“The boat’s not as big, but all boats sink if you don’t have football.”

Per The Athletic ($$), about 46% of Georgia’s fiscal 2019 athletic department revenue came from football, one of seventeen sports.  That percentage isn’t out of line with typical P5 finances.  But that’s not the entire picture.

… At many institutions, most donations are considered non-specific. Ohio State lists $71,940 as football-related contributions but more than $26 million as unspecified. Iowa, which generated nearly $152 million in fiscal 2019, had $900,325 in football contributions but almost $34.4 million in non-specific donations.

While Iowa proudly offers 24 sports, most supporters give money based on the football program’s success. Football and non-specific revenue account for 87.9 percent of Iowa’s earnings ($133.7 million). Likewise, Georgia, which has 17 sports, reported $154.3 million in department revenue and $149.3 million (96.8 percent) either directly or indirectly from football.

You’d have to think that without football, those donations are going to slow.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

7 responses to ““The boat’s not as big, but all boats sink if you don’t have football.”

  1. Ran A

    The success of football, has meant less of a required focus to solicit funds from alumni and fans for other sports. In short, it is ‘lazy’ verses the laser focus put on football. Understandable.

    Covid 19 has been rough on just about everyone. We are all touched by it in different ways. What I do know that it isn’t just what you learn from the lessons the pandemic has given us. It is what you do with those learnings. Some are personal and some are business.

    Example: It is just my wife and I, but we now own a good size freezer. We have looked for and continue to look for the right direct sourcing for food that we can do. This time of year, it is easy; but we have decided that having a direct farm resource is the right and smart thing to do. This includes vegetables, but the focus has been meat.

    We used Amazon.Com in the past. We now use Walmart.Com, and we purchase staples of food, can goods, bread, etc. online through Publix and pick it up. It keeps us out of the store, but in the long term, we have learned that this is a time saver and prevents ‘impulse buys’.

    If you are a corporation with significant office space cost. Trust me, the better companies are already evaluating their need for people, where they are staffed, who can work from home, how productive they are and the need for in person meetings. Travel budgets are being re-evaluated, sick time, working hours – you name it.

    So if you run a big program, at a big-time school; these same evaluations should be going on. Not the one’s you see above; simply put – how has Covid-19 affected us. What can we learn from that will benefit us going forward and help mitigate something similar to this happening in the future. And one of those areas should be, “how do we make our other sports less-reliant on football revenue? Especially woman’s sports, since we need to be compliant with Title IX rules.

    It ain’t rocket science.


    • FlyingPeakDawg

      We’re talking college AD’s here. Budgeting with reduced football revenue will seem like quantum physics.


    • Will (the other one)

      In a “one season with no football” or “season but no fans” scenario, I could see top ADs get bailed out — the market has bounced back, lots of donors are not facing unemployment, they just aren’t in the office much. Any halfway decent marketing push and sales pitch could keep donations coming, and a “move to better seats by giving more” promo in anticipation of 2021 could increase funds.
      But the G5 and below would be crushed.


  2. sniffer

    Are those donations tax deductible? I know there was talk about removing the benefit recently but didn’t follow the results. I would guess that many donors are business owners of some description and with lost revenues due to Covid, probably don’t need tax deductions right now. Decisions to donate will be more difficult this year either way, deductible or not.


    • ATL Dawg

      Money given to the Butts-Mehre Country Club to satisfy Personal Seat License requirements is not deductible. Money given beyond those requirements might be deductible but it’s not clear.

      I’m taking the full refund option this year (for both PSL fees and ticket prices) unless they come up with a significant incentive for allowing them to hang on to my money for another year (i.e. roll it over to 2021). I don’t know if I’m buying season tickets next year or if I’m going to reduce the number that I buy, so I want my money back (again, unless there’s significant incentive for me to let them hang on to it). But no way in hell am I converting any of it to a real (i.e. non-PSL) donation. The BMCC can lay off some of their six figure salaried staff with cush jobs for all I care.


  3. Looks like the sausage making is starting to get down to 85. Hate to see Wilson go.