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K-State Today

July 1, 2011

A letter from athletics director John Currie

Submitted by Erinn Barcomb-Peterson

Hello, Wildcats!

Yesterday was the final day of the fiscal year, and I am grateful to report to you that for the second straight year we fully expect to have achieved a balanced budget for FY 2011 when we finish closing the books later this summer. 

Two years ago we promised in the K-State Pledge that fiscal integrity and transparency would be among our five core goals for K-State athletics. Through your support and participation as ticket holders and in the Ahearn Fund, new measures promoting efficiency and cost containment, and the excitement generated by the performances of Wildcat student athletes, we have been able to fulfill that promise. It takes a total team effort to achieve this goal – our fans buying tickets and contributing to the Ahearn Fund while trusting us to be good stewards of their gifts, along with the budget consciousness of our staff and coaches.

As I have said before, the grassroots support of our fans provides us a unique advantage here at K-State and nothing reflects that any more than when you make it to Manhattan to be a part of capacity crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Bramlage Coliseum and all of our other venues.

In keeping with our pledge for transparency, we are also pleased to share with you today our projected revenue and expense budget for FY 2012 which was approved by the board of directors of K-State Athletics Inc. earlier this week. We are excited that we can continue to invest in the student-athlete experience for all 16 of our teams as well as make steps to achieve our goal of having the best fan experience in the Big 12.

K-State Athletics Inc.'s operating budget of $51.46 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year will be the largest in school history and represent a 9.4 percent increase from FY 2011. Among other items, the budgeted operational increase for FY 2012, approximately $4.43 million, accounts for expenses such as a 3.96 percent increase in tuition and fees; a $150,000 football game guarantee net differential; compensation increases for coaches; various facility projects; an increase in our debt service facilitating construction of the east stadium upper-deck restrooms and basketball training facility, as well as a significant upgrade to our digital video production capacity as we continue to explore ways to promote our teams and student athletes to our worldwide Wildcat family.

Download the FY 2012 Budget Analysis here

In addition to our ongoing focus on efficiency, we will continue to target growth in ticket sales, the Ahearn Fund and contracted increases from our K-State Sports Properties media-rights deal as the primary revenue offsets to again achieve a balanced budget in fiscal year 2012.

You will also notice that the FY 2012 budget projects a significant rise in revenue from the Big 12 Conference and NCAA. Overall we project an increase in excess of $4 million in these areas from a combination of growth in the Big 12's television, bowl and other contracts as well as the simple mathematical benefit of dividing the "pie" among 10 institutions rather than 12. Obviously, we are very excited about the future we have in the Big 12 Conference!

As we announced previously this spring, we are fortunate to be able to work towards our core goal of providing value to the university by reducing the direct support the athletic department receives from university/state funds from $1.526 million in FY 2011 to $1 million in FY 2012. These dollars can then be re-invested by President Schulz into critical academic needs that correspond to his K-State 2025 plan. You might find this article earlier this week in USA Today interesting in illustrating national conditions in relation to K-State.

We continue to work every day to reach our goal of providing our 465 student-athletes a world-class experience, while also striving for championship-level athletic performances. More than 52 percent of our budget comes from individual private support such as ticket purchases and contributions to the Ahearn Fund - your participation and support continues to be the winning edge for K-State.

And remember, our goal of having the best fan experience in the Big 12 also includes a commitment to be economically accessible to ALL our fans. Click here to order tickets or for more information.

Setting the Standard
I am so proud of our staff and how hard they continue to work on behalf of you and our student-athletes. This month, several of our units received even more proof of the national standard we are sustaining here at K-State by bringing home national awards from their respective organizations. Led by Joni Smoller, the fan experience and sales department earned two awards, including a first-place honor and a runner-up effort. The gold medal award was in the season ticket sales campaign category for its men’s basketball campaign to increase season ticket holders and revenue from the 2009-2010 season to the 2010-2011 season, while the silver award came in the new revenue-generating idea category, which was for the “K-State Athletic Business Partners” initiative.

At the annual College Sports Information Directors of America convention, our athletic communications staff, led by Kenny Lannou, earned four “Second in Nation” honors for the men’s and women’s basketball media guides, volleyball media guide and Pinstripe Bowl postseason media guide. In addition, the bowl media guide cover — created by graphics designer Ron Cook — took home “Best in Nation” honors. Congratulations to these loyal K-Staters for their hard work and achievements! 

Best in the World   
Finally, I would like to congratulate several of our track and field athletes who competed in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend. NCAA champions Erik Kynard and Ryann Krais continued their run toward the World Championships as Erik took home third in the high jump to qualify for a spot on Team USA, while Ryann’s second-place finish at the event has put her in position to make the national team as an alternate. We are very proud of the success of these student athletes and are appreciative for their commitment and dedication to Kansas State University.

That's it for today. We are working hard to get ready for the 2011-2012 athletics season following our tremendous success across the board in 2010-2011. Thanks for all you do in support of K-State student athletes!

Go Cats!

John Currie 
Director of Athletics