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Newmarket Baseball Association facing 'unusual' shortage of sponsors

Non-profit, volunteer association needs sponsors for 15 house league teams, or it may have to raise its fees
The parade to mark the start of the Newmarket Baseball Association season. File photo/Greg King for NewmarketToday

Newmarket Baseball Association’s Becki-Ann Plaskitt has faced challenges getting ready for the new season in May.

The director of sponsorship and fundraising has said finding sponsors for teams this year has been unusually difficult, with 15 house league teams still needing sponsors. 

The volunteer said the sponsorships are critical to funding the league and avoiding registration fee hikes for their young player base.

“We do run a very good program, and we try to make it and keep it at a price point that people can afford,” she said. “If we have to increase our prices, we’re not going to be able to reach as many children.”

The association attempts to get a $500 team sponsor for each team in its house league and is short 15 sponsors this year for about $7,500 total. Plaskitt said in recent years, there has been no difficulty finding sponsors.

“I've had some people say it’s not in their budget this year. Other people have retired, and to be honest, lots of people, no response,” she said. 

Not getting sponsors would mean having to tap into reserves, she said. Although nothing is confirmed, she added that would likely come with an increase in player registration fees, currently set at $340 to $410 per player to cover the fourth month of play.

“At the end of the day, we try to keep a balance because we’re a not-for-profit,” she said. “We have some money put away for emergencies that we try not to use.” 

The house league currently has 575 players registered for the season to start May 11, which Plaskitt said they expect to be 625 to 650 by opening day.

Sponsoring a team is worthwhile, she said.

“The program that we deliver to the children is something that moulds them. It’s something that a lot of kids continue with,” she said, adding it is entirely volunteer-run. “We all dedicate a lot of time to do this every year.”

You can find out more about sponsoring by contacting [email protected].