Prospective For-Profit Sponsors

Do you represent a local, Durham-based for-profit organization and want to sponsor a team with Play NC? Great! Thanks for your interest! Please read the information below to determine if your organization would be a good fit for our group of business sponsors.

To skip these details and just apply for sponsorship, please complete our For-Profit Sponsor Interest Form. Thank you!

There are two types of ways you can support our league:

  • Donate Items: Our most successful promotion has been “All players receive a free beer after every game,” sponsored by a local bar. If you are willing to offer something for free to anyone who registers to play games for charity, we’d be happy to promote your business and try to encourage players to visit your location.
  • Donate Money: If you really like what we are trying to do and want to help us even more, you can upgrade your sponsorship to actually pay money for the benefits. All funds we receive from for-profit businesses will go towards a Parks Fund to build our own park and fields. We would include your logo in all available forms of promotion and you would receive credit towards sponsorship credits for our future park project.

Your sponsorships will become a partnership with Play NC and put your organization’s support behind one of Play NC’s local non-profit sponsors. If there is a particular non-profit sponsor that you’d prefer to specifically support, we can certainly attempt to match you with that team, if they are available.

Here is a brief description of the games we play, reasons you’ll want to join the fun, and some of the benefits we can provide to your organization through sponsorship of our games.

Our Games

Durham Softball

The Durham Softball League is an adult, slow-pitch softball league where players compete to raise money for charity. This is the “flagship” product of Play NC and currently accounts for the largest portion of Play NC’s donation pool each year, by far. Each team in the league represents a one of our Partners and the players compete to earn money for their team’s cause. Since the Durham Softball League began in the Spring of 2018, we have hosted 139 teams and more than 2,200 players, raising more than $30,000 in cash donations for charity. Our generous players have also combined to donate more than $20,000 in items through donation drives we host at the field four times per season.

Durham Cornhole

The Durham Cornhole League hosts weekly, blind-draw, double-elimination, cornhole tournaments at Bralie’s Bar & Grill on Wednesday nights. We play a Spring, Summer, and Fall season every year. Since we started in 2021, we have hosted more than 100 cornhole tournaments and donated more than $2,000 to local charities through cornhole.

Durham Wiffle Ball

The Durham Wiffle Ball League is being founded in 2024 as a new sport to Durham. We will be playing games at Miracle League of the Triangle’s beautiful “Mini-DBAP,” located directly across the street from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the American Tobacco Campus. All proceeds from Wiffle Ball will go towards sponsoring a Miracle League team. We are excited for the potential!

League Non-Profit Partners

We have recruited a diverse group of great local Durham non-profit groups that all have a similar mission to improve Durham. We are proud of this list and think every group is worthy of our help for different reasons. Player Registration fees will pay for our partner donations and league expenses, with all funds from for-profit sponsorships going towards our Field Fund. If your organization has a particular cause that they would like to support, we would be glad to accommodate requests, if available.

For 2024, we currently have 18 wonderful non-profit organizations signed up as Team Sponsors, with each bringing a unique benefit to Durham.

  • Animals: Animal Protection Society of Durham, feeds, shelters, and provides medical attention to neglected animals.
  • Domestic Violence: NCCDAVleads the state’s movement to end domestic violence and to enhance work with survivors.
  • Environment: Don’t Waste Durham, creates solutions that prevent trash at its source.
  • Food: PORCH-Durham, provides food to those children most in need.
  • Firefighters: North Carolina Fallen Firefighter Foundationleads the effort to remember North Carolina’s fallen firefighters and their families.
  • Healthcare: Josh’s Hope, serves ages 18-35 who live with mental health conditions and/or struggle with a substance disorder.
  • Homelessness: Urban Ministries of Durham, works to end homelessness and fight poverty by offering food, shelter, and a future to neighbors in need.
  • Housing: Families Moving Forward, provides families with children a stable, safe and loving environment.
  • Housing: Housing for New Hope, mission to prevent and end homelessness.
  • Poverty: CPCANCassists low-income families and individuals, including the working poor.
  • Senior Citizens: Meals on Wheels of Durham, enhances the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Senior Citizens: Senior PharmAssist, helps older adults obtain and better manage needed medications and by providing tailored health education.
  • Special Needs: Miracle League of the Triangle, positive experiences for children and adults with special needs.
  • Teachers: Crayons2Calculatorsprovides Durham teachers with the supplies they need for classroom success. 
  • Trees: TreesDurhamcreates a socially just, healthy and sustainable tree canopy in Durham. 
  • Veterans: Vets to Vets United, significantly improve a veteran’s life by providing companionship.
  • Youth: South Durham Little League, provides baseball for children between the ages of 4 and 14.
  • Youth: Girls on the Run of the Triangle, positively impacts young girls’ lives.
  • Youth: SwingPalsbuilds a foundation of health and strong character in children facing adversity.

