The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Athletics has begun a new multi-year campaign to increase the Blazer Boosters membership base and fortify a foundation for continued financial growth, both of which will position UAB Athletics to compete at the highest level of college athletics.
IGNITE encourages UAB supporters to become a Blazer Booster and further invest in student-athletes by continuing to grow support in athletics. The UAB Department of Athletics announced the campaign Nov. 26, and looks to jumpstart it in earnest today on Giving Tuesday, the annual global day of giving that happens after Thanksgiving. Those who choose to contribute during Giving Tuesday will have the opportunity to receive exclusive incentives beginning at midnight Tuesday morning, starting with a football signed by football coach Bill Clark and basketballs signed by coaches Rob Ehsan and Randy Norton. Follow @BlazerBoosters on Twitter or click here for the list of Giving Tuesday incentives.
Blazer Boosters members totaled 1,862 to conclude the 2017 giving year, the largest total in school history. However, UAB ranks seventh in comparison to other Conference USA institutions in overall athletics donors. As a founding member of Conference USA, UAB Athletics must strive to be the premier athletic department in the conference and compete for championships in each of the university’s sports.
However, being satisfied with being the best solely in Conference USA is not enough. UAB and the city of Birmingham intend to be leaders on a national stage. Other peer metropolitan institutions have larger bases of support than UAB, and the goal is to pass these schools in total athletic donors.
“We want to be the best at everything that we do. We have three Core Values in UAB Athletics,” said Mark Ingram, UAB director of Athletics. “We want to compete for championships, graduate with honors, and make a difference. To accomplish these goals, we must also win off the field by properly supporting our coaches and student-athletes.”
During the membership campaign, IGNITE will be promoted to alumni and friends of UAB through mailings, phone-a-thons and various digital avenues. The goal is to reach Blazer Nation in its entirety with the consistent message of investing in the continued growth of UAB Athletics. A Blazer Boosters membership starts as low as $50 annually, or $4.17 with a monthly payment plan.
“There is strength in numbers,” Clark said. “It is amazing what a team can accomplish when we are working together, and this membership campaign will continue to rewrite history for UAB Athletics.”
Measuring IGNITE’s success
In order to track the momentum of the IGNITE campaign, UAB has created benchmarks consisting of peer metropolitan institutions in hopes of surpassing these schools in total donors to the Athletics Department one by one.
The first two schools on the list are the University of Texas at San Antonio and UNC Charlotte, with 1,965 and 2,000 total donors in 2017, respectively. The complete list, along with all other information about the campaign, can be found by visiting UABIgnite.com.
“We have so much to be proud of and to celebrate in our Athletics programs,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “As UAB continues making record gains overall on many fronts, we are also having historic success in Athletics. We look forward to building on this success with the IGNITE initiative.”