Plan looks to revenue growth, brand development

Joshua Farmer

Editor’s Note: The following is the third in a four-part series about the new Strategic Plan for Appalachian Athletics.

The Department of Athletics will focus on increasing external revenues to help with funding and developing a new brand, marketing and public relations strategy.

They plan to increase external revenues by a minimum of 5 percent annually, according to the 2013 Strategic Plan. The money will come from ticket sales and Yosef Club donations.

The Yosef Club currently has approximately 4,000 members. The plan states that they are trying to target young alumni, student Yosef Club and grassroots efforts to reach their goal of 5,000 club members by 2016.

“Anything that we can generate that doesn’t come from student fees is what we are focused on,” Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb said. “We are trying to sell more tickets and do more fundraising from the Yosef Club.”

Athletics is also planning on generating more money from their marketing contract.

“We can’t make freshmen buy tickets to the games, so we have to come up with other ways to generate revenue,” Cobb said.

Appalachian Athletics are partners with IMG College, which takes care of all the sponsorship and sponsor signs that hang in many athletic facilities.

Focusing on the external revenues will help athletics pay back the scholarship bill.

“We are trying to establish several ways for people to give money privately,” Cobb said. “Part of that money could give money to the scholarship fund and help pay for our annual scholarship bill.”

Part of external revenue is the “Excellence Society.” Cobb said that it will create a pool of revenue for athletics to do special projects and hire exceptional staff.

Athletics plan to start using social media to help with the marketing of the athletic programs. With the development of using more social media, athletics will intend to make rules and guidelines as to what can be put on social media outlets by student athletes and staff.

Last year the Department of Athletics used “No Equal” as their brand identity and is now developing a new one. Part of branding will be the discontinuing of “ASU” as a secondary reference for Appalachian State Athletics and replacing it with App State.

“I certainly think the more consistent we all can be, the better it’s going to be,” Cobb said. “We are just trying to get some consistency. That’s what the great brands do.”

Story: JAMES ASHLEY, Sports Reporter