huge impact. Buy a couple sets of halogen flood lights on stands to aim at the target and banner. Remember that although you may be competing with other game vendors you are a part of the community and not a passing carny so try to give your booth any kind of local "flavor". People respond to local businesses at fairs. Separating yourself from game alleys has it's pro's & cons but in truth this system probably stacks up better away from the midway. Catch them at the entrance or in the food alley but be sure to always be within a main drag. Prizes are also a must at fairs.

Soccer Tournaments:

Soccer tournaments have some very specific points of success. Find tournaments where all the fields are in one location. 30 teams in one site can be better than 100 teams scattered. Be sure that the age groups consist of young children ages 8 to 14. Offer the league 20% of the gross as a vendors fee. Be sure you attempt to make the first offer or in my case, I just tell them my standard arrangement. Be sure you are set up next to food and the registration tents or within close proximity.

Community Events:

These generally consist of annual carnivals, pageants or festivals. Usually food, crafts and flea market vendors will set up. You should have very little gaming competition. The first key is to be sure your fee reflects the event. Again, keeping it around $50 a day ensures you're not taking any risks. These are typical parent and kids events so offering a family price rate will be appreciated. The all day price will be very much a factor as well. Try to locate yourself in congregation areas and not down a lane of craft or flea market vendors. If there are food vendors with tents and dining area's then that's a good spot or by any entertainment area.


A fundraisier is successful when you create 2 conditions; incentive for the participants and convenience for the parents. The competitive nature of Pitch-A-Thon is fun but it's not solely an incentive to get sponsors. I like to suggest that leagues offer up cash, prizes or gift certificates for participants that reach a certain dollar level. Getting parents to bring the child is another matter. Holding the vent during other scheduled league activities ensures greater turn out. Opening day or at a team picnic is common but even going to practices or games can make it much more convenient for everyone.

Safely Lazy

Sit down and relax, let the little rug rats fetch the balls... being lazy? No, playing it safe. Where are all the balls? it's 5 tries, how come there's only 1 soccer ball. Being cheap? No, playing it smart. Safety matters are always your first consideration in running a booth. The best way to make it safe is to keep your eyes open and be in a position to spot trouble. That's why I let players fetch their own balls. By constantly going from booth to gun to fetch balls you are simply out of position to avoid potential problems. You will also get tired and laziness will then creep in. The booth also flows smoother and quicker when customers can service themselves.

Another potential hazard are stray balls laying around. Even though I offer 5 trys I generally only keep 2 or 3 baseballs out and 1 soccer ball. Yourself and the players can keep better track of them this way and you will GREATLY reduce the chance of a stray ball venturing outside the cage and being tripped on by someone or picked up by a small child and hurled at their discretion. Also, you'll lose a lot less of them to boot!. Who Said you have to work hard to work smart!


Here's a good new years resolution. Be sure you are properly writing off all your pitching booth expenses. Be meticulous about mileage, food and the littlest of supplies like tape, wire ties and office supplies. Make it a point to speak with an accountant about all of your options. Remember, the easiest way to make more money is to pay less taxes!

News & Notes

I want to thank the early calls I've gotten from 2 sports leagues. Eric Keyser from the Kingston American Little League and Mush Schneider from The Honeoye Falls Blazers Soccer Club. Both are multi-year participants with my fundraiser and It's great to kick off a new year with calls from satisfied leagues wanting to do it again.

Anyone wishing to trade in old Jugs guns for cash can contact me about it. One manufacturer will refurbish them and is buying them at around $225 to $275 and since Jugs has a new model out you may want to consider upgrading. Of course, it's always nice to have a spare.