Athletics Challenge


Athletics Department and Development Office


To develop and promote an annual appeal to motivate current and former student-athletes to give to Babson. Lacking a traditional athletic rival, we felt a giving competition between Babson’s 22 variety sports teams, synced up to March’s NCAA basketball tournament, would encourage engagement among athletics alumni.

The Work

The Brian Barefoot Athletics Challenge, named in honor of former Babson president Brian Barefoot, was created to promote an annual tradition of giving. The sports team with the highest total number of gifts from former student-athletes—as well as parents of former students beginning in 2015—during the month of March received a $5,000 prize for team expenses, with second and third place receiving $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, beginning in 2015. We created a page on the Babson athletics website to host the leaderboard tracking team gifts, and promoted the contest through targeted emails, a postcard, and social media posts. We also sent a thank you postcard recapping the results that featured Babson athletics decal stickers.


The contest was a resounding success both in terms of participation and in money raised for Babson athletics. The first year of the contest resulted in 937 gifts and $56,000 raised, with those numbers jumping to 1,440 gifts and $109,000 raised in 2015. The 2015 challenge also included 318 first-time donors and raised the overall participation rate among Babson alumni to jump by 3.7 percent. Utilizing team affinity and relying on peer-to-peer and parent-to-parent outreach, we’ve developed a uniquely powerful pride-building tradition moving forward.​​​