Planning a holiday in Perth? Want to play some football? Then Backpackers FC is for you.
A “unique sports holiday,”Backpackers FC kicked off its inaugural season in 2012. “Backpackers FC is going really well, with 35 players now. First team and reserves are top of the table,” said Andy Barrett, General Manager of Jungle Sports Pty Ltd.
The idea is simple—whether traveling through Perth on a year out or working holiday, or coming just to play for Backpackers FC—international travelers make up a football club, and play in the Perth Metropolitan Football League. The squad is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limited number of spots.
Live, Train, Party
According to the company’s website, “The team will live, train and party together while experiencing living life down under in the beautiful city of Perth.” They offer packages for full and part seasons, which include budget accommodations, airport transfers, and all football costs. They also assist those with a Working Holiday Visa find work in Perth during their stay.
A Unique Sponsorship
Like many teams, the Backpackers FC wanted a shirt sponsor. The opportunity to sponsor the team’s shirts was raffled off to local businesses. Barrett used Ticket River Australia raffle tickets, customized to read, “Be the 2012 shirt sponsor of Perth’s most exciting new soccer club!” The winning ticket would be drawn at the 2012 season launch.
Barrett approached local businesses door-to-door and over the phone to sell the tickets, but found that selling to his established contacts worked best. He cites pleading poverty and getting teary as key ticket selling strategies.
Barrett said, “picking out the sponsor we wanted at random,” was the best part of the event. The winning ticket was held by a local backpacker hostel, Beatty Lodge. “[They] happened to be a partner already,” said Barrett, “Total fluke!”
Things are going so well for Backpackers FC that plans are already in the works for expanding. “We are venturing into new avenues such as indoor football, merchandising, and tours,” said Barrett.
While not everything went exactly to plan, Barrett advises anyone planning a similar event to “Do it!” He found Ticket River Australia “A slick operation and easy to use.”