What Next

By: Mark Jurich

Like the rest of the county, collegiate sports has been rocked and shaken to its core. Unlike pro sports, it’s players and the state of play are dependent on the re-opening of universities, the tolerance of risk aversion and the protection of an entire campus community.

The totality of the financial impact of this pandemic on college athletic departments is unknown, especially with the 2020 football season in limbo. Many models are being run to forecast the impact it will have on a school’s budget:

  • The most commonly talked about models include a full 12-game schedule (in some form), an 8-game conference-only schedule, and the worst-case scenario – a complete cancelation

Each of these models will impact external revenue streams differently – what will my conference distribution look like? How will my multimedia rights agreement hold up if the number of games played is modified? Is there enough demand to ask for a donation tied to seats? And ultimately, will fans come back at the rate they did last year?

While the answer to some of these questions will have to wait, there is something athletic departments can DO NOW to help mitigate the loss.

Take control of the things you can control, go beyond the phone call and create a bond with your donor base.  Make sure your development team is working with purpose, remembering that all of us are in uncharted territory and relationships are paramount in moments like these. Some schools are trying to be proactive by having their development staff make calls to donors and season ticket holders as a check in. But how effective are these calls? Is there purpose behind the call or is it just a check list item? Can I find a diamond in the rough?

We understand all calls are important from an outreach prospective. We also recognize the hard truth – with revenue streams drying up, the pressure on athletic departments to raise money will significantly increase.

As we spoke about in a previous blog What’s Your Revenue Equation, we have the ability to identify which of your fans have greater affinity, which fans have affluence, and which fans possess both.

Over the weekend, Penn State hosted a virtual tail gate for their annual Blue/White Game – they had a good response with 700+ tailgates and over 8,000+ participants.  Creative measures like this will ensure the university continues to build relationships with their fans. Geoframing technology can build on this authentic need to be together. Jurich Group technology could add on to that group and more. Imagine not just replaying the 2019 Penn State v. Michigan game, but targeting the fans that actually attended with geoframing.

What if we could provide the advanced analytics on 8,000+ participants on the virtual tailgate alone? We can identify and prioritize which of these fans have greater affinity and affluence and give you access to the data to reach them. With this prioritized list, your outbound sales and development teams will be able to create a hyper-targeted message for each participant.

Now think bigger!! Imagine what Jurich can do with your entire CRM?

Leveraging geo-location data, we can enhance and prioritize your CRM by identifying the donors that possess both the affinity and affluence.  Spend more time with the people who have a higher propensity to give, find the diamonds in the rough, strengthen your current relationships, while at the same time building new ones.

college athletics marketing