Team Ramnation (TBT 2019)

MobileMunchies

Top Member
Nov 2, 2013
13,334
39,124
I love the TBT and Ram Nation's involvement in it. I have been to every game other than Atlanta last season. I hate that it might be coming to an end. I am sure that VCU Athletics is limited in what it can do, but forcing them to turn down a sponsorship without offering to help themselves seems weak. It does seem like other schools are more involved with their alumni teams than VCU has been which is unfortunate as well. It is certainly disappointing that the fan base couldn't get the 1,000 registered accounts needed to add a roster spot and save $1,000. I know Wichita State had a large fan base, but I thought we were at least close. Based on fan sign ups and ticket sales we are not even in the same zip code.
And that's frustrating as I thought we were one of those joints with an INSANELY supportive fanbase. That always made me feel not so alone in my obsessive state.
 

RowdyPkunk

Top Member
May 19, 2009
20,105
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I hear everything you're saying. I will be testing that hypothesis next year as well when our team isn't associated with VCU. Without being able to reach out to a fan base, it'll be much harder to raise money via GoFundMe, so we're gonna see how that goes.

But here's also how I look at it perhaps differently than you and perhaps my main beef:

I ask these dudes to play, so I want to make it as pain-free financially for them as possible (even in raising funds to add players, these guys are all still paying out of pocket for a ton). VCU Athletics asks high school players to play so they pay them in the form of housing, a scholarship, etc. Their pro teams ask em to play and they pay them a salary. All I try to do is do my best to raise some funds for them because so far they've played three years and haven't won a penny in this. So that's just what I try to do. To me that feels like the right thing to do.

Do the main people at VCU / VCU Athletics have an obligation to donate? No, not at all. Do I think it's bush league that we rep them so hard (7 games on ESPN so far with more on the way, tons of press...not to mention TBT is renting their building), and they can't chip in? Definitely. Name a team at VCU outside of the men's hoops team that has put the VCU brand on TV as much as we have the last few years. You've got guys up there cashing legit checks that can't throw $25 in to help us get Jamie Skeen on the squad? That dude played is tail off and went on a Final 4 run that basically paid for all of their offices. I just hoped they would've remembered that. That just personally really rubs me the wrong way, especially with all the Family talk these days.

As for paying back TBT donors. I posted that on the previous thread and also inserted it into our GoFundMe page (that I would pay back double what people donated). That got our GoFundMe page temporarily suspended because it violated their terms of service, so I had to remove that wording. Let us win some money and see what happens.
Natty.... you have done a wonderful job. And I'm sorry but you don't need to "pay back" TBT donors. Whether it's against the rules of GoFundMe or not. The people that donated or have donated in the past have done so because they wanted to.... not because they have to. No one is holding a gun to their heads forcing them to do it.

Like you said, the fact that no one in the AD can donate money to help get some of these guys on the roster.... especially VCU Alums like Jamie Skeen (who was part of the biggest tournament run in school history & is arguably one of the biggest reasons, if not THE BIGGEST reason VCU has sold out 130 or 140+ games in a row.... and before someone comes at me, yes I know the sell out streak started before the Final Four Run.... but remember when games used to have tons of open seats.... especially when playing bottom feeders like Towson, or during mid major OOC games during Christmas break?.... that's not the case now). And lets not forget BA Walker, who is a fan favorite & a cool dude in his own right. The fact that no one in the AD can find it in them to help this team out is absurd.

It's also sad that, people have not gone on to sign up to support this team on the TBT site. Even if they can't support the team monetarily for some reason.... it cost $0 to go on & register under support for Ram Nation. Plus if Ram Nation wins.... they can win money just for signing up, retweeting a few things, filling out a TBT bracket, or sharing TBT links. The majority of us nowadays are on FB, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media all the time as it is anyway... how hard is it to go on & sign up to support the team?

And I know among the other TBT threads, on Twitter, I'm sure on Facebook & instagram too.... you, @MobileMunchies, myself & others constanty mentioned or retweeted mentions about going on to sign up to support the team.... cause if we got 1000 fans to sign up, we got an extra free roster spot.


Only thing I can say Natty is.... Thank you for all the hard work you have put in over the last few summers putting this together. Keep doing you man.
 

VCU Finance 2008

Top Member
Apr 19, 2009
16,064
16,620
I am not trying to be overly critical of the school, and I know they have different regulations than the rest of us, but you would think they could do something more to keep this going. Mat and the other Ram Nation guys started this deal 4 years ago. The fans donated money for roster spots and team travel expenses. The GMs, coaches, and players donated their time and I am sure some of their money for travel and incidental expenses. The fans buy tickets and travel to Charlotte, NC two years in a row as well as Philadelphia, PA and Brooklyn, NY for the second round. We came up short those first 2 years so no one involved made any money off of this deal, and then because of the success of the team and fan support the TBT decides to bring the tourney to Richmond and rent the Stu from VCU. That is better for everyone involved, but you would think that it would be in VCU's best interest to donate some of that money back to the team to keep this thing going since they are the ones making money off of it. Without a VCU alumni team involved I doubt if it stays in Richmond very long.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
16,320
26,637
And that's frustrating as I thought we were one of those joints with an INSANELY supportive fanbase. That always made me feel not so alone in my obsessive state.
Not to pile on, but this reminds me of when people have these thoughts of all of this money and support rolling in if we started a football program. Sorry, we're not there yet.
 

artRAMinMN

Top Member
Feb 10, 2009
10,469
12,400
The novelty wears off, fan-fatigue builds up, and there is a degrees of separation issue... how far can one stretch fan support based at its core through connection to a school and its actual team, especially when that stretches over to what appears to be a for-profit enterprise (TBT Enterprises LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, based in Boston, MA) that requires participants/players/content providers to pay for the privilege of furthering that enterprise.

