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Wolfpack Ram

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NC State and other big schools have ACC TV money from football and hoops and much much bigger donor bases from which to help them make it through rainy days.

Bigger picture, It would be nice if folks cut the VCU AD a bit of slack on this. Between the obvious impacts of COVID and associated uncertainty, this is a real tough spot for a program like ours—we are more like a small business than a big franchise (P5), in these times. Perhaps folks can back off the animosity and figure out if/how they can help keep the program moving forward during tough times. If we are really a Ramily, now is the time to show it with maybe a bit more understanding and less malcontentedness.

These times are tough on all of us—do what’s best for you and yours, but maybe chill on the constant ripping of a small AD, trying to figure stuff out on the fly.

@Rowdy, not directed at you other than the opening reference to NCSU, just happens to be the last note in the string.

@RowdyPkunk reference to NC State is that NC State let season ticket holders credit their payment for season tickets this year to the purchase of season tickets next year. That has ZERO to do with ACC TV money. It's called serving your customer base in the best possible way. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason the VCU AD could not have offered a similar option vs. season ticket holders having to request a refund, which is going to cost VCU more operationally to process those refunds. It's just bad business on the part of VCU athletics. Keep the money and apply it to next year, versus having season ticket holders request a refund and then hope they renew next year. We're talking Business 101 here.
 

PRock

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@RowdyPkunk reference to NC State is that NC State let season ticket holders credit their payment for season tickets this year to the purchase of season tickets next year. That has ZERO to do with ACC TV money. It's called serving your customer base in the best possible way. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason the VCU AD could not have offered a similar option vs. season ticket holders having to request a refund, which is going to cost VCU more operationally to process those refunds. It's just bad business on the part of VCU athletics. Keep the money and apply it to next year, versus having season ticket holders request a refund and then hope they renew next year. We're talking Business 101 here.
Not even close to Business 101, start with the balance sheet then work your way back chief. It’s already been stated clearly why NC state may be in a better position for flexibility than VCU. If you don’t have the means or willingness to work with the AD during these times, i can respect that, but there Is no need for the ongoing sense of entitlement and malcontentedness being expressed—I have faith the AD is doing what they need to do in order to keep the boats floating. I’m sure it’s not lost on them that some feathers are ruffled, but sometimes it’s prudent for a business to protect capital and assets on hand, in times of uncertainty (business 100).
 

Wolfpack Ram

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Not even close to Business 101, start with the balance sheet then work your way back chief. It’s already been stated clearly why NC state may be in a better position for flexibility than VCU. If you don’t have the means or willingness to work with the AD during these times, i can respect that, but there Is no need for the ongoing sense of entitlement and malcontentedness being expressed—I have faith the AD is doing what they need to do in order to keep the boats floating. I’m sure it’s not lost on them that some feathers are ruffled, but sometimes it’s prudent for a business to protect capital and assets on hand, in times of uncertainty (business 100).

If it's about the balance sheet, then why wouldn't VCU want to hold on to the season ticket money and apply it to next year's tickets? How much interest is VCU going to earn on those refunds? Zero. And that IS Business 101. Any time you can have someone else's money work for you, it's going to help your balance sheet. If a 1,000 tickets opt out and request a refund because they can't credit those funds to next year's purchase, that's close to $500,000 the VCU athletic department is removing from the books this year.

And regarding NC State, if they are in a better position than VCU, why would they not only do refunds vs. having that season ticket money available to them for close to a year? It does not make good business sense to refund the money vs. holding on to it for close to a year at no cost.
 

PRock

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If it's about the balance sheet, then why wouldn't VCU want to hold on to the season ticket money and apply it to next year's tickets? How much interest is VCU going to earn on those refunds? Zero. And that IS Business 101. Any time you can have someone else's money work for you, it's going to help your balance sheet. If a 1,000 tickets opt out and request a refund because they can't credit those funds to next year's purchase, that's close to $500,000 the VCU athletic department is removing from the books this year.

