Posts Tagged ‘athletics development’

Making waves across the sports industry, Boise State‘s announcement that they will begin selling “Bronco Stock” has unveiled a new way to raise money for the athletics department. Those who purchase the stock will become members of Boise State Broncos, Inc., receive stock certificates and voting privileges.

200,000 shares of stock will be issued at a $100 price tag, making the new venture capable of raising $20 million dollars to raise money for a new facility for student-athletes. The stock is also transferable to family members or other interested parties. However, the money used to purchase stock will not allow shareholders benefits, such as priority parking or priority seating.

This new system is certainly an innovative approach to raising money for a new building. Instead of focusing on a variety of large gifts, the department is selling many small gifts that will be used to build a new facility. This allows those in the Boise community who may not have the ability to give a the larger levels to be a part of the new building. If a sense of urgency and feeling of involvement can be created with this program, shareholders will feel valued and a part of the Boise State success.


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A picture of the outside of the Joe Craft Center on the campus at the University of Kentucky.

The University of Kentucky has recently announced that they will be building a new building to house their basketball team. The team has spent the past 31 years living in Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge, located across the street from Memorial Coliseum and the new Craft Center.

The Difference Makers, a committed group of UK supporters, donated the money for the new Lodge. Joe Craft, who supplied the $6 million to name the new basketball facility, heads the group and spurred the initiative. The new housing is to be named the Wildcat Coal Lodge to honor the unique tie Kentucky has to the coal industry and its importance in the state’s economy.

There are a couple of unique points in this story. For one, Joe Craft, along with his group of supporters, is once again supplying the school with a large donation to support the basketball program. The repeat donation is a testament to the stewardship practices at the University where the donor still felt connected to the school; even after his naming gift for the new practice facility was made. Additionally, the department was able to leverage their good relationship with Craft to find a group of committed donors willing to further support the program.

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The athletic emblem of the Bradley University ...

Bradley University leveraged their opening basketball season to help promote an auction designed to be Bradley’s largest fundraising event of the year. The Bids for the Braves Athletic Benefit allowed committed donors and fans the opportunity to purchase $90 tickets to attend the event.

The evening featured a live and silent auction featuring many donated gifts from around the community. The men’s and women’s basketball teams were introduced during the evening and patrons had the opportunity to mingle with them throughout. The gala was held at the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino Ballroom off campus.

Often in athletics development, events are looked upon as more “friendraising” than “fundraising” opportunities. However, special evenings that encourage mass participation and include a large amount of donated items allow the athletics department to generate revenue through dinner tickets and auctions. These events are especially effective when they can be combined with the opening of a season or another exciting activity within the department.

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As a 2007 graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, I have received multiple pieces of e-mail and brochures encouraging me to give back to the school and help shape its future. None of these pieces were very revolutionary, simply brochures, letters, and newsletter e-mails.

A screen shot of the e-mail.

A screen shot of the e-mail.

However, yesterday I received an e-mail from the school with a leading question, “See the one question that will shape our future.” In the e-mail was a link that looked like the picture to the right. Once clicked upon, there was a video of a young man talking about the college and number one reason why people do not give back-they have never been asked. So here he was, asking me to pledge to donate a certain amount and help give back to the school.

When the video was over, I was prompted with a form that already had all of my information filled in, all I had to do is verify it was correct and click which amount I desired, which was $25, $50 or my own amount. Once this was done, I was asked if I would like to be contacted by phone, e-mail or mail.

The video player was put on a separate site customized for the school.

The video player was put on a separate site customized for the school.

This innovative design provides a different approach to the ask. In athletics, the school could leverage its relationship with a popular coach or administrator to make the ask, causing potential donors to feel the connection with the school and program. While this may not be good for soliciting large dollar amounts, it could be very effective for getting people on board. The ease of the process made it very easy from a donor standpoint.

The tool was developed by Pursuant Group, a fundraising agency that specializes in building tools for non-profits and other companies looking to increase their development capabilities.

