Joining Pac-12 Is One Factor in U’s Funding Increase

When the U joined the Pac-12 in 2011, there was anticipation that more funding and money would follow the move.

The revenue has increased as expected, particularly from television. The U’s projected revenue from televised Pac-12 football games is expected to climb to $15 million in 2015, according to a 2011 report done by the U’s Center for Public Policy & Administration and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The U’s move to the Pac-12 was also projected to create $3 million in revenue from the school’s shares in television revenues. Before the move, the U’s television revenue was around $1.2 million.

This growth in revenue is also reflected in the U’s athletics. According to a report in USA Today on finances in college athletics, after the U’s move to the Pac-12 in 2011, athletics revenue jumped from around $30 million to more than $38 million. Maria O’Mara, a U spokesperson, said not all the donation increases can be attributed to the Pac-12 move, though.

But the U’s athletics expenses increased with the move as well. With an exception in 2010, the U’s athletics’ revenues exceeded its expenses from 2006 to 2011.

Fred Esplin, vice president for the U’s Institutional Advancement, said the U raises more money than several of the other Pac-12 schools, but less than the bigger colleges like Stanford and the USC.

“Membership in the Pac-12 has been a great help to the U’s fundraising efforts,” he said, “not just in athletics but across campus.”

Revenue and donations to the U have increased in the years since it joined the Pac-12, though there was a trend of growth before then.

The U’s endowment, a gift that is not spent directly but whose interest will support future programs at the U, has also been steadily growing since 2009, according to an update from Endowment Pool Investment from June 2014. There was no distinct or significant jump in contribution to the U’s endowment in 2011 or afterwards since joining the Pac-12.

Other fundraising efforts, like the “Together We Reach” campaign, have increased the number of donors since 2006 but with no significant increase in rate from 2010 to 2013. The Pac-12 may have played a role in raising money, but it was only one of many factors.

Joining the conference of champions has benefited the greater Salt Lake area, however. In reports from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, the U’s conference membership helped Salt Lake City’s economy due to increased out-of-state visitors coming to in-state games.

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