Sponsorship A Win-Win For Baseball Team, Rotarians

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - March 10, 2010
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Makakilo-Kapolei Pinto Yankees players show their appreciation for team sponsor Kapolei Rotary Club at a recent game. They are (front, from left) Dylan Cabral, Skylar Delima, Kahiau Lam Ho, Gregory Hickok, Keanu Kalaola, Keanu Cooper, Brennan Cabral, (back) Grayson Ferreira, Pedro Semorile, Matthew Sykes, Braeden Halili, Kaniala Kalaola, Justice Lupton and Kainoa Holt. Photo from Todd Cabral

The Rotary Club of Kapolei is spreading the wealth - literally - and the Makakilo-Kapolei Pinto Yankees are reaping the benefits.

For the first time ever, the club has donated a $500 sponsorship to the youth baseball team as part of a marketing push to reach prospective members and support local youths.

“They were chosen because they asked, actually,” said Harold Nedd, public relations director for the Kapolei Rotarians. “It was a situation where they were looking to enter tournaments on Neighbor Islands, and because of the economic conditions they were looking for a way to provide relief for the parents so they didn’t have to come out of pocket.

“The coach actually made a presentation to the club to appeal to the businesses represented, but instead the club decided to take them on and sponsor them.”

Coach Todd Cabral said he’s thrilled to have the support and happy his pitch was accepted. “Harold had told me that they might be interested in sponsoring a team, so I went to a meeting and presented my idea - what we’d do with such a donation if given the opportunity - and it went from there.”


 

The team of 7- and 8-year-olds confirmed the sponsorship with the club in January and plans to spend the funds on tournaments, travel and uniforms. The boys in turn will create a Kapolei Rotary Club banner to be displayed at all their games this season (40 or more through May).

The baseball games draw up to 100 spectators in Kapolei, Ewa Beach, Aiea, Pearl City, Waianae, Hawaii Kai and more, and will offer a good way for the Rotarians to heighten awareness about their club and possibly recruit members. The logo also will be screened onto the uniforms of the team’s 14 players as well as possible booster T-shirts for parents and fans.

“To our team, a lot of the time, especially now, it helps the parents a lot because it covers entry fees to tournaments,” Cabral explained. “We also use it to offset some of the out-of-pocket costs for uniforms and whatnot, and the leftovers will be used for future tournaments.”

The sponsorship funds actually come directly from Nedd’s public relations budget, but he doesn’t mind.

“Geographically they cover a lot of ground, and they have a long season, so we thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s really thanks to the coach’s ingenuity and courage that they got this (sponsorship).”

The team also will work with the club on its cleanup programs and graffiti-removal days in the community, he added. “I think it’s going to be a great partnership. We’re certainly happy to help out.”


“We’re just trying to get the kids out and exposed all over the island,” Cabral added.“A lot of them haven’t traveled off the island yet, so this will be a great experience for them to see what else is out there in the state. We’re very appreciative of the club’s efforts.”

Nedd said plans are to continue their support of the team in the years to come.

“I think Coach Todd realizes he may have stumbled onto something that might be really good for his team,” he said. “I think next year we’ll double it, and we’ve talked a lot about doing more for them this year. Because they had the foresight and the savvy to seek us out and do this, we’re going to stick with them.”

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