Funds to support the WSU Shocker bowling teams come from a variety of sources. In essence, there are two basic accounts or funds through which all bowling program expenses and incomes flow: a) the Operational Fund and b) the Bowling Scholarship Fund.
This pool of financial resources facilitates the program's annual day-to-day, real-dollar expense of program operations.
A. The Strike-a-thon and Shocker Bowling Ball Giveaway
The annual Strike-a-thon, staged by the Shocker bowlers, is the single largest fund raising event of the year. It brings in anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000. Prior to the Strike-a-thon, each bowler gathers sponsors at a minimum of $.10 per strike. Then, on a designated date, all bowlers (assigned to squads throughout the day) attempt to roll as many strikes as possible. Each squad ends when the first bowler rolls 100 strikes. Each bowler is then responsible for collecting all pledged money from each sponsor.
The annual bowling Ball Giveaway involves the program's selected men’s and women's team’s as they systematically sell giveaway tickets at all of our community's local bowling centers. This program is scheduled to last two weeks and generate between $8,000 - $12,000. The money brought in helps to support the ever increasing operating costs of the teams, such as travel expenses, entry fees, uniforms, etc.
The Giveaway and Strike-a-thon's success and in reality, the program's total operation, depends on the Shocker bowlers themselves and the generosity of many gracious sponsors as well. This money offsets a tiny part of what the bowling program’s actual annual expenses are. Our bowler/parent fundraising pays for only 10% of our total operating costs. Examples of these costs are: tournament and conference travel expenses (i.e., gas, lodging and entry fees in addition to meal dollars), educational sessions, printing costs, postage and phone call expenses.
B. Student Fees
The Student Government Association (SGA) at Wichita State University, through the student fees allocation process, also applies financial support to the program's operational costs. Additionally, each student-athlete who tries out for the bowling team pays an annual program participation fee to help off-set the expenses.
C. Rhatigan Student Center
The RSC is far more than simply the Shocker bowling program's official sponsor; they are the home of the on-campus bowling center Shocker Lanes, which is located in Shocker Sports Grill and Lanes. They represent one of the biggest single sources of support the program has. The RSC pays most of the program's overhead charges, such as: van/vehicle maintenance, repair and replacement; use of office space; and, tremendous support of individual and team needs for access to Shocker Lanes bowling facilities, and relevant lane maintenance. The RSC provides significant tangible support in meeting expenses related to utilities, the book loan scholarship and many other day-to-day and long-term personnel and financial needs (e.g., accounting, insurance and computer support functions).
The Bottom Line - Operations
It is a fact that the WSU bowling program is highly subsidized by the RSC. With an operational budget topping $371,000 there is little doubt that the yearly costs of the team are increasing and is substantially supported by the RSC. In fact, even with income from both the fund raising and SGA support, the program's true, annual, operational costs greatly exceed its own ability to pay for them. This is where the RSC steps forward and offsets these costs. While the RSC bears the brunt of the program expenses, the university itself reaps the huge economic benefits from all the students in the program. With the vast majority of Shocker bowlers being out-of-state residents, WSU tuition and fees as well as room and board income is enormous. An obvious conclusion is that the bowling teams are a tremendous value to WSU. Certainly the quality of the program and the extensive notoriety the team has garnered for four decades has snowballed and created immediate name recognition for all the world’s young bowlers.
Separate and distinct from the program's operational fund, the scholarship fund also receives income from several sources to cover its annual expenses. These expenses include partial tuition grants to bowling scholarship recipients.
Scholarship Fund Expenses
The annual number of scholarship recipients can vary from year to year, but roughly 15-20 student-athletes are on some form of bowling scholarship assistance each year. Partial grants are awarded to scholarship recipients with in state or out of state residency. Around 15-20 athletes receive textbook loan scholarships.