Marietta College – Virtual “Stadium Fill” Athletics Appeal

Posted on 03/15/2021

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Title Virtual “Stadium Fill” Athletics Appeal
Institution Marietta College
Submitted By Kathryn Gloor
Senior Director, Annual Giving
Category Special Campaigns/Challenges
Institution Type College / University
What fiscal year did this effort occur? 2021
Description Since we couldn’t come together in person to cheer on the Pioneers this Homecoming, we invited supporters to fill a “virtual” stadium by making a gift to an athletic team. Each $5 increment counted as one ticket toward a goal of 5,000 and the huge response led to us going “standing room only!”
What makes this unique This campaign leveraged the nostalgia our alumni have for Homecoming games, as well as the competitive spirit of our athletes and supporters. With prizes offered to the team that filled the most seats and had the most donors, as well as a special prize for the “Virtual Team Captain” who best leveraged social media to engage people, our teams were still able to compete even with intercollegiate competitions canceled during the pandemic. We used a combination of email, social media and video to spread the message, while Virtual Team Captains solicited gifts from their personal networks, extending our reach. The low entry-level ticket price of $5 made participation accessible to all, and yet our average gift was $50. The response was so enthusiastic that we are already planning a virtual stadium event next year.
Outcome This campaign (available at raised $28,200 from 469 unique donors, filling the equivalent of 5,640 seats in our stadium. As each gift was split between the donor’s choice of team and the Pioneer Club (the annual fund for athletics), donors provided funds for coaches to invest in team gear and training, and also new money that will allow us to add additional weight machines, improve a locker room, and convert a conference room into a dedicated space for recruitment. Supporters came from far beyond our traditional donor groups, with 10% having no direct connection to the college, and 22% of the donors being parents, a group we traditionally struggle to engage.


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