Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Announcement: Calling Cougar Nation

Greetings Cougar Nation. Hope you all are having a great week.

So, as the mighty header above indicates, today we are calling on you.



Yes, YOU!!!!



Why are we calling?

Because its high time that we, the WSU sports website community, step up to the plate.


What plate you ask?

THE MONEY RAISING PLATE.

And so, I announce to you all today, that sometime in the next few weeks, we will have a big, fat link at the upper right hand corner of this here blog. And that link is where you, me, and the rest of Cougar Nation will be able to donate our hard earned chump change for one huge goal of the football program you love - to help complete the construction of Phase III of Martin Stadium.

Not only will this next phase go a long way towards securing our membership in the coveted PAC-10 conference. But at the same time, you can feel really good about your standing in, and contribution to, the WSU football program. And oh yeah, when it's all said and done, one heck of a beautiful game-day setting, right in the heart of campus! A setting that you, Cougar football fan, can always be proud of.

Now, this is different than what you currently see at WSUCougars.com. That link is for a donation to the WSU Athletic Foundation. But this new link will be specifically for the renovation of Martin Stadium.

With that in mind, here are a few choice FAQs of what the heck we're actually talking about:

1) WHERE WILL THE PROCEEDS FROM THE DONATIONS GO?

Obviously, all proceeds will go to the WSU Athletic Foundation (who will also manage the account as noted below). This is all on the up-and-up. But as we already stated, each donation will be directed specifically for Martin Stadium Renovation, and nothing else.

The reason for earmarking these funds specifically toward football and the stadium is to not only support the next phase of the renovation. But because football generates the majority of revenues for the Athletic Department. And it is that sport - football - that is the primary focal point for the majority of the indicators needed to retain our standing in the Pacific-10 conference.

This message has been clear, right from the PAC-10 - upgrade Martin Stadium, or face a very unpleasant vote by the conference members.

2) WHO WILL MANAGE THE SITE?

In the coming days, I will be speaking with person(s) from the WSU Athletic Department to finalize these details. But in a nutshell, the link will send you directly to a Pay-Pal account managed by the WSU Athletic Foundation. The title of the account will be something like "Martin Stadium Online Contributions", or "WSU Football Stadium Contributions to Excellence", something of that nature. This will enable everyone from the online WSU community to see the fruits of their labor. And as far as keeping tabs on this money, we would like to get at least a quarterly report from the foundation on how it is going. Details like this will be ironed out shortly.

3) WHICH WEBSITES WILL PARTICIPATE?

This hasn't been finalized. But, our hope is that the link and advertisement for the account would be provided by ALL of the WSU fansites in the online universe. This includes Cougfan.com, Cougzone.com, Cougcenter.com, WitchesofEastman.blogspot.com, and the like.

The idea is to provide a quick and easy portal from which all readers and fans of WSU Football can donate what they can, when they are so inclined. This will benefit WSU, which should be the ultimate goal of all the fansites on the Internet. We are not doing this for any self-serving reason. We just want to help, and this is the way we want to go.

4) WHY IS THIS PARTICULAR SITE NEEDED?

Well, for several reasons.

First, our athletic department is in serious trouble (duh). From budget cuts handed down by the state, to the cancellation of the Qwest Field Apple Cup series, to the horrific economic times gripping this country, the fact that our beloved Cougar football program is running low on funds for an essential stadium renovation shouldn't come as a surprise. Don't you read the news?!? It is tough all over, and the WSU athletic department is feeling it too.

Second, in kind of a weird rule, the WSU Athletic Foundation is unable to solicit donations directly to the WSU family without prior consent. In other words, if you are a Coug fan, but haven't donated before, or haven't purchased season tickets? WSU's Call-A-Coug can't call you asking for help. You must go directly to them, showing your interest. But guess what? WE CAN SURE COME TO YOU. And so, here we are...

Third, solicitations for donations always seem to come at "inopportune" times, don't they? But in turn, these inopportune times can limit the level of giving. It is just the way it goes. But having a link to a quick donation site will simply streamline the process. It will make it fast and easy to give to something you care about.

Finally, embarrassment. Sounds funny to even say that, but it can be tough to tell the voice on the other end of the line that you can't give anything right now. In reality, maybe you can give something, just not much more than a few bucks. We believe this method of an online, viral campaign will be the way for you to donate what you can, whenever you can, without fear of embarrassment if you don't have much to give.

And, "how can $5 help" you may ask? It is such a small amount of money. Well, for exhibit 1A of how little things can add up fast, think of our last Presidential election. All the experts will tell you that one thing that really made the difference for our new President was that their campaign reached out to the little guy. They made it simple to donate $5 here, $5 there, all with the ease of a massive online campaign. And guess what? As insignificant as the donations might have seemed at the time, the whole thing worked!