Benefits of Participation

  • Put your organization’s name beside a worthy cause. During the season, the team that represents your charity in the league will compete to earn donations for your charity. Your business name will be featured with the charity in every announcement, newsletter, and posting during the season.
  • Featured Newsletter. Once per season, you can provide our league with content you would like shared with our players and supporters through our newsletter and social media following. While we aren’t the biggest organization, we do have ~760 local followers on Facebook and ~1000 local folks on our newsletter. With over a 80% read-rate on our weekly newsletters, the people who see your message will understand the value you bring and know that you help support some great causes in Durham.
  • Partner With Other For-Profits and Non-Profits. All of the teams in the our leagues represent great causes in our community and help support each other. This is a perfect excuse to interact with other local businesses (eg. “Company A bets Company B that their charity will win the Championship game, with the loser donating $X to the other team’s charity), learn about each other’s programs, develop partnerships across new networks, and gain exposure for your cause among a fairly diverse, but local, audience.
  • Donation Drives. One of our goals is to help every Partner with some type of in-season promotion to our players. We have collected used dog toys for Vets to Vets United, canned goods for hurricane victims, coats for Urban Ministries, and hosted a total of 24 donation drives to collect $20,000 worth of items for our partners since 2018. We would organize a Donation Drive in your name during the season, if you’re interested in helping with the promotion.
  • Marketing. We average more than a 80% full read rate on all our newsletters because they are relevant and infrequent. We make sure to highlight every charity and for-profit business at least once per year, promoting any event or achievement you’d like us to include. Stories of our players finding out about a local non-profit through our league and then volunteering or helping the non-profit out somehow are common and incredibly rewarding to hear about!
  • More Than Softball. As we grow, we will be expanding into new sports, activities, and events. Our goal is to offer a wide variety of different ways to have fun and “play for charity.” While softball will probably always be our primary focus, we have also hosted weekly Cornhole tournaments since 2021 and we are adding Wiffle Ball for 2024. Sponsoring one game will grant you discounts on sponsoring another game, if you want to help even further!

Donate Items

We are able to charge higher fees for game registrations if we can add value for our players. The more we can charge, the more we can donate to our charities. If your business adds something of value for our players, we will be able to charge more for our game and donate more money to our charities. Basically, the dollar value of any item your business provides for our players will equate to a relatively equal dollar value for increased donations to a particular charity.

Example: Since 2018, Bralie’s Bar & Grille has been an incredible supporter of all the games we’ve tried to play for local causes. It is just a cool place that doesn’t mind sweaty softball players and makes friends with everyone. They provide a free beer to all players on Sundays after their softball games, which helps them draw ~50-75 extra people per week (~20-30% of the league) that order lunch, buy extra post-game rounds of pitchers, and come back to their favorite bar for other team-oriented events that eventually bring in far more than the cost of one free beer.

Our most successful partnerships with for-profit businesses have been a form of “we’ll give you X for free, hoping you also stay and buy Y while you’re here.” I’d be happy to work with you on ideas – if I like the concept enough, I’d be willing to work on guaranteed volumes or promised weekly revenue, if it makes sense for our league. If we can at least “break even” on any partnership and increase the amount of cool things our players can access through our league, it will be worth it!

Donate Money

Of course, receiving money is always nice. We try to provide significant value for your contributions and can guarantee all funds received will go towards investing in Durham, somehow. We hire locally, purchase locally (when possible), and more than 80% of our annual expenses stay within Durham.

