FULLERTON, Calif. - Thanks to increasing relationships, creative marketing and a push by personnel, Cal State Fullerton has increased the overall athletic revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Overall revenue is calculated from three different sources, sponsorships, fundraising and ticketing, and all three areas saw solid contributions and increased numbers over the past year.
Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing Aaron Tapper oversaw securing Cal State Fullerton’s $186,000 in sponsorships. Corporate sponsorships included Brian’s/Big B’s BBQ, Buffalo Wild Wings, Donate Life Run/Walk, Kaiser Permanente, Majestic Printing Systems, Specific Media, Titan Shops, Straub Distributing and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
Tapper helped oversee an increase in revenue from the previous year, which had garnered $120,000. The increase was due in large part to a mix of old and new sponsors, as well as building stronger relationships that were beneficial to both parties.
“The relationship we have with the sponsors is advantageous for both parties,” Tapper said. “We want our sponsors to get something positive out of the partnership so that the relationship becomes stronger and we can continue to work with them for years to come.”
Sponsors that have supported Cal State Fullerton in the past continue to support the school’s athletic department, but Tapper is hopeful that he can increase the number of sponsors during the current fiscal year in order to increase revenue and reach a goal of $210,000. Businesses that are in close proximity to the campus have a new product that would be beneficial to students or the athletic department, or those with a specific niche that will service students and the local community are the types of businesses that can build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the athletic department.
Director of Development Greg Paules, along with his staff, continued to advance fundraising goals for the athletics department with over 500 donors contributing during the fiscal year. The Cal State Fullerton Athletics Department saw a six-figure increase in giving, hosting such noted events as the Hall of Fame Dinner, the Folino Invitational Golf Tournament and Dinner with the Titans, all of which helped to exceed the year’s goal by more than $150,000.
Part of the success that occurred over the past year has been attributed to sport specific giving, explains Paules. “Donors love particular sports and want to know that their donation is impacting student-athletes from their favorite teams,” he says. “The coaches also did a great job building relationships in the community, coming up with creative ways to engage the donors, and having student-athletes actively engaged in development activities.”
Another difference that can be attributed to the increase in donations was the creation of the premium seating program for home baseball and men’s basketball games. The courtside seats for basketball and the box seats and reserve section for baseball had a gift component tied to the season ticket purchase, increasing revenue by more than $50,000. More than 70 donors gave more in 2013-14 to Titan Athletics than in any other year, which accounted for an additional $90,000 in upgraded gifts.
According to Paules, the Development team is growing and is excited to spur future conversations. “We’re just scratching the surface on potential, and we are excited to grow in the future,” he says. Due to the overwhelming success of fundraising over the past fiscal year, Paules has set a goal of $750,000 for the current fiscal year.
The increase in ticketing revenue was spearheaded by Jenn Rudy, Athletics Ticket Manager. The department had a goal of $450,000 and exceeded the amount by nearly $27,000. The highest grossing sports were baseball, men’s basketball and softball. Season tickets for the three sports, as well as tournaments for softball, helped to increase ticketing revenue throughout the fiscal year. The department has set a goal of $500,000 for the current fiscal year, which will be targeted through various marketing strategies, season ticket holder sales and larger events, such as tournaments and high profile games.
Some of the areas that help to spur revenue for the seven ticketing sports, which include volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball, include online sales, social media alerts about promotional nights and big games, group sales and season ticket holders. The baseball program sold 636 season seats and offered Friday Night Lights and Any Given Sunday ticket packages; men’s basketball sold 213 season seats; and softball season tickets also included tickets to tournaments hosted at Cal State Fullerton, which according to Rudy is a beneficial addition when marketing the season ticket package.