And regarding NC State, if they are in a better position than VCU, why would they not only do refunds vs. having that season ticket money available to them for close to a year? It does not make good business sense to refund the money vs. holding on to it for close to a year at no cost.
I don’t know why the VCU AD is doing anything, definitely not privy to the balance sheet or thinking. Was simply pointing out the differences in scale and sources of revenue for NCSU (and many top P5s) vs ours, and speculating that is a significant reason for the differences in how things are being handled.

You could be right on the machinations of the balance sheet and several can remain baffled as to the strategy, but the larger point is whether the AD is

A) sinister
B) incompetent
C) making thoughtful choices based on the situation and needs to sustain, even if it results in some head scratching, belly-aching and churn.

I’m choosing option “C” and putting out a thought that maybe we should cut the AD a break as they try to manage through a challenging circumstance.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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If it's about the balance sheet, then why wouldn't VCU want to hold on to the season ticket money and apply it to next year's tickets? How much interest is VCU going to earn on those refunds? Zero. And that IS Business 101. Any time you can have someone else's money work for you, it's going to help your balance sheet. If a 1,000 tickets opt out and request a refund because they can't credit those funds to next year's purchase, that's close to $500,000 the VCU athletic department is removing from the books this year.

And regarding NC State, if they are in a better position than VCU, why would they not only do refunds vs. having that season ticket money available to them for close to a year? It does not make good business sense to refund the money vs. holding on to it for close to a year at no cost.

I believe you are missing the Business Ethics part. What are your projected losses over the next 5 years if you don't offer refunds as an option when your customers of 10, 20 even 30 years decide to terminate your services? Do you have customers to replace the customers you lost due to "not doing the right thing" ?
 
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Wolfpack Ram

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I believe you are missing the Business Ethics part. What are your projected losses over the next 5 years if you don't offer refunds as an option when your customers of 10, 20 even 30 years decide to terminate your services? Do you have customers to replace the customers you lost due to "not doing the right thing" ?

Not sure I follow you. I'm simply stating one of the options VCU should have provided season ticket holders is to credit payment for this year's tickets to the purchase of next year's tickets if they opt out of this year. Other schools are offering this option. Absolutely nothing unethical from a business standpoint regarding offering that option to season ticket holders. In fact, it's a very smart business move in an effort to maximize season ticket retention next year.
 
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PRock

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I believe you are missing the Business Ethics part. What are your projected losses over the next 5 years if you don't offer refunds as an option when your customers of 10, 20 even 30 years decide to terminate your services? Do you have customers to replace the customers you lost due to "not doing the right thing" ?
I think this is intended to address my thoughts, I believe Wolfpack Rams points were consistent with yours and I do agree with the thinking the current approach does not project the best optics with respect to customer care, but I don’t think anyone has raised an ethics concern. I don’t think anyone is getting bilked out of their money.

That said, the unknown is how COVID related maters are impacting the internal budget, ticket sales projections, likely impact to university funding in light of state budget issues (in 2019 over 60% of VCU AD budget of $36MM was funded from institutional sources) and donor support. As a student-athlete alum who did not play basketball but believes wholeheartedly in the developmental mission of the department across all sports, I am deeply concerned that some very difficult choices are on the horizon and am wondering whether the current approach isn’t at least partially driven by objective to limit revenue attrition in the near term and deal with the customer care issue down the road. Some may see it as shortsighted thinking, but once coaches/staff start getting let go and/or sports get eliminated, stuff gets real and the journey back becomes significantly more challenging.
 
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Not sure I follow you. I'm simply stating one of the options VCU should have provided season ticket holders is to credit payment for this year's tickets to the purchase of next year's tickets if they opt out of this year. Other schools are offering this option. Absolutely nothing unethical from a business standpoint regarding offering that option to season ticket holders. In fact, it's a very smart business move in an effort to maximize season ticket retention next year.

Agree but there's been some "talk" about crediting this years payments to next year being more mandatory than optional. I personally believe it would be wise for VCU to offer a 100% refund for season tickets and the $250 donation and also an option to defer part or all of it to next year.
 
