K-State among leaders in fiscal responsibility

MANHATTAN, Kan. - While some athletics departments across the country struggle to make ends meet, Kansas State has become a model of fiscal efficiency under Athletics Director Tim Weiser.

According to a report in the August edition of CFO magazine, Kansas State ranks as the seventh-most fiscally responsible athletics department in the nation.

The magazine reports that Kansas State's fiscal position stands in stark contrast to the current landscape in college athletics in which "just nine percent of Division I schools had athletic departments that were able to support themselves."

"The fact that we have been able to hold season ticket prices relatively steady these past five years really speaks to our ability to effectively accomplish two things," said Weiser. "One is our success in creating new revenue from sources other than the pockets of our fans. The second is our efficient management of those new revenue streams.

"Given that we rank in the lower half of the Big 12 Conference in overall budget, we obviously still have room to grow," Weiser added. "We are proud of this recognition as are the K-State faithful who entrust us to be good stewards of these resources."

Since his arrival at Kansas State in July of 2001, Weiser has employed a combination of strong management principals and sound financial planning that has enabled the athletics department to achieve positive year-end fiscal positions.  Under Weiser's leadership K-State's annual budget has shown significant positive growth of more than 37 percent and is projected to be in excess $37 million for the current fiscal year.

These financial strides have been made possible in large part to enhanced fund-raising efforts and corporate sponsorship support as well as media rights revenues.

According to Weiser, it is these previously untapped revenue streams that that have simultaneously buoyed K-State's bottom line in the form of a first-ever reserve fund and yielded across-the-board facility improvements for nearly all of the department's 16 intercollegiate athletics programs.

Examples of those new revenue streams can be found in K-State's five-year sponsorship pact with Alltel that was signed in 2003, the department's television rights deal with Fox Sports Midwest and a 10-year multimedia and marketing rights contract with Learfield Communications that was negotiated in 2005 and represents the largest revenue contract in the history of Wildcats athletics.

"In order to be competitive and win championships at this level of college athletics, an athletics department must have good people and a sound financial game plan," said Bob Cavello, Kansas State's Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations.  "It's not about how much you can spend, but how wisely you allocate the resources you have available."

And the resources available to coaches and student-athletes at Kansas State continue to show signs of positive growth.