David Gow, President of Yahoo Sports Radio and CEO of Gow Broadcasting has turned to the popular rewards based crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, to raise funds for a sports broadcasting training camp. With 19 days remaining on his campaign, he has raised only $13,000 of a $70,000 goal.
Gow comments in his campaign video that he gets inquiries every day on what it takes to be in sports media. After being in the industry for 7+ years now, he’s heard many different stories from all walks of life on how they entered the sports media business. Each one was completely different from the last, and there is no real path to enter the business.
Growing up as a die hard sports fan and religiously watching Sportscenter, an opportunity like this is once in a lifetime. Having the opportunity to be a Vince Scully, Chick Hearn, or Harry Carry is legendary. You could argue that they’re just as famous and apart of the game as the players they talked about.
Why His Campaign Isn’t Doing Well
In youth basketball, camps or programs like AAU exist to provide kids interested in basketball an extra resource to become better. They are incredibly competitive to be apart of and often are the breeding grounds for future college or NBA stars. Gow is trying to create a top tier sports broadcasting camp that will be the eventual breeding ground for well known sports casters on ESPN, FOX, or various sports shows. I get it. It’s a phenomenal idea but his execution on his Kickstarter campaign lacks some key points necessary for successful funding. His campaign lacks proper communication of the camp details, features misperception, and far too many pledge tiers.
Who’s the training camp for?
In Gow’s video, the opening introduction is from a woman named Celeste Diaz who appears to be in her thirties. She’s self described as a sports enthusiast and talks about many of the general questions we all would have should we desire a career in sports broadcasting. At the very end of the video, she asks the viewer to help support the camp so she, and others like her can make a living in sports broadcasting.
So am I supporting her? Or others like her? Kickstarter is not intended for “fund my life” campaigns which I don’t believe is what’s happening here. It’s very confusing.
After Diaz’s first monologue, Capt. David Dadd of the US Army gives a short introduction and shares his dream of being in sports broadcasting. While I appreciate his passion, I now believe, as a potential backer, this sports camp is meant for a demographic in their thirties or looking for a career change.
I focus on this point because I don’t believe that is what this camp is intended for. In conjunction with university programs across the US, this media camp should be targeted at young adults who are looking to pursue sports broadcasting as their career. By making it seem his camp is intended for a slightly older generation, it becomes a turnoff for students looking to enter the industry.
How Come He Can’t Use His Own Money?
As mentioned, David Gow is the President of Yahoo Sports Radio and CEO of Gow Broadcasting. I have no knowledge of his personal income or net worth but the initial perception of him, is that he most likely has the money to fund this idea.
Now, I have no issues with wealthy people turning to crowdfunding. Despite people exclaiming that crowdfunding should be reserved for the ones who ‘need’ it, it has been widely popular among celebrities like Spike Lee, Zach Braff, and Rob Thomas. The difference between them and David Gow is they have a very loyal fan base with rewards targeted to their loyal fans.
But, the perception is that a man in his position has the funds to create this camp. Futhermore, as a potential backer, I am not sure who I am funding to attend this camp. As a potential backer, project creators have to give as many campaign details as possible so I understand where my money is going. In the process, project creators need to evoke my emotions in their campaign to make me feel apart of the experience and convince me why this needs to exist.
Too Many Pledge Goals
In Gow’s Kickstarter campaign, he uses 29 different pledge tiers offered to campaign backers. According to Michael C. Neel of Vinull.com, he found that most successful projects used an average of 9 reward tiers where as failed campaigns used an average of 7.5 reward tiers.
Gow’s use of 29 different reward tiers continues to communicate confusion to a potential backer. You never want to offer a potential backer so many different pledge options that they can’t be content with choosing any specific one. Often, they end up choosing nothing.
Probably the worst part of the entire pledge tier system, is that you had to scroll to pledge reward number 23 to find out the cost of the camp would $3,500. I don’t feel like that is an incredibly high cost of a camp, because I believe the value is real for people interested in entering sports broadcasting. However, anyone who has built a landing page before would tell you, scrolling to the the very bottom of a page to get the key pieces of information will get you no sign ups. Or in this case, no pledges.
All in all I still believe this is a great idea. Gow has the resume to provide a spectacular camp to people interested in sports broadcasting. The teachers, mentors and access to proper facilities look to be top notch. However, his communication and conveying the details of the campaign to a potential backer are very confusing. I’d like to see him remove 20 of the pledge tiers and communicate who this camp is for, the itinerary of the camp and how people can join.
What’s your take on Gow’s Kickstarter campaign? Comment below and let us know where you would have improved his campaign.