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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > Unknown Dates > Sponsorship of a Team in a Local Little League

Sponsorship of a Team in a Local Little League

Sponsorships of local Little League teams by businesses in the community are vital to the financial health of many local Little Leagues around the world. The funds from these sponsorships help pay the significant costs involved in the annual activities of a local Little League.

There are, however, several guidelines that must be followed.

Sponsorship of a team in the Local Little League must be, for the sponsor, out of a sense of duty to help the community. While sponsorship does afford some benefits (detailed below), the higher purpose is to help the local Little League impart the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play to the children of the community, so that they may someday use these values in becoming good citizens.

Sponsorship of a team in the local Little League does not permit the sponsor to have any rights or responsibilities in the operation of the local Little League or any team in the local Little League, nor does the sponsor have any rights or responsibilities in the selection of managers, coaches or players for any team in the local Little League. The sponsor and the local Little League are independent contractors with respect to one another, and neither has any authority to represent or bind the other in any manner or to any extent whatsoever, except as specified below.

The sponsor has the right to use the following term in advertisements, posters, brochures, newsletters, etc.: “Sponsor of a team in the (Local Little League).”

Sponsorship does NOT give the sponsor the right to use the word “official” in connection with its sponsorship. Any reference to the sponsorship must make it clear that the sponsorship is with a team or teams in the Local Little League only, and NOT for Little League Baseball, Little League Baseball and Softball, and/or Little League International.

Here are some suggested benefits for the local Little League to provide to individual team sponsors:

Name of business on uniform: This practice has been in place in Little League since its inception in 1939. The name of the business sponsoring the team could be placed on the front or back of the uniform, or on the caps. Remember, the name of the business must not imply the sale or use of alcohol or tobacco, or any product or activity not in keeping with Little League’s good name. For example, “Joe’s Grocery Store” is acceptable, even if Joe’s Grocery Store sells tobacco products. However, “Joe’s Discount Cigarette Outlet” would not be acceptable. Also, the name and/or the services provided by the business must not offend local community standards. This is a decision of the local Little League board of directors.

Name of business on fence sign: Many leagues use outfield fence signs to recognize sponsors, provided the signs are permitted by local laws and ordinances. Remember, the name of the business must not imply the sale or use of alcohol or tobacco, or any product or activity not in keeping with Little League’s good name. For example, “Joe’s Grocery Store” is acceptable, even if Joe’s Grocery Store sells tobacco products. However, “Joe’s Discount Cigarette Outlet” would not be acceptable. Also, the name and/or services provided by the business must not offend community standards. This is a decision of the local Little League board of directors.

Recognition Day: Some leagues set one day aside to recognize their team sponsors. The president of a company, or local manager, may be asked to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, and invited to watch a game.

Recognition Plaques or Certificates: Some leagues produce a plaque, with a team photo, in honor of the team sponsor, a certificate of appreciation. These are often displayed by the sponsor as a matter of community pride.

Programs and Scorecards: Many leagues produce some kind of program. Recognition of sponsors in this publication is always useful.

Remember, sponsorship of a team does not give the sponsor any rights in the operation of, or the outfitting of, any particular team or the league itself.

Use of the “keystone logo” or any other logo of Little League is prohibited, unless permission is expressly granted in writing by the Marketing Division of Little League International Headquarters. The Marketing Division may be contacted by writing to:

Little League International
Attn: Marketing Division
539 U.S. Route 15 Hwy
P.O. Box 3485
Williamsport, PA 17701-0485