Organized youth sports in Rhode Island will generate revenue and make money for their local business community. This is a fact. In my opinion, there is no way to dispute the positive financial impact youth sports has on restaurants, sporting good stores, landscapers, construction companies, service based businesses, and the like. Every season, sponsors line the outfield fences, dugouts, newspaper headings, and concession stand borders with their company logo, address, phone number, and tagline. Hundreds of peoples see signage at our local Rhode Island baseball fields every single day.
Every season presents an opportunity for a local Rhode Island sporting goods store to supply baseball pants, cleats, batting gloves, and other uniform requirements not provided by their respective leagues. In recent years, major sporting leagues have required players and leagues to purchase new bats that meet new safety requirements. Most players who play in a wood bat only league purchase multiple bats. Kids grow out of uniforms, cleats, practice jerseys, warm-up jackets, hats just about every season to season. Multiply this by the number of teams your son/daughter plays on and you can see how youth sports can help generate significant revenue for a local sporting goods store.
Need a roofing contractor? How about a new dentist? Looking for a great place to catch live music? What about a meal with your family? How about a physical therapist? Have a craving for deep dish pizza? What about thin crust pizza? Know any place that delivers hot wings? Looking to insure your new sailboat? How about a quote on car insurance for your newly licensed teenager? Craving a hot cup of coffee on this freezing cold April Doubleheader Saturday? Need to find a gym that offers yoga? How about a rock climbing gym?
Every game you attend, no matter what size the field, that field has sponsorship banners with local and Rhode Island based businesses. While your son or daughter is playing, you may strike up a conversation with another parent about insurance. You look out into the outfield and see “XYZ Insurance.” Don’t feel like cooking dinner after a doubleheader Saturday. No problem, there are pizza places and restaurants and taverns on your way home. They support your local league and you can support them by getting takeout, eating in, or sitting in one of their new outdoor seating areas. New to the area and need a new dentist or a general contractor or a hair salon? All of these businesses support local youth sports and their banners are right out there in the outfield area!!!
Local baseball and softball leagues need supplies. Baseball equipment such as catcher’s gear, game baseballs, practice baseballs, helmets, equipment bags, new baseball bats that meet industry safety standards, and bases just scratch the surface. Uniforms are ordered for each player in each league. Every player gets a hat with the league’s logo on it. Field maintenance supplies such as landscaping tools, lights, press box audio equipment, materials to line the baseline – all need to be purchased to maintain our Rhode Island baseball fields and keep them safe for play. Capital improvements to batting cages, pitching mounds, dugouts, stadium lights, and other aspects of the physical plant are voted on and approved by local Rhode Island leagues. These capital improvements, potentially, pump a ton of money into local contractors, construction companies, landscaping companies, and sporting goods stores.
Getting parents and players out to the fields gets them out of their homes. If you can get them out of their home, they may purchase an item locally, in person, at a local Rhode Island business. At the least, they will shop the local business and perhaps purchase something. Parents staying at home, who need supplies, may just elect to purchase it online. Purchasing an item online, from some company somewhere outside of Rhode Island, does not help the local Rhode Island small business starving for business right now. I’m not suggesting paying twice or three times for an item just to buy local. Most of us are struggling financially right now and saving money is important. I am simply stating that if you have a practice or game and are driving by a business that offers an item that your family needs, give the local business a chance to win your business!!!
I am looking forward to more and more businesses opening up here in Rhode Island. More than ever, the shop local mentality should be promoted and encouraged to help kick start these businesses that have been closed for months. And I believe that youth sports will help generate a ton of revenue for contractors, dentists, restaurants, cafes, insurance agencies, sporting goods stores, and small businesses here in Rhode Island.
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.