*Update* I no longer maintain my website and it would appear that the powerpoint has disappeared into the void of the internet, please contact Tyler Nehlig at Penn State, he's misfittyhere on PBN
Alright well, Penn State has historically been one of the biggest school-supported teams out there and hopefully some of our good luck will start to rub off on all of you. This year, we asked for more funding than ever so that we could participate in Class A. For schools in our situation this might be a stretch because the up-front costs (ie. Membership fee) are significantly higher than in 5-Man.
I've assembled a quick and easy guide on how to get your team funded this year...OK, OK.... most of it is just a powerpoint, but it's a pretty sweet one.
Part 1 - Prerequisites
1) Rank high enough in your conference to get a bid to join Class A.
(Currently only the top 4 interested teams from each division will be invited to play, with preference given to those who have played Class A previously)
2) Discuss joining Class A with your team, let them know costs may be higher, but the benefits are sweet. Get a group consensus before you pursue a bid.
3) Talk to Chris Raehl and/or myself and/or Rob Ortiz and let us know that you are interested and can commit to Class A.
If you're not playing Class A, all you need to do is simply join the NCPA by registering on www.college-paintball.com
Part 2 - Preparation
1) Call your student funding organization, or rec sports department and schedule a brief informal meeting. Facial recognition is key, get to know these people and kiss their ***, them liking you could be the difference between $75 bucks and $20 grand. No Joke.
2) Meet with said department, get a gist for how the funding system works. Who is eligible? For how much each year? Is there a cap? What forms do I need to fill out? Do they need confirmation of dates/prices from the sponsoring organization(NCPA)?
3) Schedule a formal meeting with them. If you are a recognized student organization THIS IS YOUR RIGHT. If they give you a line of bull****, threaten legal action. It worked for us back in the day.
4) Do some detective work. Find out who is on the board, do they have any gripes, or things to watch out for? Once our board was headed by a student who was on one of the largest "Anti-Gun/Anti-Violence associations" in the state. We had to be prepared to defend ourselves.
Talk to other student organizations in your department, find out what they did, what worked for them, what to watch out for. Sports like Mountain Biking, Skiing/Snowboarding and the like are most akin to paintball, at least in the school administration's eyes.
5) You need to be prepared for questions, lots of questions, think of it as a job interview. Questions such as the following will no doubt come up, be prepared to answer them fully, and in laymans terms.
"What is Paintball?"
"What is Class A compared to Class AA"
"Don't you use guns? That's pretty violent isn't it?"
"Why should we fund your organization?"
"How many girls do you have in your organization? - Why don't you have any? Don't you think you should have more?"
"How will funding your organization increase the quality of life here at (insert school name here)?"
"What will you do if you don't get funded?"
"We've noticed that you fell in rankings last year, why did that happen? Why should we fund you again/for more money?"
Part 3 - Meeting
1) Prepare a Powerpoint presentation to take to the meeting, find out if there is AV equipment available or if you have to supply your own.
I created a fairly good one this year, and though it is based on a proposal to fund us for Class A, it can be modified to suit anyones needs. Don't worry if your resumé isn't as complete as Penn States, it's taken years of work to get where we are at now.
Download it here:
Things to include in your own presentation:
WHY SHOULD WE FUND YOU?
- Team Accomplishments/Goals
This will get your foot in the door with them mentally. Prove to them that you are awesome and deserve thousands of dollars.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE FUNDING?
- Information on the Division, requirements, Season, etc...
Everyone loves some background information.
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?
- Breakdown of costs, and what you are asking for.
Now that you've warmed them up, toss the numbers on the table and ask for the check.
2) Be Professional! A shirt and tie is a good way to show this, greet people with a firm handshake, etc...again, think of it like a job interview.
3) Bring Backup! Trophies, newspaper articles, DVDs all of the above will only help your cause. Also bring another officer, they may want two perspectives in the room, just make sure you are both on the same page.
4) Bargain! CSTV is going to be huge this year, as most colleges get it on campus. These committees love publicity, and CSTV is an awesome bargaining chip. Make sure to remind the committee that if they pay for you to play Class A you will be on CSTV this season.
Part 4 - Epilouge
1) Recieve Check in the Mail, send a cut to me for all of this advice
2) Be denied and keep trying! The squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say. If they keep turning you down, try again until you are so annoying they just throw money at you to shut you up. (Also worked for us in the past)
Be aware that you may need to come back in for a seperate hearing, committees may need more specific details. This is a good sign, dont be discouraged and make sure you get to the second meeting.
Anyways, thats all for now...I hope you've enjoyed my little lecture here, and I hope it works for you. The sooner more schools support our league and teams, the sooner we will be legitimized as a real sport. Oh and Chris, can i get a sticky?