Chess Philanthropy: The Difference Between Passive vs Active Sponsorship

RCI’s mission continues to evolve.  Simply stated, The mission of the Richmond Chess Initiative is to help tournament chess players of all ages and backgrounds earn scholarships, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities!  To succeed in this mission RCI is constantly searching for schools, businesses, players, parents, coaches, and sponsors that understand the mission and are willing to invest their time and money or both.  With everyone’s help, this will be the 1st time in history that chess ability has been used as the sole criteria for determining employment and business opportunity eligibility!  Think of what that really means for a second.  We are all in a position right now to make it so that every man, woman, and child within reach of a skateboard, bicycle, scooter or public transportation can  guarantee their economic and social success by playing tournament chess!  To date, you had to be attending a university or trade school to have these types of opportunities and they were never guaranteed!

There are normally only 2 types of business sponsors that help chess.

The 1st type of sponsor is what we characterize as a passive sponsor.  A passive sponsor is a public relations sponsor.  They will never know how the money they are investing impacted their sales.  Capital One hired a Grand Master to have a greater impact on chess here in the Richmond community.  No one in Capital One management is checking to see if people are getting more Capital One credit cards because of this!  Capital One sponsored the scholastic trophies for the concurrent scholastic tournament at the 2013 VA Closed!  Other passive sponsors would be companies like Coke, Pepsi, Mars, Pep Boys, Sears, Target, Sony, Visa, Holiday Inn, TV, Radio… you get the idea!

The 2nd type of sponsor is what we characterize as an active sponsor.  An active sponsor will track the direct sales activity that comes from their sponsorship.  A great example of this is Meineke.  Meineke gives away free oil changes when you donate blood.  They also give to the Food Bank for oil changes.  Active sponsors use coupons, promotion codes, and even special phone numbers to track sales related to sponsorship.  That is because they expect to get leads that immediately or eventually turn into sales and they track every advertising source to find out what dollars get the best return.  The Richmond Home and Garden Show, County and State Fairs, Beer Fest, Wine Fest, Walks for the March of Dimes, Walks for St Jude Children’s Hospital,  are all sponsored with a break even or make a profit mentality.  If sponsoring does not produce leads or sales, it will cease.

RCI has created a 3rd type of sponsor to chess!

The 3rd and most important type of chess sponsorship is, employment!  Our sponsors want the good will of the passive part of sponsorship.  Our sponsors want the leads that result from active sponsorship.  For the 1st time in history, sponsors are guaranteeing Tournament Chess Players well paying jobs and lucrative business opportunities that they can pursue while they are still in school!  RCI sponsors are making these opportunities available regardless of age!  Players are not required to have a drivers license!!  RCI has  secured positions as Savings Consultants, Utility Brokers, Account Executives, Estimators, Games Analyst, Coaches, Tournament Directors, and Organizers.  Every one of these positions can be done using public transportation.  Every RCI sponsor has acknowledged in advance and is supportive of school and chess being the number 1 priority to the people they sponsor and will eventually hire.  They are counting on the benefits of tournament chess to make exceptional hires, business people, customers, and contributors to the local community!!

Our young people and adults need the good will and economic opportunities guaranteed through RCI sponsors!  This writer can remember working since the age of 9.  We’d cut grass, trim hedges, shovel snow, wash cars, walk dogs, … anything to get just a few measly dollars.  RCI and our sponsors think that Tournament Chess Players are much more capable and have earned a shot at more than that!!

Please do not allow our sponsors to become discouraged.  Our biggest sponsor to date is GMG.  They are nation wide!  They are testing the chess sponsorship waters with a product called, Razorship!  Razorship is a group discount shipping portal.  You are still shipping with the same companies you always shipped with, just at a lower price.  Our contact at GMG is Mr. Whitehurst.  Please just take a look at the pdf, (save 30%-60% on shipping on the GMG page),  and e-mail me your information.  He will set up your discount portal and credit RCI as the source.  You don’t have to be ready to ship anything!  With the holidays coming up, we all will be shipping something in the next few months to someone.  Let’s thank GMG and Mr. Whitehurst for their belief in our game and our children’s future. To ensure RCI gets credit for the account,  e-mail your info to

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