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Crowdfunding in American Football

Die englischsprachige Website Growth Of A Game von Travis Brody hatte vor wenigen Tagen einen Text über unsere Crowdfundingkampagne von 2015 geführt, damit andere Vereine von unseren Erfahrungen profitieren können:

“We’re living in a digital age. It’s time to rethink the financing of amateur or semi-pro athletes and sports teams.

If you look at the websites of amateur sports teams, most of them seem to be stuck in 1998. The same problem occurs with earning profits. Most teams’ horizons end with sponsoring, ticket and concession sales at home games, and perhaps Fördergelder (government financial support). But there are new and innovative digital paths for teams to step into.

As much as crowded stadiums or plenty of online visitors to your official website are of commercial value, it is usually appealing to your potential sponsors to have a mass of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Another possibility on the rise is crowdfunding – online community financing through the internet.

In early 2015, two teams in the German Football League (GFL) were having major problems meeting the financial needs for their upcoming seasons. The Cologne Falcons, a semifinalist in the GFL playoffs the year before, were in danger of folding after losing their main sponsor in February 2015. On a Friday the 13th in March 2015, the Berlin Adler – one of Germany’s proudest football clubs with 6 German Bowl titles and 2 Euro Bowls (2010 and 2014) under their belts – were calling their club members in for a crisis meeting, to announce a 6-digit deficit. Ultimately €35,000 was needed as a short-term solution until mid-April to save the season for all the teams within the club.

The Falcons elected to save their season via the crowdfunding site and substantially failed to reach their goal. A goal of €250,000 was targeted, but in less than four weeks just a mere €930 was raised. As a result, the Falcons were forced to withdraw from the German first division and are now competing in a lower division.

Conversely, the Adler were far more successful – collecting €40,000 in 24 days via German crowdfunding platforms and – supported by large social media campaigns on every available platform.

The average successful crowdfunding campaign on Startnext ranges around €8,000. “A successful project depends on several key factors such as the individual idea, presentation, and communication,” notes Anna Theil, Head of Communications at Startnext. The campaign video is the central focus on the biggest German-speaking crowdfunding platform, mainly used by artists, creatives and startup-founders. “It’s all about introducing yourself and your idea in an authentic way, to win over supporters on the internet.”

Community members need to be inspired to participate in a crowdfunding project. In general, just one of every 100 visitors gives money to support a campaign. 1,000 visits equates to an average of around €1,000. A motivating objective that unites your immediate community is good, but what is really central to a successful campaign is targeting a wider audience.”

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