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Calling all former Collegiate Cyclists(9 posts)

Calling all former Collegiate Cyclistswerdna
Feb 22, 2002 9:37 AM
I am a member of the Cornell Cycling team and right now we are dealing with two problems: transportation and funding. How did any of the former collegiate cyclists get to races? Did you rent vans? What kind of funding did you get from your university? Was it a club sport or varsity sport? Did you have to fundraise? What kind of sponspors did you have? Any tips for finding sponsors? Any tips for general fundraising?

Thank you,
re: Calling all former Collegiate CyclistsTJeanloz
Feb 22, 2002 11:30 AM
I was a long time member of the University of Colorado cycling team; then I graduated and it's been all downhill from there.

We drove individually (or car-pooled) to races. The economics of renting vans never worked out on our side.

We got pretty minimal funding from the University, on the order of ~$1,500 a semester, for a club with 100+ members.

We were a club sport. The only schools that recognize cycling as a Varsity sport are Marian College, Lindsey Wilson College, and Midwestern State U.

We 'had' to fundraise. Most of it was from parents and other supporters.

Sponsors were a bike shop, a clothing shop run by an alum, a sports med place, and a couple of equipment manufacturers.

Sponsors are fickle, your best bet is to know somebody who knows somebody. College cycling can offer almost 0 returns on any sponsorship investment- it really is charity, with the exception of bike shops, who might do well with it.

Fundraising? Don't be afraid to do unconventional things, ride-a-thons, volunteer to park cars at football games, work as ushers at university events.

It's not an easy sport physically or financially for those in college.
Club sport . . .morrison
Feb 22, 2002 12:22 PM
for me. Funding from LBS, 1 orthopedic surgeon, optometrist, dentist, restaurant, t-shirt sales, etc.

We still had to contribute individually, and we rented vans. One of the guy's dad had a big old Ford Econoline, or something like that, that was great for equipment transport.

good luck . . . w/out university money it can be tough
uhm, talk to SGA maybe?Woof the dog
Feb 22, 2002 1:30 PM

Woof the dog.
What about Current Collegiate Cyclists?AllUpHill
Feb 22, 2002 1:33 PM
For the most part my team uses vans provided by the school; occasionally riders drive on their own. The vans are usually the big 15 passenger jobs, and we remove the rear seat for bikes. I'm not sure if we have to pay any from our own funds to use the vans, but if we do, it's not much.

In addition to club/team dues, we are responsible for raising much of our own funds, and the University funds us with an additional amount proportional to what we raise. Our primary money-maker is selling concessions items at home football games, and we make a small killing by operating several stands each game.

We receive sponsorship from quite a few companies who sell us their products at a nicely discounted price. We also have a shop, the owner of which is good friends with one of our riders, who helps us out. Manufacturers seem pretty willing to make this kind of a deal with poor collegiate riders - they still make a profit even at half of retail, and it encourages us to buy stuff we normally wouldn't be able to afford at all. Plus we link to them on our webpage and put their logos on our jerseys.

I don't think we have any sponsors that provide actual funding.

Here's out website (which I maintain).
You might want to tryL.O. McDuff
Feb 22, 2002 2:15 PM
Everything that Ted said above. Plus, why don't you have the Cornell Club Sports coordinator call some of the larger programs (e.g., Penn State, Cal-Davis, and University of Colorado). They might give you some pointers. The Club Sports coordinator at Colorado is/was Kris Schoech (pronounced Shook). I know that some colleges sell their jersey through alumni associations.
I forgot about that...TJeanloz
Feb 23, 2002 12:00 PM
I forgot about the jersey sales- but that was one of our biggest sources of cash money. The bookstore and alumni association gave us a pretty nice cut of jersey sales, and as a result of our success, I think Voler offers to sell most teams' collegiate jerseys for them to Performance et. al.
re: Calling all former Collegiate Cyclistsharlett
Feb 23, 2002 2:56 PM
werdna...some good ideas have already been given to you-- here are a few more things that may be of benefit-

auctions of donated goods at a club dinner at the beginning of the season-- this gives you the off season to contact businesses, prominent alumni, local sports people, past team members and whoever else you can think that may contribute something to auction off-- you can even try to get a local grocer to donate the food for the dinner--

a lot of club sports have one person in charge of getting sponsors-- that way your sponsor solicitation is consistent in the initial approach and follow-ups-- sponsors can not only be a local lbs but also the local newspaper, businesses owned by teammate parents/relatives or alumni and those professionals in your area (doctors etc.)--

talk to the people in cornell's athletic department that do the fundraising for the school-- they may be of help in giving you ideas--
get to know the people on the cycle teams you compete against and talk to them about their fundraising and sponsorship efforts--

as an alumni and former athlete i'm on all the athletic fundraising mailing lists from my undergraduate school-- the club sports are also given the mailing lists-- finding someone on your team that is good at writing will give you a letter to alumni that may bring in some money-- i support women's outdoor track and crew and the club sports of bicycling and women's rugby-- in each case i get well written newsletters about the seasons progress and information from the athletes and coaches about their goals and successes-- the follow-up of the newsletters is important to make the contributor/sponsor feel like they are a part of the effort-- a successful fundraising effort looks beyond the initial contribution and does things to help the contributor/sponsor feel part of the effort and continue to give-- it's worked on me- i've been giving for the last 4 years--

here are some email addys of people who are involved in fundraising efforts directed at me-- they may share info with you--
cam robinson is the person approaching potential sponsors for the cycling club--
christi ireland is an assistant coach for outdoor distance running and a contributors newsletter editor--
pasha spencer is an assistant coach for women's crew, a fundraiser and a contributors newsletter editor--
sally spatafora is a women's rugby coach and fundraiser extraordinaire--

fundraising can be one of those things that brings a team together-- having family, friends, new friends, community members and alumni all involved in the success of a team is a good thing for everyone--
best of luck on the fundraising and the 2002 season--
re: Calling all former Collegiate CyclistsBenR
Feb 24, 2002 11:57 AM
Put on a supported road ride for community cyclists 60-100 miles. Lots of aging baby boomers out there with money that are willing to pay for a well-supported ride that has a challenging & scenic loop. Contact webmasters/presidents of all the local clubs to advertise, maybe put something in the school newspaper and bike shops in town.

My club tried this for the first time this fall and made enough profit to pay for 1/2 of our racing expenses (hotel & entry fees) for a team of 25. It wasn't too time consuming either - just need to get entry forms, T shirts and advertising done ahead of time.