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An outside the stadium shot featured on www.newkenan.com.

An outside the stadium shot featured on http://www.newkenan.com.

The University of North Carolina‘s Athletics Department has recently launched a website dedicated to the explanation of their football stadium renovation. This site joins a growing trend in college athletics of schools using a website to inform the public of the project, give great visual examples, and grow awareness of the avenues for support.

The site, www.newkenan.com, serves as a valuable tool for educating donors on the processes that will change with the addition of the site. The site features some exciting video of the football team, a sweeping shot of the stadium designed to make viewers feel as if they are on the field, and a whole space dedicated to donor support.

The new stadium will feature premium seating, suites, and club/loge seating. If a donor is intrigued by the offers, they can fill out and mail in a Letter of Intent for priority consideration for the new premium seating options.

Yet the East End Zone Structure will not only house premium seating, but also a Student-Athlete Center for Excellence. This structure will house additional academic housing, an Olympic sports weight center, and a center for leadership training. By adding these features, the new building will not only help generate revenue, but also aid the student-athletes of the school.

There are many other websites promoting their projects. Examples include the new Knight Arena at Oregon, the Gridiron Club at Kansas, and the Memorial Stadium Renovation at Cal.

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Bob Stoops, football head coach at the Univers...

Bob Stoops recently made a six-figure gift to the Price College of Business.

On the heels of their recent tennis facility dedication, the Oklahoma Sooners announced that Bob Stoops is giving $150,000 to the Price College of Business. The donation will go towards allowing junior faculty members the opportunity to continue their research and teach at the undergraduate level.

This move, which obviously supports the college of business, furthers the goodwill Oklahoma has created with the academic areas of campus. Earlier this year, ADF wrote about Oklahoma’s $7 million dollar donation back to the general university.

Tennessee Athletics donated $10.35 million back to the school.

Tennessee Athletics donated $10.35 million back to the school.

This continues to be a growing trend in college athletics. Kansas has recently approved the construction of the Gridiron Club, which was passed with a substantial donation back to the general University. Tennessee, who gave $10.35 million, and Florida, who gave $6 million, have given surplus dollars back campus in addition to many others.

Moves like these build goodwill with key constituents across campus and helps cool the anti-athletics talk at many schools. If athletics departments can continue to give back to the campus, it makes it more difficult for critics to discourage the construction of facilities and high coaches salaries as the value provided through athletics to the university enriches the entire institution.

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University of California
Image via Wikipedia

The Regents at the University of California recently approved the financing plan for the reconstruction of Memorial Stadium. The funds, which will be used to renovate and improve the west side of the stadium, will come completely from private donations being raised by the athletics department.

While this approach by itself may seem ordinary, Cal’s approach is truly groundbreaking as the department will fund the project through the Endowment Seating Program (ESP). In this model, the university is asking for donors to “purchase” a seat for an annual fee that can be paid through various payment options. There are four different price level and points as well as four different options. This chart provides an excellent comparison of the seats and the benefits associated with that level.

The ESP, which also has its own website, only affects 3,000 seats in the stadium. Yet these seats will generate enough revenue to not only renovate the stadium, but leave additional funds to create an endowment, one the school is publicizing could eventually reach $1 billion. This would ensure the athletics department a steady stream of income for the foreseeable future.

California Memorial Stadium

California Memorial Stadium

To date, the program has been received well, with 2,000 seats already being sold. These seats, depending on giving level, are held by the donor for a predetermined amount of time (ranging from 50 to 40 years). The seats can be resold or transferred under the donors discretion after payments and the letter of intent has been signed.

The donation for the seat also covers all amenities and the price of season tickets. Participants will be able to lock in the price of their seat for the duration of their endowment, making the seats a fixed yearly payment.

This approach allows donors the ability to choose their seats, not be subject to reseating, and to “own” their seats in the stadium. While this program may not be for all development operations, it highlights a school using a creative approach to fundraising and leveraging their current success to plan for the future.

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