Gamecocks Eager to Reinvest for Success
While COVID-19 has certainly presented more than its fair share of challenges to us all, members of the Gamecock Club continue to do their part to support Gamecock student-athletes.
As Gamecock Athletics found over 40 percent of its traditional annual revenue in jeopardy for the 2020-21 season due to limited stadium capacity, a reduction in games scheduled and other complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, it remained steadfast that donors could receive a refund for both season ticket purchases and Gamecock Club funds, if they chose to do so.
Even with that offer on the table, the Gamecock faithful have continued their unwavering support. At the completion of 2020 football season ticket sales, more than 70 percent of Gamecock Club members participated in the Reinvest for Success campaign, yielding over $12 million in donor reinvestment, including the donation of over $500,000 to the Athletics COVID-19 Resilience Fund.
“There are several reasons my wife, Jo, and I decided to Reinvest for Success,” Gamecock Club member Bob Carter said. “USC means very much to us – we met in undergrad passing each other beside the Russell House over 55 years ago. At every home football game, we walk The Horseshoe and remember the good times. We are looking forward to things returning to normal next year and hope that we will be two of the 80,000 screaming fans at Williams-Brice Stadium. As we often say, ‘Hope springs eternal!'”
However, this story is far from over.
Despite the strong response from Gamecock supporters, the hurdles presented in the near future remain. With a projected budget shortfall of over $50 million, every dollar reinvested in the program means more now than it ever has before. Currently, about $2.9 million dollars of reinvestment-eligible ticket money remains in donors’ accounts. Gamecock Athletics continues to focus on providing donors with flexibility and encouraging them to participate in Reinvest for Success in a way that personally makes sense for them. For instance, a donor that donates their ticket account credit receives a tax deduction and may be eligible for a series of unique Gamecock experiences. A donor that applies their credit to 2021 football season tickets will be given a 110% credit for doing so.
“We recognize that these are two different commitments made to us by fans – your Gamecock Club donation and your season tickets. Someone who is willing to turn their ticket refund into a donation – that’s incredible, especially in times like these. Any donor that comes forward and chips in right now, whether it’s a one-time gift or donating back their ticket money or Gamecock Club dues, really is showing why this place is so special,” Athletics Director, Ray Tanner said.
As it relates to Gamecock Club donations, adjustments have been made to required levels of support for the 2020 membership drive based on the number of donation-required sports for which a donor continued to purchase season tickets. As with tickets, all donors were given the option to request a refund or roll their donation forward to 2021 in the event they did not feel safe attending games this year.
“Gamecock Club donations go directly towards helping us pay the bills generated by our student-athletes – scholarships, medical care, academic support. We’ve offered refunds, but if a member can keep their Gamecock Club donation whole with us – that makes a tremendous difference for our young people. Our commitment to them needs to remain the same, but obviously that takes resources,” Gamecock Club CEO Steve Eigenbrot said.
While Pack A and Pack B Gamecock Football selections are completed, the opportunity to reinvest still remains. Many donors still have an account credit that can be reinvested in a multitude of ways: purchasing single-game football tickets, renewing men’s and women’s basketball season tickets, renewing a 2021 Gamecock Club membership, or a donation to the Athletics COVID-19 Resilience Fund.
In addition to reinvestment opportunities, there are a variety of ways that a fan can step up to help the department through the challenges of the 2020 season, including:
- Outright gift – As we navigate these trying times the department is facing an expected budget shortfall of over $50 million. The athletics department is asking anyone who is willing to make a gift of any size to consider doing so. These gifts are 100% tax deductible and will go directly to the Athletics COVID-19 Resilience Fund.
- Amazon Smiles – Doesn’t cost you anything and you still have access to all the inventory available on Amazon.com at the same price! Amazon will give a portion of what you spend through its website to the charity of your choice. Simply do all your shopping through Amazon Smiles and select the Gamecock Club as your charity of choice at checkout.
- Planned Gift – Are you interested in leaving the Athletics Department in your will? This is an easy way to leave a lasting legacy to the program of your choice. These gifts typically provide your estate a tax deduction for the entire amount of the gift. If interested in learning more about planned giving, please contact the Athletics Development office a 803-777-3271.
Gamecock Athletics kindly requests that all donors with a remaining credit inform the department how they would like their credit managed by December 15, 2020.