|October 4, 2006|
Lion's Share of Revenue Goes to Gyms and Refs, yet Dream League Still Gives Double Its Allocated Take to Staff Gameday Operations with Underprivileged Kids
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- While we strive to give you a gameday experience like a mini-NBA, let us be reminded that the financial underworkings are the exact opposite.
While the NBA's league office makes out like kings, Dream League's offices just somehow manage to keep chugging along. Such is the nature of the beast with community leagues.
So where does all of the money go in a community league, you ask? The short answer: the gyms, as you can see with the graphic on the right.
Let's take a look at the Peninsula gym situation. The market rate for the gym is $50 per game. Then tack on $25 per ref, 2 refs per game. Then you've got two scorekeepers (we try to employ as many kids from the neighborhood as we can), whose rates are usually in parallel with California minimum wage, at $8 each. Then you've got our staff of teenagers who update the website with scores and stats (approx. 2 or more games updated per hour, or $4 per game). Then you've got marketing costs such as t-shirts whereby if everyone in the league pays online, it comes out to $4.36 in expenses per game. Oh yeah, then you've got the nice championship t-shirts (about $10 per player, 8 players) -- now you know why we can't really afford fancy trophies and stuff like that. Finally what's left over (4% or $4.73 per $131 in gross revenues) goes to the league office which schedules the games, hires the personnel, and shepherds the community.
If you take $90 per player, multiplied by 8 players, multiplied by a divison of 8 games, then divide by about 44 games played (8 regular season per team plus 12 playoff games in the quasi-double-elim format), each game generates about $131 in gross revenue. That's why at $50, the gyms and the refs make the lion's share of the pot. So when the league office can get some volunteers to scorekeep, or the commish can handle the job of two scorekeepers at once, or the commish can negotiate a better deal with the gyms, the league office should have every right to try and improve upon its paltry $4.73 per game (or per hour) take for scheduling and organizing you into the league.
Extrapolated out to a full-time yearly salary based on 24 pay periods and 80 hours per pay period each year, a gym director would make a whopping $96,000! Refs would be at an equivalent salary of $48,000 per year since there are 2 refs per game. We all pretty much know that a minimum wage of $8.00 per hour extrapolates out to $15,360 for the poor scorekeepers.
But the short end of the stick goes to none other than the commish, whose $4.73 per game extrapolates to a $9,081 annual salary. Again, this is an extrapolation to an equivalent annual salary figure. This is if we spent the entire theoretical 40 hours per week running games, wall-to-wall, 8 hours per workday, Monday thru Friday. In reality, we run about 30 games per Sunday, so that's about $131 per week which is a gross income of $1,704 over 12-13 weeks. That's why you see so many community leagues go down the tubes after several years. Commishes burn out.
At Dream League, we have to run about 7 or 8 leagues and tournaments here or there just to get by. And you can be sure the commish tries to wiggle out of fixed costs here or there with more experienced scorekeepers, scorekeepers who owe the league a favor, late fees on delinquent players, and the fact that not everyone is going to pay online and get that free t-shirt, thus saving about $3 per t-shirt or the aforementioned $4.36 per game played.
The Dream League logo should be next to the definition of "drip income" in Webster's Dictionary!
And keep in mind, we haven't included General & Admin overhead costs of the entire enterprise, which include transportation, marketing, technology, and communications (i.e., cellphone and Internet access), among other things. Gyms and refs hardly have any overhead!
At least for a kid scorekeeper from the 'hood, $8.00 is still better than nothing. That's why we'll make one more plea for your assistance with corporate donations and grants, as well as spot volunteer help.
Incidentally, expanding to even bigger leagues gets tougher and tougher to do, and really doesn't make sense in terms of manual labor for one organization. For example, we only ended up in New York because of the void in Asian leagues there. Oh, and DLNY is almost completely autonomous now -- totally separate bank account from Dream League Bay Area.
Dream League is looking towards possibly creating a network of leagues so that the combined reach can derive some value, to be shared amongst the network, through potential sponsors who have thus far deemed us too small. If you're interested in making some side money and you have the hoops love, let us know and maybe we can help you start something in your backyard, with the Dream League network as your backbone.
And one final word about facilities. For you gym directors out there, please realize that if you don't bring your prices down to non-highway-robbery rates, then gyms remain closed on weekends and everybody else loses:
Dream League has more to say about this, but that will be another story coming soon.
- The players in the league don't have a regular place to play high-quality, safe, professionally organized basketball, and reinforce their friendships and bonds in the community,
- The kids in the neighborhood don't get to earn a decent wage working for an otherwise professionally run organization,
- The referees don't have a consistent, reliable source of income (they don't necessarily make a lot, either),
- And the game of basketball, and therefore society, suffers because balls are no longer bouncing in this neck of the woods...
- ...All this because someone made it financially impossible to open the doors of a gym. Instead, that gym just sits there unused. Did you know that that gym was likely funded by taxpayer money? What a shame.