Now just over eleven years into the evolution of college fishing, growth of the sport has been exponential each year. It’s easy to see the increase in the number of college fishing clubs, members within each club, and numbers of events available to fish, and with all that comes an increased price to play. Gas for trucks and boats, boat ramp fees, jersey costs, lodging expenses, and food expenses all add up to thousands of dollars over the course of the year, and that’s without even thinking about the tackle expenses.
While some college clubs across the nation do receive various types of funding from their school, most clubs do not receive any funding at all. Without funding, it’s hard to compete at the level most colleges strive to be, thus college anglers need to get creative. So to start your team’s season off with a strong financial base, here are a few tips for club fundraising.
“We funded the top four teams to go to all the big tournaments,” said Marty. “We didn’t get a ton of funding handed to us, but we averaged $20-25,000 on our own. We sold a ton of t-shirts and hats each semester. The guys hated me for all the funding I made them do, but we wouldn’t have been able to travel without that funding, I know I couldn’t have at least.”
Making t-shirts for clubs can usually be done within the rec-sports department of each school and clubs should go through their advisor to get permission from the school first. And while t-shirts and club apparel can be a big seller, schools are getting more and more creative with club funding, like the Northwestern State Bass Team who has started shrimp boils at football games.
Additionally, by hosting an event on your team’s turf, you can use that as a way to promote your team’s sponsors by giving away sponsor prize packs, putting up banners at the weigh in for the photo wall, or even inviting your sponsors to the event. Showing that you are working for the people that put their trust in you to promote their brand will have a lasting effect when it comes time to renew a team sponsorship. Promoting your event also offers a way to gain new sponsors as well. Tournaments are great ways to showcase those that help support you throughout the season.
Choosing the right entry fee for your tournament is also very important as you don’t want to make it so expensive so it discourages teams to compete, but high enough to make an added value for the top teams. Entry fees will also be a big factor when it comes to funding the host club as well in whatever percent that may be.
About the ACA
The Association of Collegiate Anglers, a division of Careco TV, is a sanctioning body developed to facilitate growth, development, and structure within competitive collegiate bass fishing. The ACA provides support to dozens of school operated regional events nationwide and owns the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, the largest participatory collegiate tournament circuit in the country. With dedicated collegiate fishing programming on several television networks, four nationally televised collegiate bass fishing events, and thousands of members, the ACA is the leader in competitive collegiate bass fishing. For more information on the ACA, or the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, visit www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com. For more information on Cabela’s visit Cabelas.com, for more information on CarecoTV, visit www.carecotv.com.