Friday Night Football Magazine had Q&A sessions with three coaches to find out how the Custom Cover Project worked for their respective schools. Berean Christian (Fla.) coach Brad Carney signed on for the Custom Cover Project for the third year in a row in 2015.
What made you sign up for the Custom Cover Project for the third year in a row?
“I do a thing with each family. They get 10 copies, and I charge them $200. I say, ‘Look, here’s the cost of busing, team meals and all that stuff.’ The parents pay for their kids to go to school here. But that fee doesn’t cover everything to run properly. It’s an extra cost to play football, but it’s not like I’m not giving them anything in return. They get magazines to give to the entire family.”
How many families took 20 magazines each?
“I had about 40 families. A couple said they couldn’t do it. With 10 copies at $20 a copy, we raised almost $6,000 for the program. The guarantee I give is that seniors are on the cover. I also put a team photo in there somewhere. So, every parent sees their kid. We pick action photos and toss a coin to see who gets what. It’s a keepsake.”
It sounds like you take advantage of the extra inside pages that come along with the cover?
“We were well covered on the interior. We have 15 juniors this year, so next year we’ll have 15 guys on the cover.”
Is the process of providing photos to FNF Magazine difficult?
“It’s a little complicated, but we’ve gotten better at it. We had two separate photographers. They have the equipment. It’s tricky to do in the spring. Last year, we tried to put a non-football player on the cover as a way to lure him in, but he quit.”
Do you use a professional photographer or someone affiliated with the program?
“We don’t pay anyone, we have two photo buffs take the pictures. Now that we understand it has to be vertical and all that, it’s better.”
Do you sell any ads on the inside pages?
“I’m pretty adept at getting ads. We made $2,200 off of ads. I charge $500 for the inside back cover. I think I had $2,000 up front, so I had paid for the magazine through ads. The other 35 to 40 families that buy 20 copies, that’s all gravy for me. If you sell 10 or 11 ads at $250 each, it pays for itself. If I can sell one for $500, I’m in good shape.”
What types of businesses buy ads?
“One example is a pizza place we use four of five times a year. I just tell him we’re trading dollars.”
How do you use the money you raise?
“It’s good for anything from $6,000 to more than $7,000 per year, and we can spend it as we need. We do some team meals on Fridays so the kids don’t go home before the game. We do a team dinner at the end of the year. Any player that does the magazine deal has no cost, along with his two parents. I promise no cost as part of the magazine deal. If it’s a $3,500 team dinner, it can cover all that. I buy bananas, protein bars, water, sandwiches and other things for the bus rides to games.”