Red Wolf (Foundation) Rising

The upswing in AState athletics is starting to be reflected in the revenues of the Red Wolf Foundation.

We’ve been tracking the Indian Club / Red Wolf Foundation revenue since the 2001-02 fiscal year. From 2001 to 2008 revenues were relatively static, climbing in the 2009-10 fiscal year then dipping a bit before starting the current climb.

The most recent financial data available from tax returns covers the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. During this period Arkansas State went 10-3 with the first ever FBS bowl victory and first victory over a ranked team. AState lost Gus Malzahn to Auburn and hired Bryan Harsin. AState also sold the naming rights to then ASU Stadium to Liberty Bank and received the first payment under the $5 million agreement. Gus Malzahn’s departure also resulted in a $750,000 payment from Auburn to the RWF. Dean Lee was reassigned in early August and Terry Mohajir was hired in late September making it a year of significant transition. The Foundation recently completed the 2013-14 fiscal year. That data is currently not available. It is AState’s policy to not release financial data regarding the RWF beyond the release required by IRS regulations and at the time those reports are required to be filed.

While the data for 2013-14 is not currently available a reasonable estimate of the revenue can be assembled.

The IRS reports break income into three categories. 1. Contributions and grants. 2. Program service revenue (AState has never reported income in this category), 3. Investment income and 4. Other revenue. The last two reported years AState had $1.8 million in this category. Other revenue is corporate sponsorships and that was reported as $1.3 million and the prior year as $762k. I believe that coach buyouts for reporting purposes are placed in this category.

We know that Centennial Bank paid off the present value of the naming rights agreement when their purchase of Liberty Bank was completed. That is roughly $3.5 million in revenue. Bryan Harsin had to pay $1.75 million to be released from his contract. That is a total of $5.25 million before we even begin looking at donations, memberships and corporate sales.

Even though AState does not release the numbers in advance nor break them down except in the broad categories used for IRS reporting, AState AD Terry Mohajir has at times given percentages of income growth that can be used to further our estimates. Based on those we can assume nearly $1.25 million in unrestricted giving and roughly $900,000 in corporate sponsorship and sales. Mix in some restricted gifts and investment income and the Red Wolf Foundation can reasonably be estimated to have brought in around $7.5 million in 2013-14 and possibly even more.

The 2013-14 revenue though will be an anomaly. There will be no more naming rights revenue for the stadium coming in over the 15 year life of the agreement and presumably AState will actually complete a few fiscal years without earning income from coaching buyouts.

Based on rumors swirling from the buyers of premium seating about the number of available premium opportunities that remain AState would seem to have at least $800,000 committed for premium seating and that number is likely an underestimate.

Given the growth trend it seems safe to assume that the 2014-15 revenue will not be at the level I’ve estimated for 2013-14 but will easily surpass the most recently reported $3.2 million.

The Foundation’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. For this report, the year listed is the year of the start of the fiscal year. For example 2012 covers the period July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

The dollar amount listed includes contributions, investment income, and other revenue sources such as coach buyouts payable to the Foundation. 2001 $1,574,285
2002 $1,520,699
2003 $1,822,344
2004 $1,517,000
2005 $1,561,806
2006 $1,348,602
2007 $1,583,110
2008 $1,572,927
2009 $2,435,279
2010 $2,183,311
2011 $2,657,240
2012 $3,288,308