CN introduces new feature

Anyone who follows Iowa State athletics closely probably already knows that year in and year out we have one of the lowest budgets in the Big 12. The reasons for our low budget are endless, and quite frankly I don't have enough room in this article to touch on all of them but I will list out a few.

In the year 2000, tuition, books, room and board cost the athletic department $3.2 million dollars.  This year those same expenses will cost $5 million.  During the 2003 school year the athletic department received $3 million of support from the university while this year they only received $2.1 million dollars.


On the flip side there have been many wonderful things that have happened inside our athletic department over the past few years.  In the year 2000 there were only 3,676 National Cyclone Club members, which generated $2.7 million in revenue.  Today there are over 6,000 National Cyclone Club members generating over $4 million in revenue.


Many wonderful facility upgrades have also taken place over the last few years.  Jack Trice Stadium has had many improvements, the Bergstrom Indoor Practice Facility was built and just recently money was raised to build a much-needed Student Success Center.  The problem is that even after all these wonderful successes our athletic department has accomplished our athletic department budget is still the second lowest budget in the Big 12.  This is why I feel we need to get creative and find new ways to increase donations and increase the number of season ticket holders.


For many years I have asked myself, how can my contributions compete with those of the doctors and lawyers who are donating their money to the Iowa Hawkeyes?  How can Cyclone fans compete with the massive amounts of money the Wal-Mart family donates to Missouri?  How can Iowa State fans possibly compete with all the donors Texas has?  I certainly don't have all the answers but I do think it is clear that we need to unite as a fan base, commit to do more and find creative ways to increase donations.


I will warn you, the suggestion I am about to make will not always be the quickest or the easiest method but I guarantee you it will raise more money for Iowa State.  This suggestion will require you to make some changes to your buying habits and will also require more time on your part.  But the question you have to ask yourself is how badly do I want to see Iowa State on a level playing field with other teams in our conference?  After that, the follow-up question to ask yourself is what am I willing to do to make that happen?


What I am suggesting is actually very easy: we should just simply buy products and services from Iowa State fans and supporters versus companies who contribute only to other schools or don't contribute at all.  Charity begins at home. 


Throughout all the years I have belonged to Iowa State websites I always see message board posts asking if other Iowa State fans know anyone who could fix their car or build them a house or whatever other product or service was needed.  The simple premise is that if we buy products and services from other Iowa State supporters they will most likely increase their donations and buy more tickets to games.


There is actually more to this method than simply buying products and services from each other and that is making sure each company knows why you are doing business with them.  If you simply buy a car from a dealer who supports ISU you are only completing half the transaction.  To make the process complete we need to tell that business why we are doing business with them and make sure they know that you would like them to increase and or continue to support Iowa State monetarily.


If you want to take the process one step further, tell that business owner where you saw their advertisement or how you know they are an ISU supporter.  The reason for this is if XYZ Company is advertising with Cyclone Nation or advertising in the football game day program or even if a company has an advertisement at one of the games, they need to know that their money is well spent.  If just one company stops paying to have a billboard at one of the games that costs the athletic department a lot of money so make sure these companies know you appreciate their support of Iowa State and that you would like them to continue that support.


Now, I'm sure some of you may be asking yourself how am I supposed to know which car dealership supports Iowa State or which restaurant to I go to?  The most obvious thing you can do is just start paying attention at the football and basketball games to see which companies are advertising.  However, Cyclone Nation is committed to supporting Iowa State businesses and in the near future we will introduce what we are calling the Iowa State Business Directory.  This directory will provide a list of all the business owners and professionals in your communities who support Iowa State athletics.


If you are a business owner or professional who has not been contacted about our directory, feel free to send an e-mail to and we will add your name to the directory.


As you will see on we will be featuring businesses throughout the week to make you better acquainted with each and every Iowa State supporter.


Many of us aren't able to contribute $10,000 to the National Cyclone Club.  For that matter, many of us can't even afford to donate $500.  Yet if we commit to supporting those who support Iowa State athletics we can make a difference one purchase at a time.

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