Hokie Club Rant

So as many of you know we are moving to NE Florida in June. Well I wanted to get the groundwork for a future Hokie Club Chapter started. Messaged a Hokie Club employee I've worked on some other topics with to see what I needed or who I could talk to. He wrote an introduction email to another person and said they had meetings that week but should get in touch.

Well fast forward a week and half and nothing. Messaged back and got an answer later that day. In the whole damn state of Florida there are no Hokie Club chapters NONE. So I asked the next question, how many Hokie Club members do y'all have there, the answer, "no idea". I have to provide them with zip codes within the area I think people would be willing to join near Jacksonville and then they can get me membership numbers.

To say I'm floored would be an understatement. A primary goal of the Hokie should be growing local chapters in conjunction with Almuni chapters and yet nothing.

Rant II.
So it seems the Hokie baseball team is playing a tournament right here in Myrtle Beach. One would think the Hokie Club, Alumni chapter would have sent out notices to the Myrtle Beach and Charleston area Hokies, did they, nope. It's disappointing to see these lost opportunities to grow the fan base and Hokie Club membership.

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

.....something something about getting more people to join the Hokie Club.

Not quite where I thought this thread was going to go.

Using /s is for cowards.

This is pretty sorry. These days, big data solutions n database data mining is commonplace. They could use students to address this at minimal cost. No excuse in my mind to not have this addressed already for many scenarios.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

So in addition to moving, taking classes, everyday life. I'm compiling a list of zip codes. THERE ARE a lot of zip codes.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

For real, my senior year they literally had us doing free manual data mining for Amazon in our BIT senior capstone course. They can employ students or use existing technical solutions and do a much better job of data usage.

Excel could handle this a decade or more ago.
#bettingweaverdidn't buyofficesuites

Openoffice is free. No excuses!

This isn't even a data mining problem. You don't need any fancy advanced algorithms to find out how many members you have in a certain state. Either they're not collecting the data properly or they don't have it somewhere that's easily accessible.

The don't combine state members until they are in a chapter. Since there are so few chapters I'm guessing they don't have a lot of lists by more than just state. So for example they know how many Hokie Club members they have in the whole State of Florida but not how many live in NE, Centeal, Tampa, Panhandle, Miami area to form chapters.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

For real. All you need for something like this is someone with access to whichever DB the HokieClub uses who can write a simple SELECT with a WHERE clause.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

You should write a letter to Whit

Me donts writes so good. Not sure I would be able to articulate my thoughts and ideas very well that he would even care.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Just pretend you are going off on a post here.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

How do I send a gif in an email?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Just write the link and make him type it into his browser.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

This is where I would join the local Hokie Club

IF I HAD ONE

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Here is the gif you need to send.

I have no doubt that he would care. And if you don't get this addressed, someone else is going to have to go through all this effort for their new area Hokie Club chapter.

Think of the potential future nameless Hokie Club chapter founder, man!

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

I'm honeslty wondering when the last chapter was formed. Is this something that has been basically pushed onto local members or are they content with existing large membership chapters in NC and VA/MD?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I tried to form one for SW Michigan encompassing Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo and they told me to get a minimum member count first. It seems like it would be easier to just start the chapter first. Build it and they will come.

Recruit Prosim

Anyone on here a really good writer? Or English teacher?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Not an English teacher and "really good writer" is relative but I write as part of my job and I'm happy to help you in drafting something to Whit.

Got your email. I'll shoot one back later.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

When I google "hokie club Florida", I get the following results, which indicate that there are some Alumni Clubs in Florida:

Hokie Clubs in Florida

Also, I do get occasional notices from this group, so I know they do get together sometimes:

Northwest Florida Hokie Club on Facebook

These may not be close to Jacksonville, but it's wrong to say there aren't Hokie Clubs in Florida.
Also, if you guys are ever planning something fun (like going to the FSU game), I'd want to know about it.

Alumni groups are not Hokie Club chapters.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

What's the functional difference? I assume a Hokie Club is only composed of Hokie Club members and an alumni chapter is open to all alumni?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Correct. And since people like me aren't alumni while I'm welcome at events usually with open arms I cant officially join the Alumni association. Having a Hokie Club Chapter can be a connection for non alum fans, help spread the message of joining the Hokie Club and in conjunction or by itself set up events.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Ah, I get it. I'm sort of both.

I'm in the Hokie Club, but I'm in the periphery, not the core.