And that doesn't even include the regulatory and reputational/due diligence aspects involved with institutional risk management.
 

Mistachill

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
16,320
26,637
The novelty wears off, fan-fatigue builds up, and there is a degrees of separation issue... how far can one stretch fan support based at its core through connection to a school and its actual team, especially when that stretches over to what appears to be a for-profit enterprise (TBT Enterprises LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, based in Boston, MA) that requires participants/players/content providers to pay for the privilege of furthering that enterprise.

And that doesn't even include the regulatory and reputational/due diligence aspects involved with institutional risk management.
I will say the TBT teams who seem to have the best support are the alumni teams where almost all of the players actually played for the school. It looks like with Ram Nation a little over half of our squad played for VCU (not counting Skeen). Maybe if we can't get enough VCU alumni to field a team we should consider a city connected team (VCU, UR, Union, Richmond area ballers)?
 

Natty

Co-Founder
Top Member
Insider
Feb 12, 2009
5,606
13,315
The novelty wears off, fan-fatigue builds up, and there is a degrees of separation issue... how far can one stretch fan support based at its core through connection to a school and its actual team, especially when that stretches over to what appears to be a for-profit enterprise (TBT Enterprises LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, based in Boston, MA) that requires participants/players/content providers to pay for the privilege of furthering that enterprise.

And that doesn't even include the regulatory and reputational/due diligence aspects involved with institutional risk management.
I agree on all points and I know that last point about TBT is something they are working on and have been building up toward being able to do themselves (and I've had discussions with them about where that's going).

Still, we've done this for what will be four years now (had 8 VCU players last year + VCU coaches, which was a full roster for most teams) and VCU has done next to nothing to nurture what's been a pretty successful product that basically fell into their lap.

I've been around long enough to remember when no one cared about VCU, so to see a product that puts the brand on ESPN a few times each summer just get ignored by the institution, I think is disappointing and borderline negligent. Obviously as GM I know just how tough it's been to get them to care, which has been frustrating on so many levels. When Dion Wright (from St. Bonaventure) played for us two years ago he said it was the first time he had ever played on ESPN, which I think is an eye-opener and a reminder of the reality of the value in that and in what we've been able to accomplish with the TBT team. Seven games played on the worldwide leader so far with an average run time of about 1.5 hours is 10.5 hours of VCU advertising on ESPN networks. That has serious value ("The average rate for a 30-second spot on the top 15 cable networks was $13,100 as of 2011. Of these networks, ESPN charged the highest rate, at an average of $31,551"...that's for 30 seconds), but the message that's been sent to me via VCU's basic indifference to it is it's not worth it to them and they could do without. As someone who has covered VCU hoops for the past 12 years, and paid for two degrees at the school, it's just hurtful to see how much I've had VCU's back compared to how much they've had mine.
 

TAEKWONDO

Insider
May 22, 2019
5
7
Dayton will have a team in the TBT, and they have several individuals within their athletic department who have made contributions to the Dayton TBT team. They stated Anthony Grant contributed $500.00 to their TBT team. With the great advertising, advertising is money, VCU gets through the Ramnation TBT team I would expect someone within the VCU administration to try to give some financial support. Wake up VCU administration!
 

RowdyPkunk

Top Member
May 19, 2009
20,105
17,821
Maybe if we can't get enough VCU alumni to field a team we should consider a city connected team (VCU, UR, Union, Richmond area ballers)?
Certainly an interesting concept.... but unless we stick to the basic 8 or 9 players... plus the 1 bonus roster spot (assuming 1000 fans actually sign up... which this year has been an issue)…. we'd still need money for additional roster spots. So we'd still be stuck in the same situation Natty has been in this year.

Plus, think about this, What if it comes down to the last roster spot.... and we have to decide between a player like TJ Cline (who may give us the best chance to win... gosh it pains me to say that)… or a VCU Alum for that last roster spot. Imagine being in Natty's spot having to decide that.... and then being second guessed one way or the other.

And knowing how people over-react to the littlest things around here.... imagine the reaction you're gonna get from some of the hot heads who think they know everything if Natty were to put spiders on our team.... even if they are really good players like Kendall Anthony or TJ Cline.
 
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rvaram

Top Member
Mar 26, 2012
2,770
4,402
We can't take money from paper moon?! Absurd. I've always said, once they buyout Richards and turn it into a craft cidery Richmond will have lost some it's flavor.
 
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ISwamRam

Top Member
Apr 20, 2009
2,287
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I will say the TBT teams who seem to have the best support are the alumni teams where almost all of the players actually played for the school. It looks like with Ram Nation a little over half of our squad played for VCU (not counting Skeen). Maybe if we can't get enough VCU alumni to field a team we should consider a city connected team (VCU, UR, Union, Richmond area ballers)?
RVA Nation?