FORT MYERS, Fla - Phones at the FGCU Athletic Department are ringing off the hook. From sponsorships to donations, hundreds are calling and emailing wanting to know how they can help.
The Athletic Department is getting inundated with offers from local businesses and fans who have jumped on the FGCU bandwagon. Now, they're just trying to return the calls as fast as they can and capitalize on the publicity.
Butch Perchan is happily working overtime on Tuesday night. "I think I'm down to 380 emails. I'd say four out of ten about congratulations and how can I help the program," says Perchan. As senior associate director for athletics Butch works to get corporate sponsorship. Typically the one making the calls, but since FGCU's cinderella run, the calls are coming in.
"They're calling us and that means they're pretty serious about helping us out," says Perchan.
Last year the FGCU Athletic Department received more than $500,000 through sponsorships and in-kind donations. "It's almost impossible to comprehend how much better it's going to get," says Perchan."
"We're proud to say we're the vehicle of choice for FGCU," says Bobby Collins. Coconut Point Ford is one of more than dozen new sponsors giving six brand new Ford Escapes to the coaches.
And for the first time in school history, national sponsors like Nike and Adidas aren't out of their league. "If you'd asked us six months ago we're too small, people don't identify with you and it's just not the right time, but I think we can see it coming in the future," says Graham Diemer, Eagle Club coordinator.
Diemer says a part from sponsors, he's taken hundreds of call from new fans offering to help in any way they can. "I don't know that we'll ever have the type of exposure that we're having right now, so it's a strike while the iron is hot situation," says Diemer.
Anyone interested in donating to the FGCU Athletic Program can call Graham Diemer at 239-590-7107 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.