How (Affluence x Affinity) Can Lead College Athletics to the Golden Egg
By Julianne Corbett Waldron
Every college athletics sales executive and fundraising pro across the country is challenged with the same hurdle – find big money this year and find even more big money next year.
With the turn of every fiscal year, the jump up gets steeper and steeper.
All of it begs the question, “where the hell is all of this new money going to come from?” A common statement from Athletic Directors is “we have got to find new revenue streams”. Truth. But beating the same drum ain’t gonna cut it and the beads of sweat on the brows of development officers are emblematic of that concern.
Fact: Revenue creativity must come from all lines in every department – both cost centers and profit centers. From licensing and sponsorship to game operations and even facilities — we’re all in the soup.
Traditionally, the bulk of the expectation resides with the ticket sales and development group. Their mission: find program-altering gifts and close premium seat purchases. All of this without affecting pricing as attendance is either plateauing or in decline. That’s a lot on someone’s shoulders.
One common approach: keep calling on your most loyal donors and your go-to’s and get small gifts. Provide “all-access” benefits, like spending Thanksgiving Day with the coach, one-off fantasy camps, give out free gear to the core donor group.
Then you ask the usual donors for their friends, their friends’ friends and so on, all to grow the pipeline. (We can really find the friends without all that hassle — story coming soon). The staff, typically 8-10 strong, also sift through as many former buyers, former season ticket holders or even dip into their Fanatics sales data. Maybe the accounts that bought the most t-shirts, hats or onesies that year are prospects? Oh, and don’t forget WealthEngine analysis…it says your prospects are high-net. But are they? The truth is, with the same approach to the same donors, the bottom of the barrel is imminent.
Net-net, a lot of time and money is spent trying to find a needle in a haystack. We have a metal detector.
So here’s the scoop: geolocational marketing works and it works extremely well in sports. Why? Because knowing who your avid fans are, where they live and how to create a direct route to the big gift.
Now you’re really fishing where the fish are.
Our equation is pretty simple:
Affinity x Affluence = The Right Prospect
New prospects, new data and new insights will open up the prospect flood gates — especially the ones who have the capacity to give. The leads scored using our Geoframing scoring method have been very successful in both college and pro sports.
After mining thousands of lines of data, data analysts at Jurich Group are using Geoframing to improve conversion rates and shorten the cultivation cycle. All by reaching the right people. A simple concept that leads your team to more knowledge, better decisions and ultimately more closes.
Geo-locational and consumer insights empower your team to weave your brand, your program and ultimately, your big ask into the lives of fans….and don’t forget their friends.