The registration fees from our games fund the current level of donations we’re able to provide to our partners. Overall, we budget profit margins for our games at 30% and have been able to donate more than 20% of all funds received in every season of our existence, so far. Since the games sustain our donations, any for-profit business sponsorships will be used for the specific purpose of accumulating our Field Fund. Our eventual goal is to purchase land, build a field, and make the most beautiful park you’ve ever seen, with the specific needs of all our non-profit sponsors accounted for and incorporated into the design. My plans and dreams for that project take up an entire notebook, but they all start with the same first step – get more money.

If you are interested in sponsoring a team, I encourage you to read more about our Field Fund and the long-term benefits supporting our cause could provide your organization. Every dollar helps and I am extremely grateful you’ve read this far and still want to support our cause.

These are the different tiers that your organization can make a tax-deductible donation to Play NC and help support this goal.

Softball League Sponsorships

This is our biggest game so far, with ~256 players and ~16 teams per season, or ~512 players per year. We tend to get a lot of fans, plus Wool E. Bull shows up randomly, so we generally expect more than 1,000 unique people to show up to our games every year. These tiers include details for the costs associated with sponsoring our Softball League, or any specific Softball team for 2024.

  • TIER 1: $500 season / $750 per year. (Up to 16 Available) 
    • Logo on the back of Fan and Championship Jerseys.
    • Logo / Link on all newsletters.
    • Newsletter and Social Feature once per season (twice per year).
  • TIER 2: $1,000 season / $1,500 per year. (Up to 4 Available)
    • All of Tier 1, included.
    • Logo and Organization Name included on scorecards at field.
    • Larger Logo on the back of Fan and Championship Jerseys.
  • TIER 3: $2,000 season / $3,000 per year. (Up to 2 Available)
    • All of Tier 2, included.
    • Organization’s Personal Banner behind home plate during games.
    • Larger Logo on the back of Fan and Championship Jerseys.
    • Lead Sponsorship for one of our 4 Donation Drives each season (your choice).
    • Newsletter and Social Feature once per season (twice per year).
  • TIER 4: $5,000 season / $7,500 per year (Only 1 Available)
    • All of Tier 3, included.
    • League Name Sponsorship on all media for the entire season (eg. “The Durham Softball League, presented by Hertz Rent-A-Car!”)
    • Your Organization’s name and logo is included on the front of all ~300 Team Jerseys each season.
  • 50% discount on the second season, if you purchase 2 consecutive seasons. 
  • Featured Newsletter Details.
    • Once per season, you can provide our league with content you would like shared with our players and supporters through our newsletter and social media following.
    • We can time this announcement whenever would be most beneficial and will coordinate any other considerations, as needed.

Softball Team Sponsorships

If you’d like to focus your support towards one particular softball team or a specific non-profit partner, these packages might be good options. You will receive hyper-focused branding on one particular team and a portion of your payment per season will go directly to your team’s non-profit partner, depending on the team’s performance that season.

  • TIER 1: $500 season / $750 per year. (Up to 16 Available) 
    • “Sponsored By” horizontal text on back of your preferred Non-Profit’s Jersey.
    • 1:1 Matching Donation promotion to the Non-Profit of your choice (if available).
    • Newsletter and Social Feature once per season (twice per year).
  • TIER 2: $1,000 season / $1,500 per year. (Up to 16 Available)
    • All of Tier 1, included.
    • Your Organization’s logo is shared 50/50 with the League Logo on the front of the Team Jersey.
    • Team Name updated on all materials to include your support (eg. Meals on Wheels / Massey Brother’s Body Shop vs. Miracle League / Sal’s Pizza)
  • TIER 3: $2,000 season / $3,000 per year. (Up to 16 Available)
    • All of Tier 2, included.
    • Your Organization’s logo replaces the League logo on the front of your Team’s Jerseys.
    • Logo included on the back of the Fan Jerseys and Championship Jerseys.
    • Newsletter and Social Feature twice per season (four times per year).
  • 1:1 Sponsored Donation Match for the charity.
    • All teams earn $1 in donations per run scored each season, plus bonuses for winning games, finishing in the Top 3, and advancing in the playoffs. With your sponsorship, your team will earn twice as much, making $2 in donations per run scored each season. You won’t pay extra for this – the additional donation amounts we provide will come from your initial sponsorship fee. Basically, if you sponsor a team and donate money to Play NC, we’ll be passing ~20% of it along to the non-profit partner that you choose to support within our league.
  • Featured Newsletter Details.
    • Once per season, you can provide our league with content you would like shared with our players and supporters through our newsletter and social media following.
    • We can time this announcement whenever would be most beneficial and will coordinate any other considerations, as needed.

