By Mike Bohn, Athletic Director
Your Colorado Buffaloes really hit the ground running in June. Between town meetings, “taste of” functions in two different cities, donor golf tournaments and several speaking engagements, I’m very pleased with the response we’ve received around the state to the YOUR TEAM campaign.
The financial piece of the YOUR TEAM campaign is to raise $3.7 million by September 1; I’m glad to report that just over a month into this project, we’ve raised $1.65 million toward that goal.
The items and projects these funds are designated for include athletic scholarships ($1.9 million); tennis ($1 million in a partnership to build a private facility); strength and conditioning ($400,000 for improvements and equipment in the Dal Ward Athletic Center for all sports); and soccer ($400,000 for Prentup Field additions and field improvements as the team will now have an on-campus home).
Some of what we have undertaken has been publicized, other things we are doing will lay the groundwork for future relationships with fans and donors as well as the media. Whether it’s doing a meet-and-greet at the Bolder Boulder or the 4th of July Fireworks at Folsom, the Taste of Louisville or Taste of Longmont, or the three town meetings we’ve have to date (two in Boulder, one in Lafayette), it’s been exciting to get out there and meet those who follow our program and answer their questions and concerns.
As far as working with the media is concerned, I think we’ve made some positive in-roads in building new relationships, repairing a few damaged old ones, and overall better utilizing what is available for us. After all, the media is the major conduit to reach our fans on a daily basis.
Through occasional roundtables with our “beat” media, appearances on talk radio like the one that KKFN in Denver offered us last month, and agreeing to be feature subjects on program’s like Altitude’s One on One, which has now allotted half-hour segments to both Gary Barnett and myself, we can do a better job of telling our own stories. You’ll also see that on July 11, when Fox Sports Net will air a special half-hour program to help us kickoff a season ticket campaign.
We’re also ratcheting up our presence in the community, with the centerpiece of this effort the Ralphie’s Kids Program. We’ve raised $185,000 to date for this effort, which will enable 1,000 kids to attend five homes game this coming fall.
On a smaller scale, we’ve also enrolled in Boulder’s “Adopt-A-Median” program; every few weeks some coaches and staff members will clean up the median on Folsom Street just south of Arapahoe Avenue. These programs are popular because they involve many groups and organizations, and it is just part of what we want to do in accentuating our working relationship with the city.
Media and community relations are important facets of a successful athletic department. You must embrace both because they play substantial roles in how you are perceived. So it starts with reaching out to the community, not only listening to what they say but making our people available to them, be it through speaking engagements, coaching clinics or personal appearances.
The fall sport seasons will soon be upon us; while it’s 60 days to the football opener at Folsom Field against Colorado State, it’s just 53 until the women’s soccer team opens the year for all our sports with an August 26 date against Vanderbilt. We have a lot of work to get done between now and then, but I am encouraged by both the feedback and response we’ve seen so far.
The Colorado Buffaloes are your TEAM, and remember that “Together, Everyone Accomplishes More.” I believe we are off to a very good start and it’s only going to get better.
Editor’s Note: Here are the dates and times of Mike’s appearance on Altitude’s One on One:
July 4 5:30 p.m. July 12 12:00 p.m.
July 5 11:00 a.m. July 13 5:30 p.m.
July 5 9:30 p.m. July 14 1:30 p.m.
July 6 1:30 p.m. July 15 6:00 p.m.
July 7 6:30 p.m. July 15 10:00 p.m.
July 9 1:30 a.m. July 16 7:30 p.m.
July 9 7:30 a.m. July 29 10:30 a.m.
July 11 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 6:00 p.m.
July 11 10:30 p.m. Aug. 15 10:30 p.m.