The School Zone Podcast welcomes Eric “Broadway” Jones and the Harlem Wizards to the School Zone. Eric Jones has been part of the Harlem Wizards for 18 years and feels fortunate to be able to travel the country entertaining people.
In 1962, Howie Davis started the Harlem Wizards. The team is now owned by Todd Davis his son. Five players in the hall of fame were actually Wizards. The Harlem Wizards have played in over 30 countries and do over 460 fundraiser basketball games around the country a year. The season runs October to May and the Wizards have 3 full-time teams that travel all over the world. The Midwest has been a big territory for the teams. They hope to bring their brand of entertainment basketball to the West Coast. Teachers and administrators need to know that this is no traditional basketball game.
Booking a game takes cooperation from the community. We like to get a good contingent of teachers from schools in a school district as opposed to just one school so we can draw from the community in general. This helps create a general buzz as the event is advertised and then it’s natural to sell tickets in person and online. Average ticket prices are $12-$15. Concessions, souvenirs, silent auctions and sponsorship’s help increase funds as well. Participants have made up to $40,000. It is a great way to build community and raise funds for your school. When the school makes money and the event goes well, everyone wins.
If schools want to bring the Harlem Wizards to their school, it takes up to 8 months prep time depending on the school. A committee approach to planning and marketing is recommended and it is important to have support from the superintendent and principal to have a truly awesome Harlem Wizards experience. This is more than just a fundraiser. It is a community builder and the Wizards team supports the school throughout the process.