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Wolfpack Ram

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Agree but there's been some "talk" about crediting this years payments to next year being more mandatory than optional. I personally believe it would be wise for VCU to offer a 100% refund for season tickets and the $250 donation and also an option to defer part or all of it to next year.

I'm saying VCU should offer both the refund option and the credit to next year's season tickets option. It just makes good business sense.

Don't even get me started on the $250 "donation" that's nothing more that a ticket fee.
 
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I think this is intended to address my thoughts, I believe Wolfpack Rams points were consistent with yours and I do agree with the thinking the current approach does not project the best optics with respect to customer care, but I don’t think anyone has raised an ethics concern. I don’t think anyone is getting bilked out of their money.

That said, the unknown is how COVID related maters are impacting the internal budget, ticket sales projections, likely impact to university funding in light of state budget issues (in 2019 over 60% of VCU AD budget of $36MM was funded from institutional sources) and donor support. As a student-athlete alum who did not play basketball but believes wholeheartedly in the developmental mission of the department across all sports, I am deeply concerned that some very difficult choices are on the horizon and am wondering whether the current approach isn’t at least partially driven by objective to limit revenue attrition in the near term and deal with the customer care issue down the road. Some may see it as shortsighted thinking, but once coaches/staff start getting let go and/or sports get eliminated, stuff gets real and the journey back becomes significantly more challenging.

I believe the same can be said for every small business out there. For three retail businesses within walking distance of my office, it has already become very real. They are no longer in business. One of the Owners has been a VCU Athletics supporter for over 10 years and I'm absolutely certain he's not in a position to offer any financial support to VCU until things get back to being a little more normal. Lean, Mean and creative management is going to be the name of the game, even for state funded industries.
 
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I'm saying VCU should offer both the refund option and the credit to next year's season tickets option. It just makes good business sense.

Don't even get me started on the $250 "donation" that's nothing more that a ticket fee.

Agree 100%. Heck I would even offer some type of incentive for those that defer their investment to next season. Maybe a couple RAF points or a free box of popcorn.
 

Wolfpack Ram

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Agree 100%. Heck I would even offer some type of incentive for those that defer their investment to next season. Maybe a couple RAF points or a free box of popcorn.

Other schools have offered the credit to next year's season tickets option. It's just plain shortsightedness on the part of the VCU athletic department to not do the same.
 

DisplacedRam

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latest email from VCU Athletics that came through this morning, nothing too substantial here but it's something I guess. The clock is winding down.--

"Ram Nation,

Amid the uncertainty of the past seven months, we appreciate your continued dedication to our VCU student-athletes and your patience as we forge ahead in an unprecedented climate.

We share your excitement for basketball season and we understanding your desire to have clarity on what shape the season will take, including our schedule, Siegel Center capacity, ticket packages and more. Our staff has worked tirelessly to solidify the answers to those questions, as well as many others. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the 2020-21 season.

Many questions that you have do not have answers today, but as pieces fall into place, we pledge to continue to provide you with updates as often as possible on social media and VCUAthletics.com.

First and foremost, our priority is to provide a safe, exciting gameday environment for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.


As of Nov. 9, here is what we know:

Schedule

The men’s and women's basketball staffs have not finalized their 2020-21 schedules. The seasons will begin on Nov. 25 and we anticipate the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule will begin the first week of January, as usual. We anticipate schedule releases very shortly.

Capacity
VCU Athletics will continue to work with local and state officials on capacity limitations for home games at the Siegel Center. We have used the Commonwealth of Virginia guidance of 1,000 spectators for sporting events in our planning process. Should those regulations change, we will adjust accordingly. To review current state guidelines, click here.

Virtual Fan Event
The Black & Gold Scrimmage has grown into one of our favorite events of the year. We could not kick off our season without it. This year, we will host a Virtual Black & Gold Event on YouTube Live on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. Meet your 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball teams, see them in action, win prizes and bid on exclusive VCU must-haves, including a piece of the original Siegel floor! For more information, please see the full release here.

