Posters are an integral part of rallying the crowd to cheer on your team, letting fellow classmates know about an upcoming game or sharing with the community about an upcoming fundraiser. There are numerous reasons a cheerleading squad creates a poster:
- Pep Rallies: Posters can be used to cue the crowd to shout, stand, stomp, clap or chant specific words.
- Fundraisers: Raising money for your cheerleading squad is typically more successful if the community can be notified by prominently placed posters.
- Sports Events: Make up signs to excite the students about upcoming events, boost student moral and incite school spirit. For example, you could write "Let's Sting the Badgers," if your team mascot is a hornet.
Ideas for Posters
Cheer on individual team members by creating multiple posters in the shape of whatever ball is used in the sport you are cheering for. If you are a basketball cheerleader, cut out posters in the shape of basketballs and write each basketball player's name on an individual ball along with that player's number. Hang the balls in a chain down the hallway. At the beginning of the chain, add a large rectangle or square that reads, "We dribble, you cheer. See you at the game!" For football, you could write, "We tackle, you shout."
Get the fans involved in creating posters. Get approval for a time to have students stay after school or to have a space during a study period. Divide student fans into groups of four or five. Give each group a poster, glitter, markers, glue, stickers and other craft items. Explain that you want posters that will help fellow students get in touch with their school spirit and get them excited for a game, pep rally or spirit week.
If there is a new cheer that you want the fans to say along with you at the game, prepare ahead of time by putting the words on posters and hanging in the school hallways. Even if there is only one part of the cheer you want them to do, go ahead and put those words on the wall. For example, the cheerleaders might want to say the school letters and have the crowd chant something after. If the school's colors are blue and white, then the squad could come up with a chant like "Go Big Blue!". A simple chant can get the crowd energized and work as a filler during a time out. The captain should have a signal that let's the other cheerleaders know you are only going to chant the words one final time. Captains use signals such as saying, "One more time." When teaching the school a new cheer, try to keep it short and simple at first. You can always add more to the cheer by creating a new poster each week with the new words you want the fans to know.
Introduce the Squad
The beginning of the school year is a good time to introduce the school to the cheerleading squad. Create a separate poster for each cheerleader that tells a bit more about that cheerleader and has pictures of her. Get the family involved in this task by sending a blank poster board home with each cheerleader. Each poster should have similar categories. Send a sheet of paper home that explains what should be included on the poster.
- Picture of cheerleader in her uniform
- Picture of cheerleader doing another hobby or activity she enjoys
- Best cheerleading skill
- Favorite song
- Favorite candy
- Why she loves cheerleading
You can add any type of topic you'd like. The goal is to allow those in the school that might not know the cheerleader well to learn a little more. It's much easier to inspire others to get involved at the games if they feel they know the cheerleaders.
These Shoes Are Made for Stompin'
Cut a large pair of shoes out of poster board or draw or glue images of shoes on posters. Put the words "These shoes are made for stompin' and Hornets are gonna stomp all over the Eagles" on the poster. You could also create a poster with the words and shoes with each team players name and number down the hallways.
Draw red chili peppers on a poster and write the words "Our team is red hot." If your school is playing a fellow school that you have a big rivalry with, you might want to write "Our team is red hot, but Eagles are ice cold". You could add images of ice cubes on one side and the peppers on the other.
For a car wash fundraiser, create a poster that says, "Our opponents are washed up because our fans support the cheerleaders. Come to our car wash." You would then list the day and time of the car wash, and whether there is a fee or if you're asking for donations in lieu of a fee.
For a candy or food fundraiser (such as spaghetti dinner or pancake breakfast), create a poster that says, "Wildcats chew up the competition, so help our cheerleaders chew up our fundraising needs."
Buy Ready-Made Posters
Although they won't be as personal, there are several companies that create posters for cheerleaders. During the playing season, you could find yourself making as many as 10 posters a week, so purchasing a few ready-made posters can save you time. Here are a few companies that offer these posters:
Although these ideas will get you started, you'll make poster after poster during your cheerleading career. Be open to ideas from the student body, your coach and other cheerleaders. With a little creativity, you'll come up with unique posters that will inspire your school to cheer on your team.