What is Your Athletic Department’s Guarantee?

March 28th, 2018 | by Matthew Monte
What is Your Athletic Department’s Guarantee?


What can you guarantee your student-athletes?

A free education?

A family atmosphere?

A chance to be a legend?

What is so special about your athletic department that you would bank your reputation on it?

It may sound trivial, but “What is your guarantee?” is a question every business coach and consultant will ask you sooner or later. Most take the form of short statements like “15 minutes or its free,” but the exercise is meant to be introspective. A guarantee is something you believe you excel at, something you feel is core to the way you run your business or program. “15 minutes or it’s free” may come across as dumb, but it clearly illustrates a commitment to delivering the service you requested quickly and efficiently. It illustrates confidence and a core value.

There are plenty of athletic departments who’s guarantees are simple.

A degree from a Top 20 school.

The chance to play on national TV.

The best facilities in the conference.

While nice, many of these tend to be superficial and not many athletic departments can really make a solid claim to the best degree programs or facilities. That doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer though.

Your guarantee is more about the culture your build within your company, or in this case, program. It is the very statement you would tell a recruits mom, but with the added caveat that you 100% believe it to be true. That isn’t a knock on recruiting, but a note that we often claim things in college athletics that, while mostly true, are nowhere near guarantees. Can you really promise that you’ll keep any kid out of trouble and making straight A’s?

So, without resorting to a marketing pitch, what do you believe is so great about your athletic department?

Do you give kids every resource necessary to compete in their league and still graduate on time?

Is your training staff world-class, keeping players healthy and safe.

We should all have something we are proud of. It may not be the best in the NCAA or even the state, but if you give whatever it is the proper focus, making a part of your culture, you’ll excel at it. Even better, by putting a defining characteristic like a guarantee out there, you’ll attract the kind of student-athletes and employees that fit your program, because ultimately, they share the same values.

Take time to think about what your guarantee might be. They are rarely written overnight, but you’ll know them when you see them. Once defined, you don’t have to go plastering it on billboards, but it should be known throughout your department.

“We guarantee that any player who comes to State will get this kind of experience.”

It’s a simple statement, but it’s also one that could change your entire department’s way of thinking. A guarantee is an internal challenge you know you can win, and wins have a way of piling up once your focus is in the right place.

About Matthew Monte
Matthew Monte is Managing Editor of College AD and formerly Co-Managing Editor of Underdog Dynasty. He is a graduate of The B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at UL Lafayette, mostly because it didn't require a foreign language. Matt is also a recovering stand up comedian who occasionally relapses.

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