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K-State Today

July 9, 2013

A letter from A.D. John Currie: Reviewing goal No. 2 of our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program

Submitted by John Currie

Good morning, K-State Nation!
I trust everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday and weekend and that you were able to spend some quality time with friends and family.
In last week's letter we began a review of our progress toward our Vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, which we introduced on July 10, 2009, along with our five core goals of:

• A World-Class Student Athlete Experience
• Value to Our University, Community and State
• Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance
• Championship Level Athletic Performances
• The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12

Today we review goal No. 2 — Value to the University, Community and State.

Here are a few highlights:

Economic impact
More than $125 million in new and improved facility projects underway and/or completed in the last four years means lots of work for local sub-contractors and materials suppliers as well as MHK hotels, restaurants and stores filled with out-of-town contractors and workers.

Out-of-state dollars coming into Manhattan and Kansas
Having season ticket holders now in 46 states, Ahearn Fund members in 49 states, and National Leadership Circle donors — giving $10,000 or more per year — in 20 states means millions of dollars are coming into our state and being invested into our university and community. For instance, this revenue helps K-State Athletics budget about $7.3 million to pay the costs of tuition, books and room and board for student athletes in FY 2014 — much of which then becomes university income that helps pay faculty and staff salaries and fund operations. And, with about half of K-State’s alumni and friends living outside the state and 50 percent of our season ticket holders traveling from more than 100 miles away to attend home games and cheer on the 'Cats, they are also staying at one of our fine hotels, shopping in the area and eating at one of the many terrific restaurants here in the Little Apple. Manhattan is a classic American college town.

Shining the spotlight on MHK
Since 2010 our staff has produced and hosted Big 12 Championships, NCAA Regionals and the WNIT, all of which have boosted the local economy in addition to bringing added exposure to the Manhattan community. Folks around the Big 12 are still commenting about the first-class event our staff conducted for the 2012 Big 12 Track and Field Championships, which featured more than 500 coaches and student athletes from every league institution including several 2012 Olympians. And most recently, three baseball programs and their fans traveled to MHK and Tointon Family Stadium for the first NCAA Regional in K-State history. The three-day event was again first class and even led to an NCAA baseball representative calling the 2013 NCAA Manhattan Regional "the best-run regional I have ever traveled to."

Dynamic leadership
We are fortunate at K-State to have such a dynamic leader in President Kirk Schulz, and it’s exciting to be a part of his vision of advancing K-State into the ranks of the Top 50 public research universities. President Schulz has also played a key role in the advancement of the Big 12 Conference and is the new chair of the conference Board of Directors which in return has provided tremendous value and worth for both Kansas State University and our league. He's also proven to be a respected leader nationally as the Big 12's representative on the NCAA Board of Directors and most recently appointed to the NCAA Executive Committee.

Record support
President Schulz, the KSU Foundation, our Big 12-leading K-State Alumni Association, along with K-State Athletics, all work together to provide a unified front to advance toward the K-State 2025 goal and that synergy is proving to be a winner. Many of our largest athletics gifts, such as the two largest Basketball Training Facility lead gifts from the Berneys and Johnsons, respectively, included an equal or larger allocation to academic purposes at K-State!

More generated by athletics means more for academics
Thanks to our fans, donors and our membership in the revitalized Big 12, we were again recognized this spring as one of only 23 intercollegiate programs to generate more revenue than we spent. This has enabled us to gradually — beginning in February of 2010 — phase out the $1.6-plus million in annual direct university support KSA was receiving at that time. We'll discuss in greater detail in my upcoming goal No. 3 review letter, but we are proud to have completely eliminated this direct subsidy effective June 30, 2013, one year ahead of schedule, enabling those dollars to be used for critical academic needs!

Home games and ticket sales equals sales tax revenue for Kansas
Over the last four seasons we've collected and transferred $4.96 million in sales tax to the state of Kansas.

Increased home games
Football scheduling is a tricky process with many game contracts set years into the future. It took us two years to get things straightened out, but we are now in a pattern where we should have a  minimum of seven home games in MHK each year — in addition to our Big 12 full round robin format which means every school in the conference appears in MHK over two years. We’ve had big national names like UCLA and Miami in Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will host Auburn in 2014.

The Big 12 Conference
Speaking of the Big 12, the instability and sudden changes we experienced in 2010 and 2011 are reminders that we have to continue to reinvest in the program if we wish to ensure that we are always among the highest level of intercollegiate athletics — and reap the "brand association" and national publicity such membership brings. And, the perception of K-State's national brand relevance is growing. Did you happen to see the Daily Oklahoman's recent story from Berry Tramel about the Big 12's strength when he mentioned "The Big 12 has found a bonanza with 10 schools. The Texas/Oklahoma franchise, coupled with some interesting brands like West Virginia, OSU and Kansas State, means the Big 12 gets top dollar from the networks...."

And, with virtually all of our games now televised via a combination of the Big 12's contracts with ESPN and FOX as well as our own industry-leading K-StateHD.TV, it has never been easier for our fans to follow K-State while we also take the national name recognition of Kansas State University and the Powercat mark to new heights!

Great leadership has MHK on the rise
When people around the country ask me what it is like to live in Manhattan, it is hard to put into words how great people across the community are providing the synergy and momentum that make MHK one of the best places to live in America! Did you know 5,000 jobs have been created in Manhattan since 2003? Have you seen our new downtown area hotels, visited the spectacular Flint Hills Discovery Center or flown into MHK on American Airlines from DFW or Chicago? Noticed the construction at the NBAF site or on the new state Department of Agriculture building? We are extremely grateful to be a member of such a dynamic community and proud to be doing our part to add to the development of MHK and K-State!

That will do it for today. Next up will be a review of goal No. 3, Integrity and Transparency in Matters of Ethics, Finance and NCAA Compliance, as we continue with part three of our five-letter series.

In closing, we wish our volleyball team the best of luck as Coach Fritz and the squad continue to represent the USA in Kazan, Russia, at the World University Games. We'll have updates of our Powercat-clad Team USA squad throughout the next several weeks here at k-statesports.com, so be sure and follow their experience.

Go 'Cats!

John Currie