Every student-athlete is a hometown star. And while media coverage surrounding monetization opportunities in the name, image and likeness (NIL) era tend to focus on social media and sneaker deals, the reality means so much more. Student-athletes can earn big by tapping into their skills and work ethic.
Most student-athletes have been supported by fans in their hometown longer than the fans of their university. By hosting youth sports camps during winter and summer breaks, athletes can give back to the local community while making money to put towards tuition, rent, or other necessities when they go back on campus.
Typically, a sports camp hosted by a college or university coaching staff charges individual registration fees ranging from $50 to $100 per day. Camps can range anywhere from a few participants to well over one hundred. So, using coaching staffs as an example, it’s clear that student-athletes will be able to soon generate real revenue from hosting a single-day camp.
Some camps can also be held over a multiple-day period. These numbers could be multiplied by the number of days a student-athlete would want to host a camp.
These revenue numbers are astonishing for a day’s work. However, for student-athletes, there are costs involved and other items that require your attention to ensure a successful youth sports camp. Athletes will need to make a plan a few months in advance to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Student-athletes will need a place to host the camp and will need to reserve it in advance. Easy to acquire locations could include a facility at your local high school or a location through your city’s parks and recreation department. Chances are, they won’t have a lot of information on their website, so pick up the phone and give them a call and see if they have options available. Venues might charge a rental fee and you’ll most likely be required to schedule the venue weeks or months in advance.
Registration Form and Liability Waivers:
You’ll need to know information about who is participating in your camp. A registration form needs to be created to gather demographic and contact information, emergency contacts, attach a liability waiver and collect payment. Many websites have easy-to-build and share forms. Google Forms can be a simple, functional route to go. Here’s what should be included in a great registration form:
Participant Demographic Information:
- Skill Level
- Sizes for any merchandise
Parent Contact Information:
- Phone Number
Emergency Contact Information:
- Phone Number
Everyone who registers will be required to fill out a liability waiver. Athletes know accidents happen. Here is an example we created based on numerous sports camp waivers:
I am aware of all risks of participating in this Sports Camp. Camp has some inherent risks and injury can occur. On rare occasions, these injuries can be serious. In consideration of my child being allowed to participate in the Sports Camp, I, the parent/guardian, assume the risk of all
injury and agree not to sue STUDENT-ATHLETE, the camp directors, coaches, agents, or volunteers for any and all injuries caused by or resulting from participating in the Sports Camp.
I WAIVE, RELEASE, AND DISCHARGE from any and all liability, including but not limited to, liability arising from the negligence or fault of the entities or persons released, for my death, disability, personal injury, property damage, property theft, or actions of any kind which may hereafter occur to me including my traveling to and from this Sports Camp. The risks may include, but are not limited to, those caused by terrain, facilities, temperature, weather, condition of participants, equipment, vehicular traffic, actions of other people including, but not limited to, participants, volunteers, spectators, coaches, and lack of hydration.
By signing this waiver, I also authorize the use of pictures and video of the participant to
be posted on Sports Camp website, advertising, and social media published by Sports Camp.
Participant Name: _____________________________________________________
Parent/Gaurdian Name: _________________________________________________
Parent/Gaurdian Signature: ______________________________________________
Registration forms are relatively easy to create, however, the trickiest part of the registration process is collecting payment. There are many websites where you can create a form with payment, however, they often charge a fee.
You could collect payment through cash, check, Venmo, or Opendorse Deals. Track everything in a spreadsheet or document to ensure all payment is accounted for from participants. Collecting payment with Opendorse Deals would ensure an easy disclosure process to help the athlete stay compliant.
Consider teaming up with another student-athlete, former high school teammate, or coach to co-run the camp with you. Having extra help can be valuable, especially if you’ll be hosting a camp with a large number of participants. From an advertising and marketing perspective, having another network to tap into to promote the camp is also beneficial. Consider teaming up with someone, especially if this is the first camp you’re hosting.
The majority of camps include a piece of merchandise, most often a t-shirt. Merchandise is a great way to keep your promotion going after the camp is over, and provides an added incentive and tangible item for participants to walk away with. Either create a design yourself, ask a friend to help, or tap into a website like UpWork and have a professional create a design or logo for your camp. Use a bulk ordering site like CustomInk to easily put the design on merchandise and order in bulk. Make sure you this far in advance, as orders can take a while.
Advertising and Promotion:
This leads right into marketing and promotion. You need participants and you’ll need to market your event far in advance to start the registration process. In advertising and promotion be sure to include:
- Date(s) and time of the camp
- How and where to register
- Age for participants (example 7 to 14-year-olds)
- Personal background or why you’re qualified to run this camp
There are many different avenues you can market your event and these are a few examples:
Your Personal Social Channels:
Share about the event on your own social platforms. People in your local community have been following you for a long time and may be likely to share your content, too. If you have younger siblings or family friends in the area, ask them to share the information on their channels to get the word out to your targeted age group.
You might not use Facebook much, but parents still do. There are often neighborhood groups they use to stay in touch with the local community. Post information in one of these community groups to gain traction.
Youth Teams, Clubs, and Leagues:
Reach out to local youth teams, clubs, and leagues to see if they can send an email to details with their athletes. You probably played for these clubs in the past, so tap into those networks.
Schools and Recreation Departments:
Reach out to schools in the area and parks and recreation departments and see if you could get advertising or promotion on their websites. These are common avenues parents sign their kids up for activities. Some might host your registration page and support that process if you ask.
If your community has a small local paper, reach out and see if they can run a story (or if you can purchase an ad) on your event. Local papers followed your success in high school and are more than likely to run a story on how you’ll be teaching your skills to the local community.
Consider providing nutrition and hydration appropriate to the camps activities, length, weather, and participants.
First Aid/Athletic Training:
If you’re hosting a camp with a large number of participants or anticipate high content activity, an Athletic Trainer may need to be on-site or available in the case an injury occurs. If your camp is more skills-based, or you have a smaller group, you probably won’t need to hire one, but it is something to consider.
Now that you have all the logistics and registration organized, you’ll need to decide how you want your camp to run and what you want participants to learn and gain. Make a plan and stick to it through the duration of the camp.
Camp Schedule Example:
9:00 – 9:30AM: Introductions and Team Building
Goal: Introduce yourself and allow participants to get to know each other
9:30-9:45AM: Stretching/Dynamic Warmup
Goal: Get participants ready and share some of your favorite warmup drills
9:45-10:30AM: Skills and Drills
Goal: Teach skills and drills you have found valuable and improved your game throughout the years.
Goal: Allow participants to scrimmage each other and provide feedback on their game.
From the time participants register to after the camp has concluded, stay in communication with parents and participants. Send an email after registration introducing yourself and your background. Send another communication with what gear participants should bring to camp (water, cleats, other equipment), and follow up with a thank you email after the camp concludes. Staying in communication with families and participants builds trust and helps to build a strong reputation in the community.
At the conclusion of the event, be sure to disclose all payment activities to remain compliant and participating in your sport.