Monday, May 4, 2009

Could you sell college wrestling? - results

On April 13th I announced a contest to determine who could write the best sales letter to “sell” college wrestling. One entry took a slightly different angle and is worthy of posting. However, there may be a permission issue that I am investigating. The other two entries came from wrestling historian, writer and fan – RevWrestling’s Mark Palmer. Mark did an outstanding job. I’m going to post his letter to fictional administrator, Pat Killwrestling this week and his letter to Aaron Sportsjunky next week. I hope you agree that Mark has hit both targets.

“Pat Killwrestling, PhD
President, Whatsamattawith U
123 Administration Center
College Town, US 12345-6789

Dear Dr Killwrestling,

These days, you have plenty of concerns. Your endowments have taken a huge hit from the stock market plunge. The current recession is putting added downward pressure on your budget, causing prospective students to delay -- or deny -- their dreams of attending college.

At times like these, the last thing you may be considering is -- adding another sport. Right now, intercollegiate sports may seem like an unnecessary luxury.

But... what if a sport could pay its own way... and then some? What if a sport could attract intelligent, high-achieving scholar-athletes -- men and women -- to your school who might not otherwise compete in sports?

That sport is wrestling.

Yes, the oldest sport, the sport of ancient Greek and Roman cultures, is the right sport for your college, right now. Here’s why:

Low initial investment: To launch a wrestling program, all you need is a room and a wrestling mat. You probably have a storage room in your gym, fieldhouse or student activity center large enough to serve as a wrestling room. Compare that to the acreage required for field sports… or the unique facilities necessary for water sports or equestrian activities.
Low ongoing costs: You already know what it costs to keep your existing football and basketball programs going for an entire season. By contrast, it takes only a fraction of that amount to sustain a college wrestling program. Top-tier mat programs report yearly costs in the $50,000 - $100,000 range.
Number of new students: By sponsoring an intercollegiate wrestling program for men, you can expect to add at least one to three dozen new students to your overall college enrollment. Add in a separate program for women, and you can double those numbers. Those scholar-athletes mean additional tuition payments now… and a source of additional alumni support after graduation.
Loyal fans = school support: Wrestling fans are among the most loyal of any sport. They never miss a single wrestling event during the season, which means enhanced revenues from the sale of tickets, programs, refreshments and souvenirs. What’s more, this loyal support can translate to increased donations to your college.
Positive notoriety: What do John McCain and Howard Dean have in common? The same thing that Chief Justice John Roberts and the late Paul Wellstone share -- they were all wrestlers in school. You might be surprised to learn that Oscar-nominated actor Tom Cruise, ABC News’ George Stephanopolous, and novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter John Irving once wrestled. Think of the positive press coverage your school would receive if one of your wrestler-graduates goes on to a successful career on the silver screen... or in service to his/her country.

These are just some of the benefits you and your school can experience by establishing an intercollegiate wrestling program. I’ll be contacting you next week to further discuss the tangible benefits of having your college become the newest school to offer “the oldest and greatest sport” – wrestling.


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