Women's pro football isn't profitable, yet. The biggest challenge the Outlaws face every year is raising enough money to finance the season. The gate at home games about covers the cost of renting the field and hiring the officials. The away games have to paid for through fundraising.
It takes $50,000 per year to keep the Outlaws playing. It is a tribute to Lily Messina and many others that the Austin Outlaws have met their fundraising goals for ten years and now into the eleventh. Fundraising isn't easy, rarely fun.
Back in 2004 I brought my camera to a car wash fundraiser, "Will Wash for Football". Do you get the idea they're having fun with this promotion?
|Cars getting clean - the players actually seem to behaving fun. |
But you need to wash a lot of cars to fund a football team.
A fundraiser I didn't cover is jell-o wrestling. The photo below was provided by player and friend, Cindy G. Everything was in good taste (strawberry, I think) but I considered it demeaning for the athletes. I will say the participants did this in a spirit of good sports an did appear to have fun. But how much money did it produce?
The car wash and wrestling were a long time ago.
Today a reason for the Outlaw's success remains players' taking ownership of team challenges. Including paying the bills.
Every player starts the season with a responsibility to generate funds. Typically they'll seek support from businesses, possibly restaurants where they dine frequently or employers or co-workers. Often a local restaurant will donate a percentage of sales on a particular day; and the day will be announced on Facebook or the Outlaws website or over the PA system at a home game. For other business sponsorships players may just go door-to-door from one commercial building to the next.
The team sells advertising on the Outlaws website or the game bulletins. They market t-shirts and other novelty items on the Outlaws Website. This year they produced a calendar and offered it to fans through Facebook and the website.
Today and until June 18, they're conducting a raffle - ask any player or communicate with through Facebook or the Outlaws Website for tickets.
The Outlaws can use all the support they can get. If you'd like to contribute, visit the website or send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll pass your offer along to the team. And do visit the website and shop the Outlaws store.
It would be great if the players could concentrate on football and not need to be distracted by the need to raise money.