The Alumni Association doesn't do anything with sports aside from picking a local bar/restaurant for sports-watching events. The Hokie Club raises money for the Athletic Fund and hosts a variety of athletics-related events featuring coaches to help raise money.

Note that all Hokie Club sponsored events that I've ever been to were open to the general public. (recruiting recaps, chalk talks with Foster, Fuente etc)

In my vision they would work hand in hand to do things. Merge the "fan" with the alum. Game watch parties, volunteer and charity events, sponsor talks and the like. Use th alumni group to recruit new Hokie Club members.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

They're already attempting to do this

Unfortunately their way of doing so was to have Blacksburg wash their hands of HC responsibility by sending out an email to all Alumni Association chapter officers effectively saying "hey guess what, I know you're an unpaid volunteer who is already asked to do a lot, but we are going to need you to now fundraise for the Hokie Club and we're not going to dedicate any additional resources to aid you in it. Toodles!"

As you can imagine, at least in my area, it didn't go over well.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

alumni office is still more inept than this. I feel your pain though

From my experience, the Hokie Club is still very unorganized. I called last March to up my contribution and was told I could do it via the website. I explained I needed my login reset. The representative told me it'd be fixed the next day and they would confirm with me. That never happened. For me, it's fine, I called back in December and upped my gift. However, I'm sure there are others that'd either forget or write 'em off.

Moreover, the main office does not support the regional chapters at all. Recruit nights are a decent example. The local Hokie Clubs rely on Tech websites and social media in part to get the word out. It makes no sense to me why they can not, or more likely, are unable to leverage the reach of the Virginia Tech athletic department.

Finally, I have to believe the restriction of access to the football program runs perpendicular to increasing membership. Spring practice and camp has been on lockdown since Fuente has been hired. The spring game itself has not been broadcast. That stinks. I'm not saying every practice needs to be open, but providing more fan access would increase the engagement and stickiness of the fanbase.

I'm offering to start a Hokie Club Chapter and they gave me a pamphlet to "help me" didn't offer up much else.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Is the pamphlet in a digital format? I am curious to see it.

Where's the beef?

It's a PDF on an email I got. No idea how to bring that over here. Joe?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Do you have a gmail account? Save the pdf to Google Drive and then right click on the file, choose "Get shareable link" and then copy and paste that URL here. We can all view it then.

I understand the words by themselves just not in that order. What's google drive?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

https://www.google.com/drive

Free unlimited storage with a .edu email address. Though, to use vt.edu the login goes through the school, which is tedious.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

As long as it works for any .edu I'll look into it after this birthday party.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

It won't be available for every .edu account, just the ones that utilize Google for email and other google utilities. It does work for every gmail account though. You could also print screen and upload to imgur and share with that.

It's 35 pages. I have regular gmail account and I have two .edu accounts not sure if they are hosted by google.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

You could just host it on google drive using your gmail and provide a shareable link for people to access the document if they choose.

Would they see my email address?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I'm a little late but save me some of that birthday cake!!!!

I feed off of nightmares

Yeah that would be an issue. If it's not too much work, you could create a HokieFireman gmail account.

I run the Cinci Alumni Association by default ( I responded to an email) and I concur about the HC. I reached out and asked for sign up pamphlets and info explaining what HC donations do so I could hand them out at game watch parties and was told they didn't have anything like that to send. I would love to see the HC grow, but they need to help me help them.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

That's friggin ridiculous!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

This was about a month after the Drive for 25 was announced, so on one hand I was willing to cut them some slack as they probably were getting new material made, but OTOH they should have had them ready when they made the announcement. Either way nobody followed up if they every got them made.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

As far as I can tell they haven't. They have some drive for 25 promotional stuff but what would be really great would be stuff to set up almost like an"job fair" type display.

At this point I think a group letter detailing concerns needs to go to Whit.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Print Screen. Ctrl-V in body of email.

We put the K in Kwality

It sucks being an alum who lives 12 hours away and can't watch the spring game. If it's open anyway and clemson can send someone to scout and maybe even record it live, I don't see why we can't broadcast the game. It'd be cool even if they did a "just for hokie club members" stream to keep viewership limited to actual VT fans.

Recruit Prosim

Hmm, I work for an association, specifically in chapter management and development, and this seems really lazy to me on the part of the HC. We define the territory of our US Chapters by zip code as well, but it should be pretty easy to just pull a list of alumni in FL and sort the ones in Jacksonville area as a start then worry about identifying the surrounding zip codes. Maybe they have a very limited association management system (database) or the specific individual is not very literate with the DB. The second scenario would not surprise me at all based on my experiences in the association sphere.