Wiffle Ball League Sponsorships

These tiers include details for the costs associated with sponsoring our Wiffle Ball League, or any specific Wiffle Ball team for 2024.

  • TIER 1: $500 per year. (Up to 10 Available)
    • Logo on the back of all Jerseys.
    • Logo / Link on all newsletters.
    • Newsletter and Social Feature once per year.
  • TIER 2: $1,000 per year. (Up to 4 Available)
    • All of Tier 1, included.
    • Priority Logo on the back of all Jerseys.
    • Naming Rights to 1 of 4 Year-End Awards – MVP, Cy Young, Silver Slugger, and Sportsmanship.
  • TIER 3: $2,000 per year (1 Available) 
    • All of Tier 2, included.
    • Naming Rights to League and Championship Prizes.
    • Your Organization’s logo is included with the League Logo on the front of every player’s Team Jersey.
    • Organization Name included on back of the Championship Jerseys.
    • Larger logo on the back of the Fan Jerseys.
  • 25% discount for 2025, if you choose to renew for next season.  
    • Getting in now means you will save money later, if you want to continue your sponsorship.

Cornhole League Sponsorships

These tiers include details for the costs associated with sponsoring our Cornhole League, or any specific Cornhole event for 2024. Each season is 11 weeks long, with a final Championship event for Week 12. We usually play three seasons per year, but the Fall season is usually 2-3 weeks shorter due to weather.

  • TIER 1: $100 per Regular Season week. (Up to 11 Available)
    • 1 Featured sponsor per night, up to 11 nights per season.
    • Organization Name on Nightly Tournament listing.
    • $50 to the nightly prize pool, $50 to our donation pool.
    • Shoutout during that week’s pre-tournament announcements and social media postings.
    • Discounts available if you’d prefer to sponsor multiple weeks, or an entire season.
  • TIER 2: $300 for the Championship week. 
    • All of Tier 1, included.
    • $150 to the nightly prize pool, $150 to our donation pool.
    • 4-6 Shoutouts during the entire season leading up to the final week.

Terms & Requirements

To satisfy Play NC’s own non-profit tax reporting requirements, our for-profit sponsors must meet certain criteria.

  1. Your organization must have a Federal Tax ID.
  2. Your organization must hold offices within Durham County.
  3. Your organization must allow Play NC to use your name and logo on any league/event website, newsletter, social media, and jerseys. All materials would still be approved by your organization and we would only use the logo you submit and approve initially.
  4. Your organization must grant Play NC permission to promote your organization as a part of the league and potentially print shirts with your organization’s logo.
  5. Your organization must designate a contact within your organization as our main contact for softball-related emails and social media requests.
  6. Your organization must not be directly affiliated with any specific religion or government agency.

Someone who is authorized to agree to these terms on behalf of the organization will be required to complete our For-Profit Partner Participation form. We do not require contracts or signed agreements and you may decide to renew or leave every season. Nobody has left yet and we hope they never will!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to provide my own team?

No! We will recruit and assign players to your teams. However, your organization will receive an extra 10% discount code to register your own players, or potentially create a “company” team to play in the league. If you do want to provide your own team, we should be able to make that work!

Do I have to do anything during the games?

No! We’d love for people in your organization to sign up to play, or at least cheer on your team from the stands, but there is no requirement for anyone affiliated with your organization to come to the games. We do need a steady contact within your organization in case we have questions, but there are no set time obligations. We expect to take up about 15-30 minutes of your representative’s time per year, but everything can be done on your own schedule.

What will I have to do? 

Someone who is authorized to agree to our terms on behalf of the organization will need to complete and submit the For-Profit Partner Participation form.

Once I have that information, I will match you with a non-profit and send you a jersey design for you to review / approve.

Let me know if you have questions. If you’d like, I’d be glad to set up a phone call or in-person meeting, as well.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Ryan Mentock