Rugby clubs will earn the majority of their revenue from membership fees for the club club. However, there are additional ways of making revenue for the club.

Like any business rugby clubs should look at additional revenue streams such as advertising, sponsorship, events and a club shop

The following article explains each of the revenue streams and how to implement these in order to create additional revenue for a club. The revenue streams are:

Advertising

Sponsorship

Events

Club shop

Increase revenue for your club through advertising

Have you ever wondered how the free papers which are handed out at train stations across the country each make money? Quite simply, it’s the adverts within the paper which makes the revenue for the paper to be free. For a rugby club its important to identify where you can include adverts.

Match day program

A majority of rugby clubs will have a match day program which they will circulate at the first team games. In most instances the program will be free or for a small nominal value which will cover the production of the program. If your program is circulated to between 100-1000 people at a game it becomes an advertising opportunity for local businesses as a majority of the individuals who receive a program will be from the local area.

Due to this it makes sense to produce an advertising section on your rugby club website which highlights the costs of advertising in the program. The costs would be dependent on the size and the length of time the advert would appear in the program. The adverts sizes would vary, for instance there could be a whole page, half a page and a quarter of a page.

As a rugby club you will need to be careful not to overfill the program with adverts as people will not bother taking one if the program itself becomes a walking advertisement.

Advertising hoarding

Rugby clubs may already have advertising hoardings established around the edge of the pitch however, if not than this another revenue stream is to have advertising hoardings around the pitch. If you do not have the facility for hoardings then there will be a fence or building which a sponsors logo can be hung from.

It would be worthwhile to mock up how a businesses advert would like on a banner or hoarding around the club. This could highlight to the business the position and potential marketing opportunity at the business. One of the rugby clubs I have been to in the past has hoardings all around the car park, this means where ever your park you are in front of a local businesses advert. 

Sponsorship

An additional revenue stream is to arrange sponsorship of the club and this can be done in a variety of ways.

Kit sponsor

If you have a kit then a sponsor can pay to be the main sponsor on the kit. The cost of payment could be for the whole of the season however, one way to take payment is for the main sponsor to buy a kit for the season. The previous seasons kit for the first team can be handed to a team further down the club.

Although you may have a kit sponsor it doesnt mean that another item of kit clothing could not be sponsored. For instance, the teams within your club may have warmn up tops and you can arrange for a sponsor to provide the monies for the warm up tops and contribute to the club. A further incentive that rugby clubs can offer to to the kit sponsors is for their logo to go on the rugby club website.

Player sponsorship

An alternative way for additional sponsorship to be made is by local businesses sponsoring individual players within the squad. The majority of your squad will work for a firm or themselves and therefore, their firm would most likely be interested in sponsoring the said player. As part of the player sponsorship the club can offer the sponsors logo under the players photo under the program and their logo under the players photo on the website. Adtionally, it can be arranged that once a month the player posts on social media about the business.

Events

Events are addtional way of making money for the rugby club. We have written in depth articles on how to hold a quiz at your rugby club and how to start a 200 club to raise additional funds. However, there are a large number of ways to make money at your rugby club.

Rugby club open day

Firstly, your rugby could hold an open day, whereby attendees pay a small amount for entry. At the fete there could be stalls of local businesses, who have paid a small amount to have a stall. The day can centre around rugby games between two teams at the club. Due to the sheer numbers of individuals at a rugby club, it is highly likely that there will be players who are in a band and you could have a number of bands performing for the attendees. It is important to reach out across the whole of the local area to see if there are additional activities which can be entertainment. Prehaps the local stables bring horses for rides or there is a dog training school which can perform tricks.

If your rugby club has an association with a bigger club, it’s always worth seeing if a famous player can come down for photos at the day. This would be something to advertise on the leaflet and draw extra members in.

Touch rugby tournament or 7s tournament

The summer is when it all goes quiet for rugby clubs as players recover from the previous season. However, it can be an opportunity to raise additional funds. For instance on a weekday night, there could be a touch rugby tournament whereby a number of fixtures are played on group fixtures and end in a finals day, where all teams can play in play offs and there can be a barbecue and celebration of the tournament. The way the tournament is to make money is to charge £10 per player for the tournament. Touch teams have 6 players on the field and 14 players in the squad. Having 14 players in a team and six teams playing can raise £840 for a club when a field would be vacant. The money taken by the bar after every game could also make additional revenue for the club as well as the final day which will bring in revenue through food and drink.

At the start of the season, teams will be looking for some preseason fitness and one of the ways of doing this is holding a rugby sevens competition. A one day rugby festival where each player pays £10 to play. There can be music and food as additional entertainment and can be a great money generator at the start of the season.

At all these events it can be worth holding a raffle, speak to the local businesses and explain that you are raising money for your local rugby club and that any donations would be welcome. Although not a huge cash generator it will make you £50 if you have decent prizes.

Club Shop

Another way of making additional revenue is by having a club shop. There a number of different options for how to have a club shop, this can be a physical presence or an online presence.

Any merchandise that is produced by the club shop should have a small consideration inserted into the price for the rugby club whereby everytime there is a sale of a merchandise product then a small payment goes to the club. If you have 500 members who buy a hoodie then this small amount of money, around £2, being sent to a club can equate to £1000 for the club.

It would be worthwhile putting a date on the hoodies or a sponsors logo for the season. Otherwise, there will be club members who will wear their merchandise until there is praticularly nothing left (I am very much a guilty party of this). Therefore, by having a season date or a sponsor on the hoodie a majority of members will get new merchandise every year.

Every rugby club will have a club tour and it is important that a club has contacts to create a tour kit, which is usually horrfiicly garish. If a club factilites the creation of a tour shirt, a club could include a £5 fee which foes back to the club and is money for nothing.