Thursday, December 04, 2014

Crowd Funding in Pro Ultimate

At the start of the 2014 pro Ultimate season, two teams from the American Ultimate Disc League started a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo. Both teams were new to the league, and neither team met their campaign goals.

Salt Lake Lions started their campaign in March, and ended up with less than 10% ($2477) of their goal ($25,000).

Montreal Royal's campaign started in April and took in over 12% ($1835) of their $15,000 goal.

L.A. Aviators - a new team for the 2015 AUDL season - just started their campaign for $35,000! As of today (December 4th), L.A. reached over 15% of their goal, and has surpassed the combined total ($4312) of the other two pro team's campaigns.

UPDATE: At the campaign's close, L.A. brought in $23,407 - 66.8% of their goal.


The plea for money from professional ultimate teams smells of desperation. As if the team owner(s) bought a team yet cannot afford to properly run the team without additional funds.

Ticket sales, merchandise sales and concessions are the typical revenue generators from individuals, but require game attendance. Look at the UAB college football program which was recently canceled because it was not fiscally sustainable without the proper fan support. A Division I College football program! While team turnover has not been seen since the completion of AUDL's first year, teams in markets with other professional sports teams must find ways to bring in revenue.

Getting company sponsors and advertisers - a spectrum of local, regional and national entities - is important for any sports team. Crowdfunding is today's popular method to gain financial support from both individuals and companies. The advantage of online campaigns is it doesn't require in-person attendance, so there can be armchair supporters.

If I owned a pro ulti team, I would adopt the Green Bay Packers idea of offering stocks for fans to become shareholders. This model is more congruent with the community feel which Ultimate is known for.

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