Here is a letter Wyoming athletics director sent to fans via UW’s Steamboat Sound email service to fans. Would love to hear any thoughts or opinions on this.
Pretty lofty goals of increasing the overall budget by 2014, but vital to UW’s success.
Dear Wyoming Fans:
As we begin a new fiscal year, I thought I would provide you with a financial update. You are such a vital part of what we do, and why we do it, and it is our desire to keep you informed. It is our hope that all of you, who are so loyal to our program, will find this information interesting. Our goal is to produce the best intercollegiate athletics program possible, and to represent this great state with class and respect, while operating within our financial means. Accomplishing this goal takes a total team effort, from our student-athletes, our coaches, the student-body, our institution and athletic administration, the UW Trustees, our legislators, and certainly you, the fan. We thank each of you and pledge to continue to progress and improve.
There is no question that the grass roots support of Wyoming fans is the key to our success. If we all row together we have a wonderful opportunity to overcome the challenges we face as the least populated state in the country. There is no better evidence of that than the camaraderie on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in War Memorial Stadium!
For the past fiscal year our operating budget was $25.1 million, and we operated in the black. That must be our goal each and every year. It is a challenge to forecast our revenues and expenses because there are so many factors involved. Many of those factors are not within our control. But we have been very fortunate in recent years. The budget for the fiscal year 2012 (July 1-June 30) has been set at $25.7 million. You can see on the attached pie chart how our expenses are divided. As you might have guessed over $9 million of our budget is in personnel and nearly $5.5 million is in scholarship costs. The positive aspect of the scholarship costs is that much of those dollars come back to UW in the form of tuition, fees, housing, etc. We are spending over $2 million in travel and we believe that will increase dramatically over the next few years as travel costs continue to rise.
We also have attached a bar chart that will show you revenue growth in recent years. It is easy to see how you have continued to do amazing work through your support. We will exceed $4 million in ticket revenue in 2012. Just six years ago we barely reached $2 million. What can we say but a huge thank you. Your support is extraordinary. The Cowboy Joe Club also has seen dramatic growth from less than $1 million to over $2.7 million this fiscal year. That is an unprecedented increase during a time when many of our fellow institutions are experiencing only modest growth, if that.
As mentioned last year, we have established a goal of increasing our annual operating budget to $30 million by 2014, and that will require significant growth. If we are able to reach that goal, I believe it will significantly improve our chances for competitive success. It is well documented that we are at or near the bottom in overall athletic budget in the Mountain West Conference. We will continue to work to find ways to reach a more competitive position going forward.
As part of that initiative we set a goal of 5,000 Cowboy Joe Club members (Drive for 5), and we are making excellent progress toward reaching that goal.
In 2007 we established an objective of reaching 10,000 season football tickets. As of mid-July we are thrilled to have eclipsed that goal. Congratulations to all of you who have helped us realize that dream by purchasing tickets, referring friends and relatives etc. We appreciate you deeply.
If we can maintain that football season-ticket level, reach 5,000 annual donors, increase men’s and women’s basketball revenue by 30 percent, and do our part in the win column, we will reach $30 million in revenue. When that happens, watch out for Wyoming!
In closing, we so appreciate our fan base. We hope you will continue to support our sport programs and the efforts of our student-athletes and coaches.