sports program printing

Sports Program Printing: 8 Tips to Creating a Great Program

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

May 1, 2024

Sporting events are exciting gatherings that bring people together to support their favorite teams and players. Your sports program printing should reflect that excitement with well-chosen colors, bright graphics, and upbeat content. Professional sports program printing will take your programs and booklets to the next level. Here are 8 sports program printing tips you can use to create winning game-day programs.

What Is Sports Program Printing?

A program is a booklet or brochure that everyone receives when attending a live sporting event. If you’ve ever been to a live baseball or football game, you’ve probably seen and heard people offering, “Programs, programs, get your programs!”

Programs supply information about what to expect, where to find important locations like food courts and bathrooms, and how to enjoy the event to the fullest. These booklets are typically handed out at the start of every live sporting event. Besides supplying information, they serve as mementoes, and some become collectors’ items. A brochure provides a list of events, starting times, and the approximate length of time that each will take.

They also describe the teams and often include highlights of key players, rookies, coaches, and charity events. Most sports program printing includes advertising from supporters who use advertising to pay for the design and sports program printing costs.

Why You Need High-Scoring Sports Program Printing

Have you ever been to a game where you received a sloppily printed program—or worse, no program? They make the game feel amateurish and unprofessional.

A good sports program should hit every score: It should look good, highlight key information, be legible, be useful, offer clear sponsorship information, and get readers excited about the upcoming action. With our sports program printing tips, a clean design, and affordable sports program printing, you can avoid looking like a rookie team.

Purposes of Sports Programs

  • They sell advertising to help offset the costs of printing and highlight the team’s supporters.
  • Well-designed programs make any event look more high-end and professional.
  • Programs inspire excitement for the upcoming event.
  • They provide essential information about where to eat or drink, where the fire exits are, where to catch public transportation, parking, and other information that helps attendees relax and enjoy the game.
  • People want to read programs, and many of them save programs as reminders of their day at the game.

Sports Program Printing: 8 Steps to Game Day

Are you ready to score sports programs that demand attention? Our 8-step guide and sports printing tips will take you from zero to the goal line.

1. Start your engines—and your planning

When you put together a program, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary information. This includes the basics like the start time and more complicated elements like pictures and sponsor advertisements.

Begin by taking notes and organizing the information you have. Ask yourself:

  • What information do you already have?
  • Do you have everything you need in camera-ready form, including advertisements and photos?
  • If you’re missing some information or parts of the program, where can you get what you need?

Think about a typical program and what it includes.

Information about the stadium or field: Where to park, how to get there, where to buy tickets, locations of bathrooms, areas that attendees are allowed to enter.

Information about the event: Start time, whether the event is a playoff, championship, or other key game, and what signals that the game is starting? Will there be pre-game performances or other events at the start?

Sponsors: If you have major sponsors, highlight them, and make sure you have printer-ready copies of their advertisements or business cards.

Information about the teams: Describe the home and visiting teams briefly, and include a list of players on the home team. You may also need photographs of the team, coaches, and other people involved in the game.

Photographs: Do you have photos of the team members, stadium, and competitors? Include these to make your program come alive. You can include individual or team pictures. If you don’t have these, figure out how you’re going to get them.

Welcome and introduction: Most good programs begin with a welcome note that might include a brief history of the team or the stadium.

2. Get organized

Once you have everything written down in your notes, you can begin organizing the program. Here’s the usual format most people use when sports program printing:

  • Welcome and introduction to the stadium
  • Description of the event
  • Schedule of all events: start time, pregame performances, after-game parties
  • Thank you note to chief sponsors
  • Thank you note to fans and other supporters
  • Team photos
  • Information about the stadium or field
  • Final notes

3. Do a rough layout

Before you start designing your booklet, you need a rough layout. Start with a set of blank papers. Staple or clip them together, and jot down what will go on each page. For instance, write “cover design” on the first page, and jot down what goes on each page after that. Don’t forget to include space for advertising. Go through every page, include everything, and build a rough draft of what your final product will look like. For a typical sports program printing job, you’ll need a page count in a multiple of 4.

4. Choose binding and colors

Are you printing in color or black and white? Color will cost more, and it produces glossy, high-quality programs that you’ll enjoy sharing. On the other hand, black and white printing is the most affordable. With our sports printing tips, you can design an attractive brochure, even if you’re only using one color.

For binding, we recommend perfect binding or saddle stitch binding, which is standard in sports program printing.

5. Get advertisements

Selling advertisements will help pay for design and printing costs. If your team has sponsors, contact them about giving you printer-ready ads that you will include in the final version. Some advertisers will ask you to print copies of their business cards instead of creating formal ads. Whatever their choice, be sure you have them ready to go.

6. Choose pictures and photos

Pictures, graphics, artwork, and photos will add interest and readability to your program. Choose graphics in your team colors. To find photos and pictures you can use freely, visit sites like the following that offer copyright-free artwork that anyone can use:

  • Shutterstock
  • Unsplash
  • Kaboompics
  • Canva

7. Design your program

You’ve gathered all your ads, graphics, and photos. You’ve written the welcome notes, introduction, and descriptions. You’ve also decided on your colors and binding style.

Now, it’s time to put it all together in a memorable, eye-catching booklet.

The best way to create your program is with a design template. A ready-to-use template makes quick work of the layout, formatting, and design. You can get a template free or for a low price from:

  • Etsy
  • Canva
  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Illustrator

8. Get professional sports program printing

Professional printing makes all the difference when it comes to creating great-looking brochures, booklets, and programs. If you’re short on time, talk to your printer about rush jobs. The last thing you want is a program that isn’t ready on the big day.

Sports Printing Tips for a Winning Program

To ensure that your program is ready for game day, use these tips:

  • Proofread the final copy carefully before you send it for printing.
  • Ask your printing company which file types they prefer to work with.
  • Use high-resolution images and photos.

Work with a Seasoned Pro

We hope you found these sports printing tips useful. At Publishing Xpress, we pride ourselves on our professionalism, attention to detail, and team spirit. Let us cheer you on as you print the books, programs, brochures, and other items that will help you make a great impression.

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