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Chapel Hill gained $6.4 million in one football game this fall.

Chapel Hill gained $6.4 million in one football game this fall.

A recent trend in college athletics has been the disclosure of economic impact studies of athletics departments. Perhaps brought on by the recession, these studies are proving the worth of a strong athletics program to their surrounding community.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently released a study done on one specific football game against Notre Dame. According to the study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University‘s Center for Sport Leadership, the game brought $6.4 million for the Chapel Hill and Orange County economies. The study also states that the game raised $325,000 in local and state tax revenue.

The Ohio University Center for Sports Administration and Facility Management recently conducted a study for the athletics department on the economic impact of their program for their community. This study uncovered an economic impact of $8-10 million to a region of the state that has been historically economically stagnant.

While these studies can be applied directly to sponsorship revenue, they can also be used to build strong community relations. As a development officer, it is increasingly important to show the value of your program to the community. For those donors who are intrinsically motivated to give, knowing their money will also impact the surrounding community may be worthwhile information.

Additionally, for those departments with Gift-In-Kind giving programs, having such a number in literature and as a talking point can help sell the local businesses to provide trade as the value of the department has been quantified.

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