‘Our fan base has really stepped up’: WCTV sits down with Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford - Pt. 2

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The COVID-19 pandemic has reeked havoc on how many people spend their money, but how exactly has that effected collegiate athletics organizations, like Seminole Boosters?

Recently, WCTV was able to sit down with first-year Seminole Booster CEO Michael Alford and hear his vision for the future of the Seminoles.

You can watch part two of Alford’s sit down with Sports Director Ryan Kelly above. A transcript from their conversation can be seen below.

Ryan Kelly: Maybe a little later than you like, but at the end of 2020 you’re able to hit the road, shake the hands. How important was it to you to make that first face-to-face interaction and do it as soon as possible with the pandemic and everything that’s surrounded us over the last year or so.

Michael Alford: That’s a great question, because it’s extremely important. It’s something that Coach [Mike] Norvell and I discussed when I was first coming, that we’ve got to get out and we’ve got to share our vision, we’ve got to sit down face-to-face with our constituents - our donors, our alumni - and let them know what we’re doing, where we see ourselves going. But, more importantly, what processes we’re going to put in place to have success. We’ve got the right guy, he’s putting in the proper core values into the football program and really leading on the core values that A.D. [David] Coburn brought when he transferred over to athletics.

RK: Coach Norvell is one of a lot of coaches you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. How hands-on has that process been for you over the last couple months, listening and learning the needs of every program.

MA: Just last night, we had an event and I was sitting with Coach Neal Studd, our swimming coach, Coach Brooke Niles was there from beach volleyball. But, it’s really sitting down and finding out - and we’re not there yet, we’re working through some process - but it’s sitting down and finding out the needs of each program. What do they need to be successful? That’s our mission, to supply those programs with winning-edge resources. I really lean on a master plan because that really is something we’re striving for, is a facility and program master plan, and we’re working on that right now, because what that allows us to do is establish those processes and give us some direction over the next two to three years: What’s important now, what’s important five years from now, what can we address that allows us to put those processes in place that we know the direction and vision we’re going and then we communicate that with our fanbase and say ‘Here’s where we’re going, here’s what we need to have success,’ and then the supplying leadership and educational opportunities for student athletes.

RK: Resources aren’t easy for everybody in a pandemic. What’s that been like for you, as someone who holds up a booster arm trying to continue to give the best for Florida State?

MA: Well, I can say our fan base, our alumni, our donors have really stepped up. When I got here and did analytics of where we’ve been and look back at the history, as we’ve talked about, you saw a drop off in our membership over the last four- or five-years and then you start looking at the financial implications of that, about six million dollars, to our organization that we’re not able to transfer over to our student athletes, so we really went over that, that was our number one critical mission: How do we get our donor base up to where we want it. We’ve set a goal, we’re 78% of that goal right now, but to answer your question, what’s been surprising, we’re at 96% of our revenue goal so not only are people renewing, they’re hearing our message and they’re renewing at a higher level and that’s something I’m really proud of; they’re listening, they’re understanding the need and they’re stepping up right now.

See more of Ryan’s sitdown with Alford all week long on Eyewitness News at 11.

Part 1

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