Relationship Between Success in Major Sports and Alumni Donations Thesis

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¶ … Sports and Alumni Donations

Increasing Student Applicants and Alumni Donations Through Facilitation of Successful Sports Programs

Alumni donations are a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to funding college life. When exploring this concept, there is a natural question which arises within the minds of college administrators: how are alumni donations increased? There are several methodologies that can be implemented to achieve this goal; however, it has been linked by previous research that successful athletic programs in colleges can help boost student applicants as well as alumni funding. Schools with successful college athletic programs can then reap the benefits of having more alumni to acquire donations, as well as an increase in donations of already established alumni.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Thesis on Relationship Between Success in Major Sports and Alumni Donations Assignment

There is much evidence to help show the idea that successful sports teams can increase both student applicants and alumni donations. Research has shown correlations between the success of college athletics and increased rates of students trying to get into various academic programs offered by colleges and universities. In fact, one study conducted in 1996 found significant relations between increased applicants and successful athletics. According to the study, Division I colleges who had won football or basketball championships saw huge increases in incoming student applications the year following the wins, (Frank 2004). This study focuses specifically on schools that had serious and competitive football programs that generated exciting and successful football seasons. The research found a large measurable impact on the number of potential students applying to the schools; "Applicants to the University of Miami increased by 33% for the three years following the school's national title in 1987; and when Georgia Tech shared the national title in 1990, its applications rose by 21% over the following three years," (Frank 2004:18-19). However, there are a few studies which show little or no correlation between winning teams and increased rates of applicants trying to get into schools (Frank 2004). These studies prove less influential within the given context than other studies which do show a strong correlation between student applicant numbers and successful sports teams.

The findings of such studies have shown that more funding helps increase the chance of winning students, which then increases the number of applicants trying to get into the school. In the modern context, "many prospective students are sport fans, some of whom may decide where to apply in part on the basis of their assessments of which institutions are most likely to play host to exciting athletic contests," (Frank 2004:15). More successful sports teams mean much more school spirit within current and alumni student body populations. Students want to be associated with big names within the college world (Frank 2004). This is a common pattern seen in colleges and universities all over the country. In one study, "college students were found to be more likely to use the pronoun 'we' and to wear clothing that identified with their schools after a successful athletic weekend than during times when they had drawn or lost," (Larimore 2007:1). These increases in school spirit can positive help the university in several key ways. One is that the current student body is much more satisfied with their college experience. However, as seen in previous research, it can also boost potential students wanting to apply to the school based on their associated image of student life and athletic success. Third, alumni continue on with that same spirit, which can literally pay off in higher alumni donations. The same feeling of school spirit that is a product of successful athletics goes for alumni. When alumni are more attached to their schools, they tend to donate more often in more frequently.

Additionally, having successful athletic programs can generate national recognition. Winning athletic programs can serve potentially as their own marketing campaigns for the school (Frank 2004). In many cases, this recognition is a free or cheap bi-product of the college's initial investment in its sports teams. According to research, "The names of institutions with successful big-time athletic programs appear frequently in the media, making them generally more familiar to prospective students," (Frank 2004:15). The more a team wins the more T.V. coverage that school gets. Sports can then serve as a form of national advertising (Frank 2004). Rather than compiling and funding a separate advertising campaign, schools can bank on their reputation and recognition for having successful sports teams as a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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