This season, Major Series Lacrosse is running a fundraiser to have free game broadcasts. In the past, almost all of their games have been pay per view. We caught up with Stephen Stamp, who is running the campaign, to find out how the fundraiser works.
1. Why are you doing the fundraiser?
The GoFundMe campaign is a way to attract donations to pay for live streaming of Major Series Lacrosse games. JVI Sports Network has done the games for several years with the regular season games free and the playoffs presented on a pay per view basis. The model hasn’t worked out very well for them in the sense that their costs haven’t always even been covered completely by the pay per view revenues. One problem is that the pay services for pay per view streaming take a huge percentage of each payment. A service like PayPal will eat up about a quarter of each payment. GoFundMe is a much better model.
My idea was to go directly to the fans who want to see the games and ask them to make donations that will cover the cost of streaming the games so that they can be presented as free webcasts. The ideal would be to bring in enough to cover all the costs so that regular season and playoff games can be free.
The end result would be that the games are available to as broad a viewing audience as possible. I think making the games available to lacrosse fans around the world is a great service because it’s a fantastic league with the best players in the world taking part. And with the GoFundMe campaign, people around the world can contribute to making the games available and then enjoy watching them.
2. How can people help?
Well, the most obvious way is to go to the campaign site and make a contribution. The campaign is still well short of its goal at this point, so it would be great to get contributions coming from a broad range of sources. The other way folks can help is to spread the word—share the campaign page via Facebook, Twitter and whatever other method you can think of and encourage your friends and fellow fans to contribute. Momentum is huge in a crowdfunding campaign so if people see their friends are contributing, I think that will encourage more and more people to get on board.
3. What can donors get?
Right now there are four incentives. Donate $35 or more and you can get an autographed 5×7 picture of your favourite player. There are also a handful of 8×10 mounted photos of some former Peterborough Lakers players, like John Tavares and Angus Goodleaf, that people at this donation level can choose if they prefer.
For $50 or more, you can receive two tickets to a regular season game at any arena in MSL and for $100 or more you can receive four tickets.
Also, for $75 or more you can have a meet and greet with a favourite player after a game. This is perfect for fans with young players who idolize the MSL players and would love to meet them, chat a bit and get an autograph.
Obviously, the tickets and in-person meeting are more targeted at folks who are in the area, but the pictures can be mailed to contributors anywhere.
4. Why should lacrosse fans watch MSL?
It’s a chance to watch the best players in the world compete in a great league. I’ll leave the debate about which league is better between MSL and the NLL to others because I love them both, but there’s no question that you’ll see great competition. If you’re an NLL fan, MSL is a chance to watch your favourite players in the summer. It’s also a great way to see future NLL stars who will be the high picks in coming drafts. For example, Wes Berg, Randy Staats, Chad Tutton, Graeme Hossack, Reilly O’Connor, Turner Evans and Dan Lintner and are all playing MSL this year and will comprise most of the first round in this fall’s NLL draft.
5. Anything else to add?
This is a new approach to streaming games but I really think it can work if the word gets out to enough people and they act on it. I’ve had a lot of people tell me they are going to go and make a contribution but then they haven’t, whether because they’ve forgotten or just haven’t gotten around to it yet. It’s important, if games are going to continue to be available, that people do actually make their contributions. So please, check out some MSL games and make a contribution so they continue being streamed. You can watch archived games at JVI Sports Network’s web site. Links to that site and a widget to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign can both be found on the MSL site. http://majorserieslax. blogspot.ca
Also, I’d be happy to answer any questions anyone may have, so feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.