Associations are notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. I think this has to do with being reactive to member needs and operating on small budgets. The squeaky wheel gets the grease so to speak.

I'd love to find out more about what systems they use to manage alumni and donor lists.

I would write back and ask if the first three digits of the zip codes surrounding j-ville will be sufficient. You should be able to find these easily enough using this - http://www.zipmap.net/Florida.htm

Where's the beef?

320 and 322 will get most if not all of it

321 will get you down to Daytona.

Or someone else on TKP will already know them. Hah.

Where's the beef?

Right now I'm doing Clay, Duval, Saint Johns, Putnam, Nassau in FL and Camden and Charliton counties in GA.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

HMM, Strange. The Denver Hokie Club is Huge, I've heard it's the largest outside of Virginia. I would have assumed we had some Hokie Clubs in FL. When I lived in NC there were Hokie club groups all over the state from Winston Salem to Greenville.

Pour some Beer on it

Would think they would look to how Clemson's equivalent and the like operate.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I joined HC last spring and haven't been at all impressed with the organization since then. I agree with the unorganized accusations.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

It's easy to gripe about the Hokie Club, but in the end, it's on us to organize ourselves and put the energy in.

Still, it would be nice if the Club itself put up some resources to help.

On the other hand, there may also be some privacy issues. You can't just be giving out people's contact information, I guess. Just thinking out loud.

Hokie fans, unite!!! It's time to organize!

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Exactly. Appears to work pretty well!

donating to TKP is 100x easier than donating to the HC because Joe and co. actually ask for money and inform people what the money is for AND are on top of renewals

Hokie Club is pretty open about what your money pays for, scholarships.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

yes but id be willing to bet most people view it as a down payment for season tickets and nothing else. imo HC needs to be more proactive

Yep. Everything I see from VT Athletics post on social media regarding joining the Hokie Club always has it tied to getting season tickets. The only exception to this might have been when Drive for 25 initially launched. If the only time joining the Hokie Club is really pushed is around season ticket purchasing deadlines, it certainly not changing the perspective that is *only* reason to join.

I Mean is that really their fault completely? Every piece of literature and social media from the Hokie Club talks about scholarships. They do player interviews from across the sports spectrum to talk about how much their scholarship means to them. So while most people think it's just a way to get tickets their messaging isn't that.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I'm a supporter of TKP AND the Hokie Club.

Neither is difficult to be a part of. I see the value of both to Virginia Tech athletics, and that's why I support both.

I don't have season tickets, as I don't live close enough to regularly attend events. I could blast the Hokie Club for not organizing more events near me, but the energy involved in doing that should be mine, not theirs. While they do emphasize the ticket benefit, I realize that the real benefit of club membership is supporting Virginia Tech athletics, which also indirectly makes my degree worth more.

im part of HC but don't go to any events, but that's anecdotal/individual evidence. the point is that hokie club needs to be better run; if you want people to donate money to you, it's your job to get your message out there and to get more people. HC has a stated mission of doubling in size but have yet to demonstrate the organizational ability or true plan to do so IMO

What kind of club doesn't facilitate getting in touch with other members? Agreeing to distribution of contact information seems to me like it should be prerequisite to join the HC. Without the networking it really just is donate for football season tickets.

Recruit Prosim

Sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Seems like HC may be stuck in the Weaver/Beamer age, and a big part of the reason we are so far behind many of our peers. It is also up to each of us to fix it. Join if you have not and can. Participate if you can, not just by going to events, but by volunteering or communicating with those that do if you can't.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Appreciate the rant. I want to pile on too:

Institutions create life long fans by creating a community. Communities are how you build, maintain, and strengthen an emotional attachment. People who have an emotional attachment to an entity are more likely to donate. I've never worked in non-profit/fundraising, but it seems to me like there are two ways to improve total fundraising: Get more donors, or get current donors to give more. Providing a usable framework, and some assistance to create local Hokie Club chapters seems like an easy way to build local communities.

On a more personal note, I've been in Atlanta nearly 5 years, and I don't understand how there isn't a Hokie Club chapter in the largest city in the South East. Beyond that, the Alumni Chapter barely does any activities inside the city, mostly in the burbs an hour north. There's one bar in Brookhaven (last neighborhood between the city and the burbs), but it's not the most convenient/fun place. I've watched games in bars alone, or with my Clemson/SEC friends. I don't mind it, but I'm very jealous of my Tennessee friends who have huge viewing parties at bars and whatnot.

