The 2013 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games sponsorship hunt races ahead.
© Herald photo by KJ Dakin
Volunteers Jamie Sorenson, Zachary Merasty, 13 and Macy Bear, 12, with the Muskoday First Nation Travel Club presented a cheque for $10,000 to Marvin Sanderson, the 2013 Saskatchewan First Nation Summer Games co-ordinator at the Games Office on Tuesday afternoon. Ten other sponsors were also announced amounting to a total of more than $400,000 in their value of donations to the games.
More than $400,000 worth in contributions was announced on Tuesday afternoon at the Games Office.
“We have 11 people today, 11 (contributing) organizations,” said Marvin Sanderson, the games co-ordinator.
So far they have $1.2 million committed to the games.
“After a lot of meetings … our budget has increased to $1.6 million ... our original budget was $1.2 to $1.3,” he said.
“The other $400,000 is going to put us over the top as far as special events, all the sporting events, just a class-A show,” he said.
Garnering this much money is a long-term project and these are sponsors Sanderson has been working with for months.
“It takes a while to get everything in line from meeting with them first of all and (discussing) how we can work together,” he said.
Instead of creating blanket application letters and sending them to all potential donors, they spoke with each organization individually, he said.
“One thing we didn’t do was send out generic packages asking for dollars etcetera. We actually met one on one with the organizations and when we did that we got a feeling of what they wanted out of the games and what we wanted,” he said.
So we we’re offering something they wanted, in the package, where a generic package would have been totally different, where they might not have wanted to do the golf tournament, they may not have wanted to be at the VIP lunches, etcetera and so we worked together prior to making a full presentation to the organizations as a whole,” he explained.
That definitely had an effect on their success rate with community sponsorship, Sanderson said.
“Everyone that we’ve worked with so far hasn’t turned us down, “ he said.
While they have been successful so far, there’s more work to do.
They intend to continue announcing 10 or 11 sponsors each month, right up until the games in July.
The bulk of their expected sponsoring partners are just now getting up and running.
“It takes a while for the organizations to ensure that their budgets can handle their contribution (to the games) and of course we have to wait for fiscal years for some of them,” Sanderson said.
At this point contributions are coming from about 30 different sponsors and partners, he said.
In reality we are looking at numbers between 70 and 100 partners, probably about 20 of them contributors from $5,000 plus and then all the smaller partners from the $100 to the $500, because ever dollar helps,” Sanderson said.
One of the 11 donors announced on Tuesday was the Muskoday First Nation Travel Club.
“They’ve raised funds from canteens throughout the year and they’re actually donating $10,000 towards the games,” Sanderson said.
Jamie Sorenson, a volunteer with the travel club was there to present the cheque with Zachary Merasty, 13 and Macy Bear, 12, who are also club members and potential games competitors.
“We are just so proud that the Summer Games are happening in our own community,” Sorenson said.
She says the First Nation’s Summer Games are important for their community and their youth especially.
“It’s a good opportunity for kids to keep out of trouble and show off their talent. We have lots of talented kids out there and they’re sometimes not recognized,” she said.
Other announced sponsors were the City of Prince Albert, the Prince Albert Destination Marketing Fund, Gateway Mall, The Prince Albert Daily Herald, the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation, Rawlco Radio, MNP, Leon’s, Sask Culture and SaskTel.
Sanderson also alluded to some big sponsorship announcements coming up in February.