In this Sports Geek Throwback episode, Sean Callanan interviews Dino DiPierdomenico from episode 255, Owner of DMC Sport

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Key Takeaways

In this Sports Geek Throwback, Dino and Sean discussed the importance of kids playing sports and how teams can commercialise grassroots programs.

  • The critical role of data in building a commercial asset around grassroots programs
  • The potential for sponsors to contribute to these programs due to the extensive reach they offer
  • The overlooked opportunity of commercialising participation in sports
  • The importance of keeping investments in the sport to encourage more kids to play
  • The long-term benefits to the health of the sport from increasing participation at the grassroots level

This transcript has been lightly edited by AI

Sean: Yes, and that's back to your initial point about data, right? You're building out, what you’ve said, a commercial asset around this piece to make it easier, an easier way for the sponsors to get into this grassroots program. Because you've got the data of the people who are playing, who are the active centers, and you've also got this device of the product, the welcome packs that say, “Oh, we are sending out 80,000 backpacks. Do you want these golden arches on this backpack?”

Dino: That's exactly right. Commercial people realize after a while that this program is actually a really big asset. When major sports are selling everything they possibly can, a lot of them haven't even looked at their participation. It's always around supplying a partnership with a major brand, then they'd do that. But there's a world out there where you can generate revenue and keep it in the sport. So, we kept that stuff in the sport. Kids at the ages of five to ten years old, brands aren't a huge thing for them. When they get to ten and they're watching TV or consuming different media, that's in their face and they will go to that. But at that entry level, they weren't in that, which meant that there was also another opportunity to provide a product which wasn't branded and licensed, which meant it was 30 percent cheaper. At the end of the day, the logic works out that if you've got 30 percent more to spend, then you can use that money to get more kids to play. The more kids play, the better the sport will be in the long run.

Sean: Yes, it serves the purpose of the health of the sport. It's a key plank, those early years of getting kids playing, getting those systems right. Because if that system falls down, fewer kids are playing, fewer kids are being introduced at that young age, fewer kids are coming. And so, you've got the double whammy of building out this commercial asset, but getting participation right. It's critical for each and every sport and it is a challenge for a CEO of any sport, anywhere in the world.

Connect with Dino DiPierdomenico

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Listen to full episode with Dino DiPierdomenico