Virtual Ticket Packages
As all of you expect, we likely will not reach full Siegel Center capacity during the 2020-21 season. For those that cannot attend or do not feel comfortable attending a game in person, we developed a variety of virtual ticket packages to bring gamedays to you. These packages will provide exclusive content, instant-win prizes, cardboard cutouts for your seats and more. Continue to check VCUAthletics.com for annoucements around these packages.

Junior Rowdy Rams
Even without in-person events, we plan to provide our Junior Rowdy Rams Club with exclusive content and experiences virtually. Join today and receive access to an exclusive Facebook group with lots of fun content for your kids! If you join before Nov. 17, your child can participate virtually in the annual Black & Gold Autograph session! We will mail your card signed by all members of the team!"
 
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Jul 14, 2011
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latest email from VCU Athletics that came through this morning, nothing too substantial here but it's something I guess. The clock is winding down.--

"Ram Nation,

Amid the uncertainty of the past seven months, we appreciate your continued dedication to our VCU student-athletes and your patience as we forge ahead in an unprecedented climate.

We share your excitement for basketball season and we understanding your desire to have clarity on what shape the season will take, including our schedule, Siegel Center capacity, ticket packages and more. Our staff has worked tirelessly to solidify the answers to those questions, as well as many others. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the 2020-21 season.

Many questions that you have do not have answers today, but as pieces fall into place, we pledge to continue to provide you with updates as often as possible on social media and VCUAthletics.com.

First and foremost, our priority is to provide a safe, exciting gameday environment for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.


As of Nov. 9, here is what we know:

Schedule

The men’s and women's basketball staffs have not finalized their 2020-21 schedules. The seasons will begin on Nov. 25 and we anticipate the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule will begin the first week of January, as usual. We anticipate schedule releases very shortly.

Capacity
VCU Athletics will continue to work with local and state officials on capacity limitations for home games at the Siegel Center. We have used the Commonwealth of Virginia guidance of 1,000 spectators for sporting events in our planning process. Should those regulations change, we will adjust accordingly. To review current state guidelines, click here.

Virtual Fan Event
The Black & Gold Scrimmage has grown into one of our favorite events of the year. We could not kick off our season without it. This year, we will host a Virtual Black & Gold Event on YouTube Live on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. Meet your 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball teams, see them in action, win prizes and bid on exclusive VCU must-haves, including a piece of the original Siegel floor! For more information, please see the full release here.

Virtual Ticket Packages
As all of you expect, we likely will not reach full Siegel Center capacity during the 2020-21 season. For those that cannot attend or do not feel comfortable attending a game in person, we developed a variety of virtual ticket packages to bring gamedays to you. These packages will provide exclusive content, instant-win prizes, cardboard cutouts for your seats and more. Continue to check VCUAthletics.com for annoucements around these packages.

Junior Rowdy Rams
Even without in-person events, we plan to provide our Junior Rowdy Rams Club with exclusive content and experiences virtually. Join today and receive access to an exclusive Facebook group with lots of fun content for your kids! If you join before Nov. 17, your child can participate virtually in the annual Black & Gold Autograph session! We will mail your card signed by all members of the team!"
They really don’t answer many of the questions. You know like what happens when that mandate stays the same, what if the season is shortened, who gets priority, etc... but at least they have been able to work on creating a virtual ticket package that one can purchase. Seems like that is something they really spent some time on. Maybe they can just transition peoples season tickets costs to that package.
 
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ISwamRam

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They really don’t answer many of the questions. You know like what happens when that mandate stays the same, what if the season is shortened, who gets priority, etc... but at least they have been able to work on creating a virtual ticket package that one can purchase. Seems like that is something they really spent some time on. Maybe they can just transition peoples season tickets costs to that package.
I'd hope their motivation is to keep the $ in the bank and offer options like a credit toward the virtual package. I'd also like to see @Wolfpack Ram suggestion of a credit toward next years ticket price. I can't imagine they want to invest the time/effort to refunding money (and having worked for a large organization managing our 3rd parties, you'd be surprised how hard it is to reverse that flow of $ from the norm).
 
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