Thursday, April 17, 2008
During the past basketball season, ETSU averaged 3,901 fans a game, besting the averages of several mid-major conferences including the Atlantic Sun (1,696), Southern Conference (2,403), Ohio Valley (2,346) and Big South (1,798). By comparison, ETSU's attendance figures were strong when looking at peer programs such as Davidson (6,214),
"We knew coming into the season that the home schedule would present some challenges when it comes to attendance," Mullins said. "But we really appreciate the great support of our fans again this year. Our fans have always been loyal and it shows as we've led our league in attendance for the past five seasons. What is important to note is that anticipating some of the ticket sales limitations, Coach (Murry) Bartow was very instrumental in working with me to help the department increase our overall basketball revenues by securing more higher-paying guarantee games. By doing this, Coach Bartow helped improve our revenue immensely, but he also ultimately played a schedule that was ranked 18th toughest in the country at one point midway through the season."
While men's basketball took significant strides in revenue during the 2007-08 season, other areas throughout the athletic department also saw increases in both service to ETSU fans and overall revenue. They included:
Buccaneer Sports Network: With the move to a new FM flagship station (104.9 WKOS), the continued support of more than 10 radio affiliate stations, the launch of the new ASun.TV live video streaming product, live television broadcasts for the Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Mercer and Jacksonville games, continued tape-delayed replays on Charter cable, as well as live radio and internet broadcasts of men's basketball, womens' basketball and baseball, ETSU athletics offered Buccaneer fans one of the best mid-major media packages in the nation. The results from a revenue side were an increase from $118,000 in 2006-07 to $134,000 in 2007-08.
Marketing/Corporate Sales: Through the efforts of the marketing department, corporate advertising and sponsorships increased from $98,000 to $161,000 over the last year, and marketing in-kind giving increased from $222,224 to $252,885.
Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association: Having changed its name from the Pirate Club to BASA last year, and by clearly stating its mission to "raise scholarship dollars for student-athletes," the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association continued to improve its efforts to provide the necessary funding to educate ETSU student-athletes. With direction from the BASA Board of Directors, BASA began focusing more on unrestricted giving (donations to the overall program) as opposed to restricted giving (donations to specific programs) in 2007-08. The result has been an increase of $131,000, as revenues for BASA have gone from $208,000 to $339,000.
Total giving (which includes BASA, Capital Campaign pledges, restricted dollars): In addition to the normal revenue lines typically connected to athletics, the program's "Pathway to Excellence" campaign continues to move forward, with the completion of the new Summers-Taylor Soccer Complex scheduled for this summer, and the start of the new Softball Complex, which will be completed and ready for use by the spring of 2009. When grouping all gifts to the program - which includes BASA, capital campaign and restricted giving - revenues increased from $742,228 in 2006-07 to $1,193,401 in 2007-08.
"Our fans and alumni continue to show their pride by their attendance and scholarship gifts," Mullins said. "The increased corporate partnership dollars enable us to take the next steps in building championship programs throughout the department. Division I athletics is an expensive business and our contributors are helping us meet the challenges so that all our student-athletes can be successful.
"We appreciate all those who demonstrate their belief in our program by their outstanding financial support. Winning a school record eight conference championships in 2006-07 - several sports for the first time - and our recent championships in 2007-08 speaks volumes about the financial commitment our fans are making in Buccaneer athletics."
Revenue line 2006-07 2007-08 % change
Men's Basketball (tickets revenue $358,517 461,624 29% increase
and game guarantees)
Marketing (Corporate Sales) $98,000 161,000 64% increase
Marketing (In-kind Giving) $222,224 252,885 13% increase
Buccaneer Sports Network $118,000 134,000 9% increase
BASA Scholarship Fund Giving $208,000 339,000 63% increase
Total giving (which includes BASA, $742,228 1,193,401 61% increase
Capital Campaign, restricted dollars)
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