Chevy Youth Baseball... Question

Linda Loepker
Has anyone here ever invited a celebrity to speak at an event? I am inviting Kirk Rueter to speak at our opening ceremonies for our youth league. He lives close by, and figured it can't hurt to ask! Are there do's and do nots? Do I offer transportation? This is what I have so far: It is my pleasure to invite you to speak at the opening ceremony of the Trenton Youth Ball League on ______. Each spring, we work with Chevrolet to sponsor a local youth league. As a sponsor, we are able to provide the league with $1,000, t-shirts, and ball equipment. We are planning a kick-off celebration at Trenton Park and would love to include you to speak and throw out the first ball of the season. The children – and the coaches – work hard all season, and we are excited to kick the season off with a little fanfare for all involved. Please advise if you will be able to participate this season. You can contact me directly, or my assistant, Linda, at 224-9200. I look forward to hearing from you soon. (will be from our GM) Input??
Dave Leger
Celebs can be a tough nut and a fickle bunch. Some are great, some not so much. A retired athlete might be a bit more likely to attend when kids are involved. I think as long as it's tasteful and it's perceived (by Kirk) as being about the kids it would likely fly better... But using the brand name might not fly so well as it might seem more like it's a publicity gig type of thing for the dealership than anything else... (Not saying it's so... Just how it could be perceived). If he believes it's publicity, he might expect compensation, or just not want to do it. (Or might not be able to do it because of other agreements) Maybe disclaim that it's all about the kids, you're not looking for promotional value, just put a smile on the kids and coaches faces. Is the GM directly involved in the league? As a coach, manager or other capacity ? if so, I would send it from him directly, on a personal level without mention of the dealership, from his personal address. You could offer transportation, but again if it seems like it a publicity thing... Might not go over so well. (Ie: A Yukon wrapped in your dealerships name & branding) Just my 2 cents worth... Again, like you said, it doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe your approach would work equally as well. Not my forte to recruit celebs, but the few times I've been involved, it was an "interesting" time.
Linda Loepker
Thank you, Dave. I mentioned the partnership with Chevrolet, because I don't want to look misleading - like the dealership writes the check out of our own account directly to the league. (In a way, we are - it's all through LMA and co-op money.) The GM is not directly involved with the league. We do a lot for the league, and the park in general - purchasing signage, sponsoring tournaments, etc. I wonder if I should work with the league to invite him? Perhaps a "co-letter"?
Big Tom LaPointe
asking from the league is probably better. most athletes have a charity or major charity interest; maybe get the store to tie into one of THEIR events as a host / sponsor / marketer.
Dave Leger
Yes, the league might have more success. All in all the key is to be completely above board, which I think was your original intention.
Megan Barto
Let us know how you make out!

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