Past Players Day
Events, functions and fundraising activities
Past Players Day
Past players already love your club so if they continue to be engaged by the club after they finished competing it can greatly benefit your club and club culture.
Past players can be the basis of your annual fundraising strategy so look to get them involved in your club as early in the season as possible. Never have the past players day at the end of the year because they get all excited about the club and how they could help but then the season finishes.
Think about how many players have played at your club in the last 5 or 10 years. How many do you still stay in contact with? Build your past players database and past players membership and this will have a positive financial effect on your fundraising.
The event can be a simple BBQ or could be a fully-catered affair either on-site at the clubrooms or at a venue. The most popular past player events often happen in conjunction with the club’s biggest traditional rival.
Your club might also like to include a guest speaker in the day or other activities such as watching old footage or hearing from past members.
Why a Past Players Day?
Past players events, are a great way to keep member engagement strong and build tradition at your club. The event is an opportunity to reintroduce past players to the current happenings at the club and relive the great moments and traditions in the club’s history, like grand final winning years. In fact many healthy clubs hold at least one past players function every year.
As many of these past players have spent some great times with your club, they are usually happy to help the club by paying to attend or by purchasing food and drink on the day. This is turn can create great fundraising dollars for your club while continuing a strong club culture.
When should I hold this fundraiser?
A Past Players Day can be held at anytime during the year and should be written in the calendar as one of the major, yearly social events. It is a great idea to keep the time of year consistent from year to year to help past players plan and to ensure they look forward to attending each year.
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:
Before the Day
- Decide a date for the Past Players Day.
- Book your speakers and MC if required
- Contact all past players and invite them to the day
- Organise microphones and speakers.
- Organise the venue, tables and chairs.
- Organise volunteers to help on the day.
- Organise any food and beverages that will be for sale.
- Organise any raffles, activities, competitions or auctions that might run at the same time.
- Sell tickets.
On the Day
- Ensure the room, tables, chairs and sound system are set up and ready to go.
- Ensure food and beverages are ready to sell or serve.
- Ensure the speakers know where to go and arrive on time (if choosing to have a speaker).
- Brief Volunteers of their roles.
- Enjoy the day!
- Monitor the event.
- Take lots of photos.
After the day
- Publicly thank everyone involved
- Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.
Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For an Past Players Day you could approach them to help:
- Contact past players and sell tickets
- Help source prizes for any additional activities you may be running like a raffle or auction. You could also approach current club Sponsors for any prizes you plan to use.
- Help source speakers (you never know who your members and supporters may know!)
- Help logistically on the day
Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.
Using technology to make it easier
You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars.
You may like to sell tickets for your Past Players Day online. An example of a website that allows clubs to do this is trybooking.com. This takes care of a great deal of the work usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process. It also allows tickets to be purchased at any time of the day or night.
Selling tickets online means the event can be easily shared online by your members and supporters and hopefully will reach more past players.
Your club may then also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.
You may like to live stream parts of the event on social media for anyone who can’t be there on the day, to help them remain connected to your club.
Total amount raised can vary from $500-$2000 depending on the generosity of the attendees and sponsors. There is very little in the way of set up costs if it is held in the clubrooms.
Revenue opportunities mainly arise from ticket sales to the function.
Clubs can maximise revenue by holding an auction or seeking a sponsor for the event. The price of prizes for any raffles as well as auction items need to be considered. It is a great idea to try to source these from sponsors and ask members to help source the from businesses in the community. These donations are often in exchange for signage and promotion on the night. The key is not to leave this to the last minute and try to organise prizes early to avoid added pressure.
For those clubs with bar and food facilities, revenue from takings can be factored in.
To promote a Past Players Day, your club will need a record of past player details from which they can send invitation emails or letters. Clubs should advertise the Past Player’s Day on their website and in newsletters to help reach past players that may have changed contact details. Clubs can also use local community media (newspaper and radio) to let the community know of the upcoming Past Players Day function.
As a Past Players Day also double as a social event at your club, you can use social media to build excitement. You can use social media to sell tickets and countdown to the day. You can also live stream parts of the event on the day so that those in your community that can’t attend can still be part of the event.
Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
As this event may include alcohol it is important to consider whether there will be limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.
What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Low attendance numbers
It is important for clubs to ensure they keep good records and have the contact details of past players. Without these records it will be difficult for your club to invite all of the past players and in turn have high attendance numbers.
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and set up costs more than is made.
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
Licenses and Permits
Food handling and service laws need to be considered. Liquor licencing and RSA requirements for serving drinks also need to be adhered to. If in doubt, check with the liquor licensing and food safety authority in your state or territory.
It is also important to contact your insurance company to ensure your public liability insurance policies cover the event.
Additional Factors to consider
It is a great idea for clubs to have a sign-in book to collect details for a past-player’s registry. Keeping the past players involved in the club helps maintain the club culture plus past players have skills that they should be encouraged to use to help the club grow and prosper.
If catering food ensure you cater for those with allergies and these are clearly labeled. Allergies can be life threatening and need to be considered seriously.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
Revenue can be made from not only ticket sales but also activities held on the night such as auctions and raffles, as well as merchandise sales. Clubs with bar facilities can also look to make significant revenue from sales.
If your club does not have a bar or food serving facilities, then you can still put on a Past Player;’s Day by making it BYO drinks and nibbles.
Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.
Salary cap discussions expose an ethical leadership dilemma for clubs
In a previous life I had the honour and pleasure of being the CEO of the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League (MPNFL). At the time, 2007 -2008, the MPNFL was...
By Steve Pallas
Gambling on grassroots sports must be avoided at all costs
The Australian Gambling Research Centre which is a part of the federal government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies published in early November 2014, a report titled “Sports Betting and Advertising”....
By Steve Pallas