Flames Club Growth Follows Liberty Athletics Success
Liberty Athletics tremendous growth during the recent years has seen all facets of the department rise, including Flames Club membership and yearly donations.
The Flames Club and Liberty Athletics set a record in fundraising with over $4.1 million raised in the 2021-22 academic year. This figure is more than double the previous record of $1,852,000 raised during the 2020-21 academic year.
“We are grateful to Flames Nation for their incredible support and generosity that has manifested itself in record donor and donation numbers,” said Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “We are blessed to be in a time when the trajectory of all 20 teams and our entire department is on the rise.”
The Flames Club boasted of 4,358 annual fund members who raised and pledged $3,080,500 for the 2021-22 academic year. Additionally, Flames Nation supporters contributed Legacy Gifts of over $1.1 million through naming opportunities.
These funds support Liberty’s 590 student-athletes department that trains Champions for Christ by providing a high quality student-athlete experience and achieving victory with integrity.
Annual fund membership grew by 36 percent from a record of 3,208 members in 2021. This continues 16-straight years of record growth for the Flames Club.
“We continue to be blessed by all of Flames Nation. As our teams continue to elevate nationally in competition, our members and donors have responded with tremendous support. To every one of our contributors, we say a heartfelt Thank You on behalf of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” added Flames Club Executive Director and Associate AD Mike Hagen.
Liberty Athletics is the fastest growing athletics department in the country with nearly all 20 of its NCAA Division I programs reaching new heights at the national level in the last few years.
Liberty’s football program is just one of five FBS teams in the country who have won a bowl game each of the last three seasons, joining Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.
The Lady Flames field hockey program led the country with 20 wins in 2021 and became the athletics department’s first-ever team to advance to an NCAA Division I national championship game.
The men’s basketball team, who has qualified for three out of the last four NCAA Tournaments, has won 104 games over the last four seasons. This figure ranks fourth-best among all Division I teams in the country.
Both Liberty’s baseball and softball programs have advanced to NCAA Regional play each of the last two years, while the track & field program had six All-Americans this year at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Flames Nation had a huge turn out during the Flames Giving Day in November 2021, with 2,732 donors contributing $526,450 in a 24-hour period. Most of those funds directly benefited each athletics program’s respective Excellence Fund, providing additional resources for travel, nutrition, recruiting and student-athlete development.
Fans also were quick to adopt changes to football premium seating, selling out 100 percent of all premium seating, including suites, club and member seating in 2021.
In addition, with the decline of COVID, 100 percent of premium seating was sold in men’s basketball. Record premium seating sales were also achieved in women’s basketball and baseball. Women’s basketball saw the addition of box seating in Liberty Arena, and Club seats were introduced to baseball for the first time.
The past year saw the completion of the naming of all arches at the South end of Williams Stadium among other gifts.
Already for 2022-23 academic year, Flames Club Annual Fund members have donated and pledged $1,612,938 by 1,720 annual fund members, an increase of 65 percent compared to the same time entering last year’s annual fund campaign.
“In addition to our members, I want to thank our amazing staff, as well as the Ticket Office, our game day staff, and parking attendants who pull together to make the experience for our members possible each and every day,” expounded Hagen on his staff’s role in this past year’s success.
Additional premium seating will be seen in Williams Stadium this fall, with the introduction of 23 Cabanas on the south berm.
Those interested in supporting Liberty’s student-athletes should consider joining the Flames Club, which may earn privileges for premium seating, parking, home, away, bowl and NCAA postseason seating priority. Membership begins at just $75. Those interested can reach out via phone or text to 434-582-2582 or by emailing FlamesClub@liberty.edu.