Recruitment Tips from the 2012 Membership Contest Winners
- Biggest new team
- Established non-varsity team with the most year over year growth
These are measured on the calendar year, so this year's contest (PDF) will end when next year's licenses go on sale December 1. We will also be running a contest in the spring of 2014 for the first team to surpass the previous year's membership by 15 license holders, so stay tuned for that for road season, as well.
Want to win your team a supply of Gatorade? Follow the advice of this year's winners, and also check out the advice from winners in Spring 2010, Fall 2010, and Fall 2011.
Current standings are available here. (PDF)
Biggest New Team in 2012: Fresno State University, 16 members
Interview with William Foster, 2012-13 Club President
What instigated the formation of the team? Who was behind it and what did it take to make it happen?
When I moved to Fresno two years ago, I had already been racing for a couple years. I had heard about the collegiate racing scene, and was actually surprised to find that Fresno State didn't already have a team. The Fresno/Central Valley area is a great place for cycling with the Sierras only a few miles away and so many days of sunshine per year. As soon as I arrived on campus, I used some connections from the local race teams to find two professors who are experienced racers, Curtis and Kristi Eastin, and a few students were were already racing non-collegiate who were also interested in getting the club started. The long, slow process of paperwork, planning, and recruiting began.
How did you grow it so quickly? What kind of recruiting techniques did you use? What is your membership like?
One of the main factors contributing to the club's quick success is our focus on all levels and types of cycling. We have created an environment through which any student on campus feels like the sport is fun, accessible, and welcoming both at the racing and non-racing levels. We have both road and mountain bike rides at different ability levels every week. We have also worked with the campus to increase the number of students who commute to school by bike and offer free bike tune-up days twice per month. We have also been able to raise enough funds through our gracious community sponsors and grants from the university to pay for 100% of the club's travel and registration without charging any club dues. Our only requirements for racers is that they devote time to the club to ensure the club's success on the business side (volunteering at events, fundraisers, recruitment opportunities, etc.). Most of our members are only able to race because of the supportive environment we've been able to create. Without that, our club would only be about 1/3 of its current size.
What do you see for the future of the team?
The future of our club looks very strong. The support for our team around the area is very good and we have recruited several community college and high school students for 2013-2014. The university will be increasing their support next year based on our current success (including this award). We have a large group of beginners who are very quickly coming up through the ranks. We were aware of the Gatorade contest, but we didn't know we were so close to winning it until late in the mountain bike season. The potential for Fresno State is so great that the team is pretty much running itself, with new members joining nearly every week of the school year.
Most Growth in 2012: University of Colorado-Boulder, 29 more members than 2011
Interview with Danny Hiller, 2012-13 Club President
The CU team has been around for a long time, and while it’s always been big in numbers and strong on talent, it’s also ebbed and flowed a bit from year to year. But it seems to be on the up and up- what has changed for the team recently?
In the years before I took over the team, we had a new president pretty much every year and had to completely rebuild the program from year to year. Having a group of leaders stick around for two years has brought some level of consistency to the team which helps keep the B and C athletes around. We have also done more to develop the B and C riders which helps grow the program. We have tried to set up a model for success and let our athletes know that we are serious about competing and developing riders, and It has been successful.
How did you grow the team so dramatically? What kind of recruiting techniques did you use?
We did a lot of recruiting of students that were already on campus this past semester. We went to freshmen events when they were moving in and let them know about us which really brought a lot of new faces to the meetings. We also have the pleasure of living in a cycling mecca and reaching out to the local High school MTB series and local junior development programs has helped us get athletes to the team. Our coaching staff has been great about replying to students who are visiting campus and meeting them in person to go over what we are about.
What is your membership like (male/female, mtb/road, beginner/advanced etc)?
We have quite a bit more males than females on the team, but over the past two years, we have started to get more women on the team. Having a separate women's coach that has a lot of coaching experience helps. We also have people like Cari Higgins in the community helping to build our women's program. We have a large mountain team, but the majority of the ones that compete a lot are more advanced. We have a larger road team, simply because we have more B's and C's that race.
What advice would you give to other student run teams for growing their membership and competing on the top level?
I would tell them to keep a level of consistency around the program. In a student run organization, there will be turnover, but it is important to educate the new people that are taking over the old officers positions. I would also tell them to look around their campus for people that want to ride/race. They are there, you just have to pick them out.
What do you see for the future of the team?
When I turn the team over to the next president, I will educate them on how to do my job. That will keep the program running smoothly and skip over that rebuilding period. Our program has been gaining respect and I can see us winning the overall national title and being the team to beat. We are working on ways to build our funding and continue to grow our program.
This Article Published October 3, 2013 For more information contact: