Friday, May 15, 2015

Q&A with Raleigh Flyers Co-Owner Mike Denardis

Mike Denardis, a co-owner of Raleigh Flyers, took time to explain their organization's player donation program which was publicized in early April.
Flyers' players can give double their salary in Five Ultimate gift certificates to any youth girls team, clinic, group, and/or TFDA youth girls league. Raleigh plans to recognize individual players on the team that chose this option during their May 17 game, which is planned to highlight women in ultimate with a girls clinic and a Phoenix (women's club team) scrimmage at halftime. In theory, if a $25/game player agrees to donate their entire season's salary (14 games) then they would be gifting $700 in gift certificates.

[NOTE: this interview was conducted prior to the signing of Jessi Jones]

SLUDGE: This is a great idea. How did this donate-your-salary-&-double-your-gift option come about?
Mike Denardis: This idea originated by the Five team. Ring of Fire has a relationship with Five and began discussing extending it to the Flyers, the program was discussed.

SLUDGE: Makes sense. Are any other AUDL teams offering the same option?
Mike: Not that I know of, but I imagine as the program gains momentum, more teams will want to offer it out. Who wouldn't really?

SLUDGE: So, what was the reaction from players when presented this option?
Mike: A great deal of our players were excited about the program. Almost immediately, we had several players contact us and discuss their desire to donate some or, in 1-2 cases, all of their salary.

SLUDGE: How many players would you estimate have chosen to participate?
Mike: I don't have exact numbers, but I'd guess 60-75% of our players will participate in the program in some regard.

SLUDGE: Explain why female participation in ultimate was targeted for this donation option.
Mike: It was Five's recognition of some inequity in the gender ratio of our sport. We have way more male players than female. This was a way of trying to close that gap some.

SLUDGE: How does the program work?
Mike: All players will give us a percentage at the end of the season in which they want to participate in the program along with naming the entity they are donating to and we will make the donation on their behalf.

SLUDGE: Does the team offer any other incentive options to players?
Mike: We have several incentive based programs that involve sponsorship.  Year one was a little bit rushed, but after having some discussions over our road trips and through the season, I think we will be well equipped for them to capitalize in year 2.

SLUDGE: Thanks for your time. Have fun on Sunday, and good luck the rest of the season!

No comments: