Three Ways to Sell Merchandise at a Football Tournament

One of the ways you can turn your tournament into a revenue-generating event is to sell your own merchandise.  Shirts and other souvenirs are items you can sell that will not only improve the memorability of your tournament, but also help finance the event.  However, it is also possible for the opposite to happen and selling merchandise could cost you money if you don’t do it right.

If you order a quantity of merchandise that is too high, you could end up on the hook for anything that doesn’t sell.  While this is always going to be a risk, it’s one that you can minimize by running your sales well.

Here are three ways that as a football tournament director, you can improve your merchandise profits.


1.  Sell Online and Allow Pre-Orders

With modern web applications you can fairly easily add a basic online store to your tournament or club website. You’ll need to have a basic design to show your prospective buyers, but you don’t need to have your full inventory ready yet.  This will allow all coaches, players, and any other visitors to pre-order any merchandise that they are interested in.

First and foremost this obviously gives you guaranteed revenue, but maybe more importantly it will give you a better indication of your demographics.  By learning about the most common sizes and what merchandise is most popular you can determine which items you need to stock up on the most.


2.  Contact Coaches of Registered Teams and Increase Visibility

As the football tournament director you probably already contact coaches before the tournament for various reasons, but do you ever mention merchandise?  Not only can you inform them if you have an online store up, but you can also ask them to send a quick email to team parents about your merchandise set-up at the tournament.

Secondly, make sure your merchandise booth at the tournament itself is highly visible.

Ideally it should be right beside the sign-in tent with easy to see signs.  There’s nothing worse than losing a customer who was planning to buy a few things before the tournament because they couldn’t find the booth.

Having a highly visible booth will also allow you to give directions beforehand easier.


3.  Run Team Specials

Just like any other retail store, running specials can help your revenue.  There are many things you can offer, but it’s up to your judgement to determine what will bring in the most revenue based on the wants of the visitors and the merchandise you have access to.

One popular tactic would be to give a team a free ball if they bought 10 or more t-shirts as a team. Another is to run a buy-two-get-one-free t-shirt deal so that a pair of parents with a child player will be tempted to buy the set for the family.


Concluding Remarks

You should spend a serious amount of time and effort on improving the sales of your tournament as the soccer tournament director. While the quality of the tournament is always the primary focus, realize that good merchandising can contribute to the experience for the registered teams.

Not only that, but more revenue will allow you to offer more tournament features in future events.


Written by Dale Cahill

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