Battle For Babies

A year ago, I had to put together a whole event, probably the most complex sports event I’ve done at the time, and – a campaign for it. You can use this as a little guide on how to organize any type of an event, just think outside the box a little.

Now, before continuing – press play. You can listen while reading.

Organizing an American football game used to be a piece of cake, you exactly know what you need to do and how to promote it, however, I figured it’s time to take things to another level, since, this was a bit different – 1st national women’s flag football tournament.

Now, flag football by itself, it’s cool to play it – it’s rather boring to watch it, especially if American football is not your cup of tea – and in Europe, you already know. Sure, one or two games are alright, but a 6 hour tournament? How to keep people in the stands without serving alcohol? How to get everything to run smoothly, and most importantly how to put everything together and get people to come.

If you’re into marketing, you know you need a lot of media. But, you need the media to come to you. So what we did – 1st you need to get things in order – things you need from scratch, it’s just like organizing a concert at a venue. People who will help are the most important thing – you need a team of 30 people or more to get things rolling.

First thing we did was teaming up with the biggest charity fund in Serbia – B92 Fund, where we wanted to participate in the “campaign” of the decade in Serbia – “Battle for the babies”.

Fund managed to provide brand new incubators for every single hospital in Serbia. However, the battle was not over – they moved forward into getting all needed equipment for maternity hospitals. We wanted to give in all funds collected via ticket sales. However, it didn’t stop there.

4 days before the event.
Uniforms were late. Seemed like nothing is going the way it was supposed to. But, media loved the whole idea. We sent out a press release to more than 150 TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines etc. Goal was – if 10 influential ones show up, we’re good.
Sponsor for water sent in a half a ton of water by mistake. Thank God they came back to take it back. Catering for workers at the day of the event was fixed. Photographers on the lock. We got the stadium for free.

3 days before the event.
We got all the needed permits to put up promo stands in the city center. “Battle for the babies” stands. 4 girls per 4 hour shift, 2 shifts per day. Folks could get Battle’s T’s, mugs, caps etc. and buy game tickets. Most were awesome and kind people, however you always get that one who ruins your day – “Women should be in the kitchen rather than playing football”. But hey, who cares about parasites, these girls rock and are doing their thing!

2 days before the event.
So far, almost whole country knew about the tournament. Now, jerseys arrived, but pants… Nope. Okay, maybe they will tomorrow.

1 day before the event.
Everything is hectic. But, in a good hectic way.
Everything is transferred to the stadium, well, almost everything.
Audio/video will arrive tomorrow, we’ll shoot a short documentary instead of regular game filming.
Press confirming their presence.
My homepage on Facebook is nothing but posts about the tournament. Hashtag on Twitter going crazy as well.
Pants.. No pants. Time to make a mess about it. We got a promise Saturday morning.
Music, ready. We’ll use indie music too – we had a whole bunch of AWESOME indie artists all over the globe sending in their music.
Participants, confirmed! Angel Duchesses – hosting the event, She-Wolves, Wild Cats, Royal Crowns, Golden Bears and Orange Tribe.

Pants arrived just before the tournament. Well, some of it. 2nd package came right before the 1st game.
We did all sorts of shots for the documentary.
Games were going as scheduled. And, Duchesses were wining.
Catering, just in time.
Press, lots of press showed up.
Fans were coming and going keeping the stands rather full.
Rushing up and down the stadium is no fun though.

Duchesses lost the final game, and ended up second, with a score of 3W, 1L. However couldn’t be more proud of them. We collected more funds than any other event for Battle for the babies. Everyone is still talking about the tournament. Mission accomplished.

To sum up things – you need people. You need a team of people to pass the information around, and to get things done. I don’t know what I’d do without an amazing team of people who are working around the clock for this team. So, start gathering your team, and, then, anything is possible!

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