April 14, 2009
Waco, Texas - In an effort to enhance community spirit and support for its 18 intercollegiate athletics programs, the Baylor Athletic Department has unveiled the Baylor Spirit Program for the 2009-10 academic year.
This new initiative is aimed at asking local businesses to support Waco's hometown team, the Baylor Bears, by displaying promotional items that promote Baylor spirit. Items which will be available at no charge to local businesses include Baylor flags, banners, decals, Bear claw decals for sidewalk/floor use, posters and schedule cards. For participating in the Baylor Spirit Program, businesses will receive complimentary tickets to a select number of Baylor athletic events during the 2009-10 academic year in addition to the spirit materials.
"Our goal is to create an even stronger connection between Baylor Athletics and the local business community so that everyone appreciates the fact that when Baylor wins, Waco wins," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "Baylor is Waco's hometown team and this program allows businesses the opportunity to show their support for the Bears and Lady Bears."
Local businesses interested in participating in the Baylor Spirit Program may contact the Athletic Marketing Office at 254.710.3073. The Baylor Athletic Marketing Office, working in conjunction with a committee of community leaders chaired by Becky Lindsey, will be charged with distributing the complimentary display items to businesses that request them.
According to a recent study generated by Baylor economics professor Dr. Thomas M. Kelly, Baylor Athletics had a $155.6 million impact on the greater Waco economy during the 2008 calendar year, which is an increase of some $54.3 million over the previous study completed in 2004.
"This report is clear evidence that, with Baylor Athletics successes in generating financial support, comes a positive economic impact to the Waco community. Whether it is through our capital projects, camps, or hosting athletics contests that attract visitors to our City, we are proud to be an important economic catalyst for Waco and McLennan County," said McCaw. "We are grateful for the strong support that we receive from our local fans, the Waco business community and the passionate Baylor Alumni who contribute to these successes.
The two greatest sources of the program's impact on the local economy came from operational expenses ($83.6 million) and attendance at BU athletic events ($36.7 million), with $14.7 million of the attendance figure being spent by visitors to the Waco community for Baylor athletic events. Baylor football again made the biggest contribution to the area with an economic impact of $17.5 million, of which $7 million was attributed to visitor spending. Baylor men's basketball ($6.16 million), women's basketball (6.00 million) and baseball (5.048 million) ranked behind football and were the only other programs to provide visitor spending in excess of $2 million to the local community.
Use of Baylor's athletic facilities for events such as the high school football playoffs and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer camp program also make a meaningful impact on the area's businesses and families. In the most-recent study, use of BU's athletic facilities by outside groups pumped more than $7 million into the local economy, of which $2.8 million was generated through visitor spending.
The remaining sources of the department's economic impact to the community came from its capital spending projects ($26.2 million) and monies generated through individual sports camps (nearly $2.1 million) conducted by Baylor coaches in eight sports.
Dr. Kelly's study was again based upon the flow of out-of-county dollars that are spent within the local community during the academic year from events or functions associated with Baylor's intercollegiate athletics program. The "direct" economic impact generates additional spending among local residents creating a multiplier effect. An estimate of direct spending may be used to estimate the total economic impact by applying an appropriate local multiplier.