By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Tampa Bay Editor
FNF Tampa Bay gives every team an opportunity to be on the cover of our magazine through the Custom Cover Project. Schools use the Custom Cover Project both as a fundraiser and an opportunity to showcase their players.
FNF Tampa Bay offers every school in our coverage area the opportunity to receive maximum exposure by not only featuring players on the cover, but also providing a full-page team preview on the inside of the magazine. Many coaches use the Custom Cover Project (CCP) as an annual fundraiser for their respective programs.
“We sold ad space on the back cover to take care of the cost of the print copies,” said Alonso head coach Ron Perisee, whose team did the CCP for the first time in 2019. “We’ll sell all 200 copies to parents, players and anyone else interested. That should net us $3,100. It’s a dual-purpose thing. It’s exposure for the players, and it helps raise some sorely needed funds.”
Land O’Lakes High also took part in the CCP fundraiser this year, and Booster Club President Chris Lewis said the school will use the additional funds toward a new headset system as well HUDL’s instant-replay package.
“One of the things we liked about this is it gives our players a piece of memorabilia to put away and pull out several years from now,” Lewis said. “Some of the players will go on to have successful college – or even professional – careers. To be able to look back at the magazine and see some of the guys they played against … we thought that was cool. In a digital world, there’s not a lot of print stuff anymore.”
Alonso has earmarked its CCP funds toward the purchase of new uniforms, sleds and chutes.
“We have some short- and long-term items to address,” Perisee said. “Really, the money will end up going to a number of different things.”
Once a school commits to the CCP, the program’s head coach is asked to complete a questionnaire that is used to draft an editorial for the full-page feature. An FNF Tampa Bay editorial staff member then reaches out to the coach for an interview, roster, schedule, along with photos for the magazine.
“It was pretty simple,” Lewis said. “We supplied the spring roster and set up a photographer for a photo shoot. FNF walked us through the process. We didn’t sell advertising this year, but we will in the future. We’ll sell the back cover and offset the risk.”
Perisee plans to surprise his team with the magazines with his players on the cover at the start of fall training camp.
“The product sells itself,” Perisee said. “What parent wouldn’t want to buy a magazine with their kid on the cover? If you’re a supporter of the program, you can see that this is a national publication that is showcasing your local team.”
5 Tips for the Custom Cover Project
- Include everyone and everything. Most coaches choose to recognize their seniors on the cover of the magazine, which is a nice way to honor their four-year commitments to the program. However, FNF Magazine provides plenty of space for other photos and a roster.
- Ask players to sell their share. CCP schools often have a system in place in which each player is responsible for selling a certain number of magazines.
- Sell ad space. Some coaches cover the cost of their CCP entirely by ad sales, making any income generated from magazine sales extra revenue.
- Follow our instructions. We’ll help you through each step of the process with fundraising advice, photo specs and other tips.
- Be clear about how you plan to spend the proceeds. Players will be more invested in helping the sales effort if they know how the money will be spent.