Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sport Promotion is Club Building By Herb Cartmell

(This is a reprint from 2013.  It still holds true.)

The terms and the objectives are really one in the same. If you promote our sport and put it into a ‘package’ people today can relate to, you have a better chance of growing the club through new members. I feel that one of the best ways to really promote the sport is to get those unfamiliar with our sport talking about it in a positive way. So how do we make a little ”Visual Noise ”? 

Club Training trailer. I think that clubs that offer club training have more participation and have a stronger club. Clubs that train together seem to fly together. Granted not everyone want to always train on the trailer, and that’s OK, but for those who are new to the sport, or whose schedule prevent the kind of training you need, to be competitive, it is still one of the best ways of getting everyone flying. 

Gas is a big deal today and I think always will be, so partnering up with a few other club mates only make sense. Your trailer is a great way to advertise our sport. 

Get involved in your community. We have a tremendous opportunity to show off our pigeons and their amazing ability to return home which, to the uninformed public, always seem short of amazing. Every time a pigeon truck goes down the road you have another opportunity to advertise our sport. 

For the past three years my local lions club has hosted a Flight for Sight race, where they go out and get sponsors for the 150 mile race at the beginning of the season. They have raised thousands of dollars for their sight and hearing programs, and even pay out a cash prize to the winning sponsor. What's in it for the club? Well for one thing, my neighbors and local businesses have all been talking about the pigeon race and asking when the next one is happening. OK, maybe we could build in an extra $100 cash prize for the handler, or get our shipping expenses out of it, but the amount of positive impact and good will we generate with our pigeons far outweighs anything we could generate with giving a prize to ourselves. 

Some clubs have done a race for Cancer Cure. Some have done benefits for the Wounded Warrior and our veteran organizations, the Heart Association, Big Brothers/Sisters, and YMCA. Our pigeons offer a unique fundraising opportunity that costs us nothing us as flyers. My next fundraiser race is a ‘Wounded Wing Race’, sponsored by our local American Legion chapter, with the benefits going towards PTSD support and research. (With a tie in to the military service our birds have performed of course!). 

There are many groups or organizations that you could approach and offer to put our pigeons to work for their benefit, with the understanding that they produce publicity for the race, and maybe provide the signage on the back of the pigeon truck. A truck with 3 or 4 names of organizations of the various races that you sponsor is sure to get people to talking, and put our sport in a more positive light and add interest then just flying for a few diplomas. 

There are dozens of other ways, and they keep coming, but this may provide a few idea starters for your club or organization. If you want to grow you have to step out of your box and look for ways that our pigeons can make a difference in our communities and reverse some of the negative aspects that Pigeons sometimes have. We have a unique and special sport that people are fascinated with. We just need to let them know we have it and show them. It’s the best game in town, and you can prove it. 

For more information on how to set up a charity race email: pigeonherb@comcast.net