Written by Eric Holden Friday, 22 July 2011 00:00
Imagine what it would be like to have brand new baseball and basketball scoreboards at high schools all over Long Island without the need for taxpayer dollars to fund it.
Wantagh residents Michael and Sheri Anspach are striving to make that dream a reality, as the couple recently obtained the franchising rights to Sports Image Inc, a youth athletics marketing company based out of Ohio. The Anspachs have joined 12 other existing franchises in nine different states awarded by the company in just its first two years of franchising.
Since 2002, Sports Image has helped schools and organizations obtain state-of-the-art equipment and much needed revenue for their athletic programs as budgets continue to dry up nationwide. The company partners businesses with schools and organizations to provide equipment and money for youth programs through its unique grassroots sports marketing approach. Over the past 10 years, Sports Image has given over $700,000 in cash and over $8,500,000 in equipment to schools and organizations throughout the United States and in Canada.
“We feel the Sports Image model is that missing puzzle piece that will help us do great things in New York,” said the Anspachs. “We are super excited about helping local schools and organizations in the community.”
The way the program works is that an organization teams with Sports Image to evaluate the equipment or revenue needed and then a game plan is created to achieve those objectives. Sports Image then executes the game plan by securing all necessary sponsorships to achieve the desired objectives. In the third phase of the program, the equipment is ordered and delivered to the organization via a manufacturer and revenue checks (if applicable) are issued. Sports Image takes care of all the administrative work, manages the sponsors and renews them when the contract expires.
To show how the program has worked in other states, take Kennesaw Mountain High School in Georgia for example. Sports Image helped Kennesaw Mountain High add over $1,000 to their athletic budget by acquiring signage from the Papa John’s Pizza establishment, which helped to eliminate some of the school’s “pay-to-play” policies. In return for their sponsorship, the Papa John’s signage was displayed on the school’s basketball scoreboard.
In another amazing success story, Sports Image helped Rye High School in Kentucky obtain over $60,000 worth of free equipment and $17,000 in cash for their athletic program.
“We’ve been helping schools, clubs, community parks, churches, and other youth organizations offset pay-to-play for over 10 years,” added Sports Image President Eric Horstman. “Michael and Sheri are going to be a great addition to our growing Sports Image franchise network. Michael’s practical experience in business and management partnered with Sheri’s zest for helping others and outgoing personality is the perfect fit for helping local schools and organizations throughout Long Island.”
The program is a win-win for all parties involved, as the sponsor also benefits from creating goodwill in the community. The sponsor also receives on-premise signage opportunities, flyer/coupon distribution and the ability to use advertising dollars to build closer relationships with the residents in their neighborhood.
“The business will officially be open on the first of August,” said the Anspachs. “It is not a brick-and-mortar type, as we do not sell goods. We’ll be running it out of an office in our residence.”
The Anspachs added that they gained a new appreciation of the costs associated with organized athletics because they have two boys who recently entered the youth sports playing age. “Along with those costs, we know all too well about the deficits and budget cuts the schools are facing because we have close to two dozen family and friends working in the Long Island education field.”