The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation has formed REBELS25, a membership program, as an opportunity for students, young alumni and community members to get involved with athletic programs on campus.
REBELS25 is a foundation rebranded and integrated with The University of Mississippi Athletics Association Foundation. It’s for people 25 years old and younger to participate in athletic foundations and make networking connections for the future.
“We’re very excited about REBELS25 and being able to connect with our donors of the future,” said Dan O’Dowd, assistant athletics director for development. “We feel like this program would be a great way for passionate Rebels to get involved today.”
According to athletics demographics, the membership base of the athletics foundation is getting older. The foundation’s goal is to get 10,000 members by the end of the year.
“There is a gap of the ages in our donor base. This allows students to get involved while they’re in school and while they’re transitioning out of school,” said Ashley Winning, assistant director of development. “We’re all about inclusivity; we want people involved.”
The program costs $25 as an annual fee with benefits including ticket promotions, double priority points and invitations to exclusive events.
“Ticket promotions include free or discounted tickets to athletic games, priority purchase to specific games and opportunities to meet athletic administrators, coaches, former student athletes and successful business owners,” Winning said.
The annual fees collected go toward the Athletics Department’s annual fund, which supports operational expenses, scholarships, coach and staff salaries, event management and more.
“I think it’s good for this age group because this is affordable and a way to get your feet wet to decide if you want to upgrade to a higher membership,” said Taylor Gosman, 21-year-old Oxford community member. “Players feed off of the crowd, so hopefully the program will increase attendance and support of the teams.”
Senior accounting major Dakota Greene, 22, also sees the foundation’s creation as a positive move.
“With the university growing, allowing students to be involved more is a step in the right direction,” Greene said. “I would consider investing because being a booster and having added benefits increases my chances of attending games post-graduation.”
People 25 years old and younger can join online or at the UMAA office. The membership lasts one fiscal year — from July 1 to June 31 of the following year.
“REBELS25 seems like it would attract a younger audience,” said Hamp Hickman, 22-year-old Ole Miss alumnus. “People who can’t afford the higher membership or live close enough to need season tickets could consider this option.”