5) WHAT IS THE DESIRED DONATION/CONTRIBUTION?

1,000,000,000,000.000

OK, not really. How about whatever you can give? Does that work?

Right now, in my situation, the budget is tight in the "BH" household. But, I know that I can at the very least sacrifice something insignificant, like a BH burger, each month to contribute to the cause. So, I'm going to donate 5-10 dollars a month until things change my way. I highly encourage you all to do the same.

6) Wait a minute. DOES WSU EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS??

Yep. In fact, WSU likes the idea. We approached them late last year about something like this, and they reciprocated the interest. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented anything further. OK, we basically dropped the ball. You know, stuff came up! But our desire to help has never wavered. We are now focused on what needs to be done, and it is time to get rolling.

7) WHEN WILL THIS GET STARTED AGAIN?

In the coming weeks. In the next day or two I will be back in touch with the WSU Athletic Department to help formalize the concept and begin working on logistics. Given the severity of our current situation, my guess is that it will not take long to get something in place.

In the meantime, I hope you will begin considering who it is that you can solicit to give a buck or ten (million?) to the cause. And unlike half the regular stuff on this site, no, this isn't a joke. It is urgent for all of us to step up and give whatever we can.

There are no more excuses. We are going to do everything we can to help. And we know, dear reader, that we can count on you to do the same. And don't think that for one second that a small amount of money doesn't matter. It does matter, and it will help. So let's show the rest of the conference that we care. And let's cement our standing in a great BCS conference like the PAC-10! The time for talking and excuse-machine-cranking is over. IT IS TIME FOR ACTION!



20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Along with donations direct to the stadium fund and athletic foundation, Cougar fans need to make a commitment to getting to Pullman and attending games if you aren't already doing so. That seat revenue is almost 100% profit for the athletic department. It's also a hell of a good time and great for the program. Recruits want to come and play at a University that packs em in, not some place with 40% empty seats.
Better recruits = more tickts sold, TV revenue, bowl games etc. If you can't justify seasons tickets, find a friend or 2and split them. I have a 2 year old, a 4 year old, work full time+, am taking 2 grad courses and live a long ways from Pullman. If I can do it, so can you.

biggie said...

You guys rock - great of you to step up and give the campaign some legs. This is exactly what we need!

Nuss said...

We'll ABSOLUTELY participate! We're a little more limited than you guys in terms of how prominently we can place the link (SB Nation controls pretty much all of the prominent areas), but we'll most definitely write a post promoting it and place a static link on our front page.

Good on you guys for spearheading this. I had thought about doing something similar, but really had now idea where to start. Thank you for getting the ball rolling, and we'll help in any way we possibly can.

Nuss
CougCenter.com

Sedihawk said...

Anony, no question the fundraising and renovation is half the battle. The other half is getting behinds in the seats. But this is it. We have to step up, or else.

Biggie, it's BH who rocks. This is his baby (BH's baby). We need to help, period, and this is what he came up with.

And NUSS, I will contact you on the side for more details as things are finalized. Whatever you can do is outstanding. We just need to spread the word, as far and as wide as we can. The idea of a viral campaign can really grow legs if done properly. $5 here, $5 there, it all can add up fast. Not that this thing alone will SAVE THE PROGRAM, but we need to do our part and encourage as much participation as we possibly can!

Anonymous said...

No need to set up a Pay Pal account. We can set up a direct link to the WSU Foundation Online giving site solely for the Martin Stadium Renovation. Please call me at 509.368.6729 to discuss.

Justin Felker

Sedihawk said...

Got it. Thanks Justin. We will be in touch shortly!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea and why was this not already done? Put it in place and lets roll towards a great stadium. The thing must go online now to fill the holes in the budget and Martin.

Can you all work on a campaign to change the stadium name? You know the stadium is named after a husky, the ultimate insult. What about Rosauers? The family has wsu aluni and they are an eastern WA big wheel. Cant they donate some money and get their name on the field? What about Paul Allen? Allen Field sounds good. How about Yakima apple market, like Tree Top? If the beavs can name their stadium after salsa we can name our stadium after apple juice. Why we have not dealt with the stadium name is beyond my brain power.

Nuss said...

I think I can honestly say none of this was done earlier because few of us realized just how difficult it was for this program to raise money. I think most had this attitude of, "Everything's fine." I mean, when we're giving our basketball coach big raises every year and making great progress on the stadium renovation, it's hard not to reach that conclusion.

