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The most valuable player

I loved playing Little League and Pee Wee football. One year I was a proud member of the Joe's Grill Greyhounds. Another year I was a Gashouse Pizza Pirate. Not until I became a restaurateur did I appreciate the role those restaurants played in my young life.

Sponsoring a sports team is a great way for foodservice operations—of all sizes, in all segments—to make a difference in the local community. It's a great marketing tactic as well. For years I sponsored the Most Valuable Player program for local kids playing my favorite sport, football.  At the end of each game, the coach would pick a most valuable player on the team I sponsored. That player was recognized for a game well played, and he or she would receive a handsome certificate (suitable for framing) and a free dinner at my restaurant.

All I had to do was provide the certificate and the coupon for the dinner. In return, I got the satisfaction of team full of happy kids, and a little extra business to boot. You see, most kids don't dine out by themselves. They usually like to bring their folks along. The coaches like to come by once in a while for dinner, too.

You can also gain a little extra publicity by contacting the local newspaper or television station. Sports writers and reporters are always looking for a story will often highlight the players of the week, and even mention your name as sponsor.

You can buy achievement awards from your local stationery store or from PaperDirect at www.paperdirect.com.

Or you can download one of our own Most Valuable Player certificates.

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