MTG Dominaria United available now!
   Sign In
Create Account

Starting Your Own Team


Now, you may think with the mass influx of teams on the SCG Tour that it's easy to start a team. You'd be mostly right! Since I've been asked in the past for some advice on the subject I'd figure I would oblige by writing a few words. I'm here to walk you through the steps of how Team Nova got started, how it got to where it is, and what you can do to start your own team.

The Beginning

Nova was never intended to be what it has become. It originally stemmed from an idea to create a testing group amongst people that were all friendly and not already part of some group. Will Pulliam and I reached out to a few people and Team Nova was born by the end of December. While the team was going through some roster changes, we decided it might be worth it to try and get sponsors. That's when things truly became different.

Setting Your Goals

Your first step is going to be deciding your team's goals.

Are you interested in just having a testing team? If so, maybe this is where the article ends for you. Grab some matching jerseys from Owayo and have a good time hanging with friends. Don't take things too seriously and enjoy your friends' company.

But maybe you have a different goal in mind. Either you want to qualify a bunch of folks for the SCG Player's Championship or be a dominant force in your circuit. In that case, it's vital to the success of the team that everyone agrees. If all your players don't have a similar goal in mind, it can cause tensions that can spiral into major disagreements.

The third type of team is a content focused one: streamers and folks who want to write articles with a goal of entertainment and education. This one you'll want everyone to stream a bit together. This is one of the loftier goals in terms of team complexity. Trying to schedule people streaming to cover a lot of bases and time slots is rough.

Picking Your Role

In the team dynamic, you need to have leaders and people in different roles. Trying to manage everything by yourself ends leads to no end of stress and strain. If you want to run the team and talk to the sponsors I would highly recommend not entrenching yourself in the game as well. If you have nothing but free time, it makes sense but still leaves you little room to do other things. Don't try to overburden yourself with every responsibility. Try to split it up with other teammates or assign roles in order to lessen the stress on one individual.

The manager's role is to ensure the sponsors are happy and the team is doing what is required of them from those sponsors. It's also their job to help create more opportunities and get more sponsors.

The team captain is there to help bridge the gap between the management and the players. They are also a leader figure. I would recommend having the captain and manager be two separate entities.

Picking Team Members

Once you've settled on a goal it's time to pick the squad. Making sure people are going to get along is important. You want your team to be able to work together for events and ensure that personalities don't clash.

It's also important to make sure the players are aware and willing to put in the work to make sure everything is going to run smoothly.

Getting Sponsors

Once you've picked your team, it's time to get sponsors! I won't mince words; this is not going to be easy and it's pretty unlikely to have many (or any) out of the gate.

This is important to remember: when reaching out to sponsors and companies you're a walking billboard! Everything you offer has to be about what reach you can provide in terms of advertisement for a company. While a company can agree to pay you money for no benefit, you want it to be worth it to them so it's worth it to you.

The first step is to talk to your local store if you have one and see if they are willing to trade putting a logo on your jersey for a small price for the duration of a season or length of time. You can also advertise their store on Twitter/social media to help boost their name. Getting a deal on singles for you and the team or being able to borrow cards can help alleviate pressures of getting cards before traveling to events.

The next step is to make a list of companies or businesses that are involved with Magic that don't sponsor any teams. You can also make a list of smaller companies that could potentially be interested in growing their brand.

After you've made these lists it's time to draft emails. Remember to keep things short, sweet, and to the point. You're trying to have these companies pay you for advertising! Tell them about your Twitter "clout" and the amount of people that will see their logo at events and on social media. Usually having a code for a percentage off can help lead toward trackable information for the company.

Reach out to everyone. Even if you get back a bunch of "no's" you'll be better off asking. Don't be afraid of starting small. It's pretty unlikely that a company is going to jump the gun and give you everything off the bat. Instead, having a bunch of small things helps make life easier for the traveling grinder.

Separating Friendship

This one is hard to do if you're going to be the manager or the team captain. Friendships can't come first. When you're a sponsored player you have duties to the companies that you represent and your fellow teammates.

Creating Content

This one is vital. When you're trying to get sponsored, your names being out there can be a big help. When you create content it helps grow your brand and that helps your team get more recognition. Several players and teams have even gone as far to monetize their content through patreon. We live in an age of social media and the SCG Tour building up players. We want viewers to tune in and care about these players and then use the companies they use. Part of building that relationship comes from content creation. Articles and videos give a unique way to interact and view someone in a different light. I can't stress enough how important creating content is to a team.

Social Media

This is a big one and hotly debated. While each player having their own voice is important; how a player carries themselves on social media can change how the team is viewed and how sponsors decide to be involved with Magic and the community. It's important to set guidelines for what is acceptable and what isn't. Harkening back to the previous paragraph about friendships, you'll have to know once again that, even if someone is your friend, what's bad for business is bad for business. Make sure everyone is on the same page so everyone knows what is going to come out of it.

If you have any questions feel free to DM me or hit me up on Twitter! @TheNotoriousBza

Limited time 30% buy trade in bonus buylist