Twitter me

On a more personal note, I've been in Atlanta nearly 5 years, and I don't understand how there isn't a Hokie Club chapter in the largest city in the South East.

Atlanta Hokie Club Contact Information

As for the alumni Chapter not being active inside the city, if it is anything like ours, the only thing stopping you all from doing that is some initiative from it's members for someone to step up and volunteer to host or do the leg work into securing a hosting location downtown.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Thank you! Not sure how failed to find this for 5 years...

Twitter me

OK... So here's a completely random morning thought. I've been dwelling on this for days, and it extends all the way back to when Hokie Fireman and I met at the Miami - VT game in 2016 and this was a central topic. I'm a VT employee, so I understand the challenges of actually trying to change things within the system -- just bashing at them just makes good people within the HC bureaucracy frustrated. I don't like ranting without the idea of solutions / efforts to move the ball forward, so here goes...

Let's start a "virtual TKP Hokie Club" and speak with one voice to the actual HC.
I think there's enough validity to the concerns to identify them, and bring them forward.
We would need to accumulate data (confidentially) on the actual problems (specific issues and ideas for solving them), plus the info on who we are, where we are, and how much we give (annually and cumulatively) in order to clearly identify that the voice has weight.

If its successful, that gives TKP status as "the first Virtual HC", TKP extra marketing (and hopefully more TKPC members), and all of us great excuses to meet at bars and tailgate under an actual chapter banner...

Any thoughts, TKP'ers?

And no surprise there, it's Wally Lancaster with an airball that looked gorgeous on its way to nowhere...
2/15/89, VT vs. South Carolina...

Lee

good idea!

.

.

#extendbronco

This is a great idea! Ranting without solutions is definitely frustrating. I'm with ya.

How should HC /TKP members consolidate ideas? A survey based system, working document, something else...?

people may shy away or meter their thoughts on a thread style forum post, go OT on tangents, etc.

VB born, class of '14

So just got off the phone from Bill Lansden, talk about a surprise phone call right as dinner is about to get started. Got some answer to some questions. For example Hokie Club numbers in Florida suck to say the least, got better explanation of how things are sorted and such and some info they already gave me but came across better than in email form.

Edit: He also said this thread was read by people there.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

He also said this thread was read by people there.

TKP be all like

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Did he tell you anything other than "Hokie Club numbers in Florida suck"?

How about laying it out for us?

I'm not sure I should give too much detail but let's say it's less than 175. I want to respect our conversation while also imparting how bad it is out there.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Hokie Fireman be like...

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

I did the same thing for Central Pennsylvania when I lived there- reached out and there was no chapter, however, they will allow you to become a rep and -start- a chapter, which is what I tried to do. It eventually fizzled out when we moved to Leesburg

I suggest reaching out and doing the same thing - starting a chapter by becoming a rep and recruiting others for officer positions.

That's what I'm trying to do. But in order to start a chapter you need 25 Hokie Club members. The entire state of Florida doesn't have much more than six times that.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

how many kids do you have again?

Alum07 alluded to this but I wanted to expand on it. It's easy to forget that the people running the local Alumni Chapters and Hokie Clubs are all volunteers. They're trying to balance work, families, and commitments with what can essentially be a non-paid part-time job. On top of that, the current mindset from Blacksburg seems to be, "ask more and more from these people until they burn out and we'll just hope someone else steps up in their place."

When folks complain they aren't being served by their local chapter it makes those volunteers that much more willing to throw up their hands and let someone else worry about it. Then there won't be any local chapter or club at all.

Speaking from experience as I was in part running the Charlottesville Hokie Alumni Association for a little while, there's definitely burn out in attempting to do things with little response. I organized events a lot of people said they wanted to do, only to have no turnout or so little turnout we lost money on the event.

I had quite a few people at the one event we held that seemed to be well attended who said they wanted to volunteer their assistance for it to not pan out at all. People also said they wanted to do volunteer work as the Cville Hokies, so I organized a Hokie day at a couple different volunteer places and was the only one to show up after emailing everyone, posting it on Facebook, and doing anything I could to get the word out. It was kind of embarrassing to talk to those places saying that based on interest of people who said they were either coming, or were interested in coming, promising a certain number of people to help and being the only one who showed up. It didn't look well for our chapter to those organizations.

It can be very tiring trying to organize things that people say they want to have no attendance.