On Monday 30 July, a select group of netball supporters and local business people joined Netball WBOP Board Members, staff and Magic & WBOP Beko Netball League players, for a soft launch of a new donor/patronage club for netball in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone – the Magic Women First Club.
Taking a leaf out of the US sports financing textbook, the Magic Women First Club is designed as a social and business networking club, focused on supporting women in the sports environment, with a wide range of female-centric member benefits and networking opportunities. Membership fees would be seen as donor or patronage contributions to support the growth and development of netball in the Zone.
There are three membership fees levels which are pitched above Season Memberships, but between the commitment needed for corporate hospitality at Magic games, and full sponsorship of either the Magic, the WBOP Beko League team, or our Community Netball space.
The club is open, available and accessible for individuals, businesses or groups of friends and already has a couple of founding members – Magic Captain Casey Kopua (Bronze Member) and local advertising agency, KingSt. (Silver Member).
Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Chief Executive, Rohan West, commented;
“Although netball is one of the top team sports in the whole country, reaching into virtually every community and females dominate the majority of consumer purchasing decisions, we face a constant struggle to persuade grant funders and commercial entities to support us at the levels we need to sustain and grow the sport. The Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone has decided to create a mechanism for us to generate income within the netball community and wider business environment that is very female focussed.
The donor, or booster, concept is extremely prevalent in the US, Europe and in a select handful of sports here, but rare in netball. We did a lot of one-to-one concept testing with netball enthusiasts and local businesswomen during the formulation of the club. Everyone thought the concept has value and could work if targeted at the right people. We’re very excited to see where the Magic Women First Club can go. I’ve already put my money where my mouth is and joined as a behind the scenes, financial member. Virtually all of my sports management career, and as a volunteer coach of women’s rugby, I’ve been committed to supporting, developing and growing women’s sport, so it feels right to support the club and netball. We’ll have other launch events across the Zone for people to learn more about the initiative.”