Well, clearly everything's not fine, something I didn't really understand until recently. So let's get on it.

Sedihawk said...

Nuss is right. I think we had an idea things were bad, we had heard some things here and there. But the latest news, plus the Qwest money from that game now gone, there is no better time to get things off the ground.

As for the stadium naming rights? Ugh. There were strong rumors of something happening with that last summer, but then it fell apart. One of the rumors was that the brass of the company had some prominent UW alums that were sideways about the very idea that their company would want to partner up with WSU and not UW. Awfully disappointing. I guess when UW "fans" blame WSU for the collapse of SB 6116 (which is a joke btw), just say well, UW alums killed our stadium naming rights deal last summer. So there! :)

Tru23 said...

"One of the rumors was that the brass of the company had some prominent UW alums that were sideways about the very idea that their company would want to partner up with WSU and not UW. Awfully disappointing. I guess when UW "fans" blame WSU for the collapse of SB 6116 (which is a joke btw), just say well, UW alums killed our stadium naming rights deal last summer. So there! :)"you are saying UW fans squashed our chance to rename our stadium? what the hell is that! i havent ever heard that before. dang. you should go spread the word and tell those bums blaming wsu for their stadium failure to shut up. does uw egomaniac a.d. know this?

BornCoug said...

Great idea and I hope other sites follow suit. I never knew about the 6,100 number until last week. I was absolutely floored and at first embarrassed by it. After some thought I wondered whether the AD and Administration were also embarrassed by it because it was a number that never was reported as far as I knew. I mailed Floyd and Sterk on Friday and told them my feelings and that I was personally committed to not only pledge dollars but find others to follow suit. For the first time I saw Sterk talking to the 6,100 number and the push to double it by the end of the year. The low number of donors is something all Cougars can get behind and step up to the challenge.

It is truly time to put up or shut up. I was part of the problem but I’m hoping to turn that around. We must do whatever we can to support WSU in greater numbers and what you are doing is a great step in the right direction.

CougTat said...

We really need to try and combine the different groups (CF.c,cougzone, blogs, and facebook) into one location so we can track the donations and see the cumulative progress.

Its sad that the university cant do this on it's own but then again... we are COUGS and doing things for ourselves is something we are great at. If I can help in anyway please let me know.

My goal is to get 10 people I know to set up a min of $25 per month recurring donations. We can all afford that even in tough times.

Good luck to you and all those fighting the good fight!

Sedihawk said...

Tru, we can't go public with the naming stuff because we don't have the full details. And even if we did, it certainly wouldn't be our place to say so in a public forum. If the WSU brass believes that it should be public, then it will get out. And besides, it was last year, and most of all, it's just a rumor (and let me make that clear, a RUMOR). I know we weren't the only site that heard about a naming deal either.

Born, good call. I hope there will be some real momentum once it gets started. It is time for people to decide if they want to really help. I guess we'll find out if this works, but it's time to do something!

Sedihawk said...

Tat, there will be one spot that all the sites can go to in order to donate. We will get the details worked out shortly, and all the different sites that you mention? They will all have access to it, all in one location, and hopefully as easy as it sounds. Cougcenter is in, and we will be reaching out to the other sites in the next day or so to see if we can all get on board.

kaddy said...

Hawk - you're my hero. This is the kind of thing that Cougar Nation needs. Anyone can afford $10 a month - that's $120 a year and it makes you a member of the Athletic Foundation.

For those of you that don't know, when Sterk took over, WSU barely had 4,000 annual donors to athletics, so it's grown over 50%, but we still have a LONG way to go.

kaddy said...

I now realize that BH wrote the article, so the same goes for you, bro.

Sedihawk said...

Thanks Kaddy! You are one that cares and gives as much as anyone I know. But we are all in this together now. We will hopefully rise to the occasion, and that time is now.

Selahcoug said...

Right on, good work guys. This is something everyone can get behind and will hopefully spread to more people and increase donors. Once the season starts, we will have to have a big Blog tailgate party before one of the games to help advertise the blogs as well. I will be setup in the back rv lot and also know some guys in the front lot if we can help get it going. By the way, I can at least still get on here on the home computer Sedi.

Cougar Chels said...

Awesome idea, and it's sad how lazy I am (given how passionate I am about the Cougs). This will make it easier for me, and hopefully Cougs alike, to donate continuously. Thanks!

Grady said...

Damn Nuss beat me to it. We're definitely in - I think we can fairly easily make a sidebar widget for it.

This is exactly what Cougar Nation should be doing. Unlike our friends across the mountains, we can actually work together to support our Stadium fund rather than plead for taxpayer support.