Clever Campaigns Let Fun Reign
When crowdfunding was created, the main goal was to raise capital for startups. The untapped resources of non-accredited investors were ripe for the picking and the investors themselves seemed eager to participate. Now a few years into worldwide crowdfunding we have seen thousands of businesses launch who may have once never taken flight. The willingness of the crowd to pool their wisdom and resources for one common cause continues to prove the resilience and promise of global crowdfunding.
As time passes, most brilliant ideas tend to evolve. Their original purpose stems off in new directions and crowdfunding has certainly experienced this phenomenon. As many of you well know, crowdfunding campaigns are not strictly for startups anymore. People are raising money for medical bills, after school programs and many other non-business related objectives. These campaigns are flourishing in the U.S. and overseas for one reason and one reason only: the crowd can do whatever they want with their money.
Such is the case in the following three examples. Whether it’s paying off fines after celebrating a big win, bringing your favorite band to a small town or helping a movie get made, enough fans exist to make it happen. And it doesn’t matter if other people think it’s foolish – they may think some of your interests and allegiances are foolish, too. Their money – their crowdfunding campaigns.
Here are three of the most recent examples of fans using crowdfunding campaigns to pay for entertainment.
Ole Miss Faithful Pay for Field Damage with Crowdfunding
Anyone who knows how passionate SEC football fans are will have no problem understanding this story. Those of you who don’t, well, you’ll probably think these people are crazy. The Alabama Crimson Tide are a storied college football franchise in the South Eastern Conference and have ruled the past decade. On Saturday, October 4th, #7 Alabama played #3 Ole Miss on Ole Miss’ field. The Ole Miss Rebels won an exciting game and afterward, in true college football fashion, the fans stormed the field and tore down the goalposts.
The problem is each goalpost costs $11,000 (both were torn down), the field suffered $3,000 of damage and the conference fined the school $50,000 for rushing the field. A total of $75,000. To cover the damages, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork asked fans to help pay for the repairs through a crowdfunding campaign.
The result? $75,000 in less than three hours. In fact, 24 hours after the campaign was launched, a total of $92,433 was raised by 760 donors – all of whom were allowed to leave their names on a virtual wall as a badge of honor. Southerners love football and it is a chance to come together and share their love for something, which is exactly what fuels a crowdfunding campaign.
Athletic Director Bjorn says it best:
“We were going to pay all of this no matter what, and it was worth it. This wasn’t all about the money, it was about the connection and the cause and tapping into the emotion from the big win.”
Rock Fans Raise Over £250k to Bring Foo Fighters to Cornwall
When music fans really want to see a band, they really want to see a band. Especially fanatical rock fans. But if you live in a smaller city, the chances of mega superstars touring in your area are slim to none. That is, until crowdfunding came along. Inspired by a similar crowdfunding-for-hire success story in Richmond, Virginia, a U.K. crowdfunding campaign was launched to bring the Foo Fighters to Birmingham, England. Angela Young and James Warner, Directors of Warner Young Management, started the campaign which exploded to raise £160,000 in just two days. The original goal was £150,000.
A more recent tally of the Foo Fighters crowdfunding campaign revealed 2,208 backers pledging close to £250,000. Frontman Dave Grohl was quoted saying crowdfunding could be the “future of music” and offered this lengthy statement as well:
“I’m telling you, it could become the way that bands decide where they want to play. It’s a fun thing; it sort of changes the game. For the past 20 years we always decided who we’re going to play with and where we’re going to play. But now, if we hear that people want us to come somewhere, maybe we’ll come there.”
Jillian Anderson Wants to Crowdfund 3rd X-Files Movie
Ok, this campaign may be the idea of a star in the movie. But when you’re the star of a show with a cult following, crowdfunding is a perfect funding tool. Jillian Anderson starred beside David Duchovny in the hit television series “The X-Files” from 1993 to 2002. After the series ended, they made two movies to satiate the desire of their fans and the second installment was a box office disappointment. With the dismal likelihood of making money off a third movie, all major film financiers are not on board for a trilogy.
The X-Files crowdfunding campaign is not a reality yet, but if FOX gives the go-ahead, Anderson is very fond of the idea:
“David [Duchovny], I and Chris [Carter], our executive producer and creator, all are interested in coming together again in some format. We could crowdfund an X-Files movie. Yeah. That ultimately is what’s keeping it from happening, other than Fox giving the go ahead, which is not a small issue. But yeah, crowdfunding’s a good idea.”
Several movies have enjoyed successful campaigns in recent years including Rob Thomas’ Veronica Mars ($5.7 Million) and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here ($2 million).
After the three campaign examples you have just read, I hope your outlook on crowdfunding has been expanded. The original purpose of crowdfunding may have been to fund emerging businesses, but in a matter of years it has evolved into a funding phenomenon. When the first crowdfunding campaign was launched, who would have thought the same platform could be used to pay for storming a football field? Or luring a rock band to your small town?
If this is where we are now, I am excited to see what the future holds.
Thank you again for reading and please leave your comments below!