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I answered my phone Tuesday and this is what I heard: “Touchdown, Florida State!”

It was the voice of Gene Deckerhoff.

“This weekend I called my final football game for the Seminoles. Today I have one more call to make and it is to you,” The Voice continued. “I want to thank you very much for your support of my career and your support of FSU Athletics and Seminole Boosters. Together we’ve been a part of many great moments in Seminole Athletic’ history.”

Deckerhoff didn’t actually call me. It was his recorded voice and it went to a lot of Seminole Booster members, but it was a thoughtful idea that touched all the bases for me. 

Who doesn’t want to receive a call from the Hall of Fame broadcaster?

“Thank you for everything and for renewing your Booster annual membership this year,” Deckerhoff concluded, “Go Noles!”

Seminole Boosters and the Athletic Ticket Office are in full blitz mode to grow the donor base and the number of season ticket holders, so it was a nice touch to send the thank you call to those of us who have already renewed our memberships.

If you are a current Booster and received the call, you may have felt the warm fuzzy, too.

Nearly 50 percent of the athletic budget is funded by Seminole Booster membership and season ticket sales, so increasing those two budget lines are critically important to the overall athletics budget and to the budgets of each of FSU’s 20 sports teams. The Boosters and ticket office are trying to climb back from a steep decline in ticket sales beginning in 2015, when ticket sales were over 40,000, to a little over 20,000 seats today. That’s a loss of about $7 million in ticket revenue per year. Every one of those season ticket sales has a Seminole Booster contribution associated with it, which can generate another $6.5 million in annual fund contributions. When taken together those two revenues are $13.5 million less than they could be. An additional $13 million in the annual athletics budget can help fund all 20 sports at FSU, so there’s a big emphasis for the Boosters and Athletics on acquisition of new members as well as new ticket holders.

While it would be easy to excuse the FSU marketing team if they hyperfocused on new acquisition, the Deckerhoff phone call tells me FSU hasn’t forgotten about their existing donors and ticket holders.

Renew by Friday, April 15

If you haven’t renewed your season tickets yet, do it today as the priority deadline is Friday, April 15. You can do it by calling your ticket rep directly, the ticket office at 850.644.1830, or by visiting Seminoles.com. This benefit is one you don’t want to miss as it secures your existing seat location and gives you a priority position for selecting unclaimed seats you would prefer. While you are at it, don’t delay on FSU-LSU tickets. They are taking requests now and will determine allocations by donor level in the coming weeks based on orders already in the system, so this is a nudge to do it now before its too late.