Ties to Campaign Fundraising

It is time to look at our Ties to Campaign Fundraising and how we are making it happen.



When it comes to funding and Olympic Sailing Campaign, you have to understand the nature of expenses and how training, competitive advantage and results are tied to the ability of a team to meet their funding requirements throughout the Olympic cycle.  For the NACRA 17 class, US athletes are required to fund their own campaigns. That includes boats, rigging, sails, trailers, transportation, housing, food, coaching, regatta fees, insurance, maintenance, repairs, replacement parts, coach boats, travel, communication and even the expenses of the actual fundraising itself.  Those are a lot of functions that require funds to work and if you think about them for just a minute, there are not a lot of those items that come cheaply. Sailing and Olympic Campaign is a difficult task for sure, but it is equally expensive. To make it all together successfully a team must be consistent in asking for funding and creative in their approach to raising funds from friends, family, individuals and corporations.

We spend 300 days on the water training to achieve our goal and we talk about our training a lot. We do not speak often about the amount of work we put into our fundraising efforts. There isn’t a day of the year where we are not calling, emailing, meeting, talking, writing, texting, networking and outright begging for money to pay our expenses so we can stay focused on winning Olympic Gold in Rio 2016.  As we engage in those conversations, it is amazing how many people offer their generous support in our fundraising. Just look at our individual supporters page where we list people who have given their own personal money to support our efforts and we are eternally grateful to everyone who continues to give to our campaign efforts.  Many people also make recommendations on how we might be able to raise more awareness of our sport, and raise money through unique offerings. I am proud to talk about one of those items today.

We have spent the last few months working with a leading fashion designer to layout and manufacture top quality silk neckties that feature out campaign logo and a message of thanks on the back tag of every tie. These ties are custom woven 100% silk ties featuring our NACRA17 under sail in a format that demands attention in the office, on a sales call and around the clubhouse year round.  Best of all, the each tie we sell helps to fund our training which will have a direct impact on our ability to win a Gold Medal at the Rio Games.

Necktie Fundraising

The tie to the right of the screen right here is one of the actual ties made for us. Because they were designed exclusively for us, they were made in a limited edition run which means that the stock we have on hand is all that exists on the planet. Everyone who buys one will have one of only 100 that exist in the world and that means that in addition to looking good at work and in the clubhouse, you will be the owner of a collectors item when we come home from Rio with a Gold Medal. You will be one of only 100 people that hold this exclusive trophy of our hard work dedication and success in American sailing.

Yes, I am going a little overboard here but it is all factual, we do only have 100 ties, they were designed and made exclusively for us and you will be helping us to be successful. But in order for any of that to happen we really NEED you to buy one of our ties today!

Did I mention that these ties make a perfect Christmas gift? You know that parent, or child, or boss or employee that you need to get a gift for and can’t think of anything that would be needed or appropriate to give? This tie is the perfect gift because it will be a constant reminder of how free you feel when you are out on the water with the wind blowing through your hair and you are flying across the racecourse in front of the fleet.  And you will be helping to support us through our fundraising at the same time.

You can order right now through this link: https://tackk.com/97sk8v

What could be better?

If you order a tie today, we will ship it in time for Christmas. Or, you can order it from us and tell us you want to pick it up in Miami at Orange Bowl or some other regatta this winter in Coconut Grove. Trust me, we are around every day training and competing on Biscayne Bay, so you can find us all winter long (maybe flying through your fleet as we top 24 knots on the bay).

Are you sold on the idea? Good, because we really need your support and sending you this tie helps us to show our appreciation for your donation to our sailing campaign and at the same time it can spark a conversation around the water cooler about how you support the young athletes in America and maybe the others you are talking to will feel the urge to support us too (we really appreciate when our fans talk us up and generate more supporters of our campaign). That link you can click on to order a tie is: https://tackk.com/97sk8v.

If you would rather buy multiple ties, or want to add an autographed photo of David and Jess to your order that is simple and fast too. We have setup a storefront at SquareUp (you know the guys who started Twitter and then went on to make it easy for us to accept credit cards) where you can buy ties, photos and soon even more SWAG from team Team FollowMeToRio!  Our Square Store is http://mkt.com/followmetorio/silk-team-tie and you have our permission to share this store with friends and family who can shop there too.

Our budget requires us to earn just a hair over $1,400 each and every day of the year, so we need to sell a lot of ties…and we need generous people to donate money…and we need companies to hire us to speak, or help market their brand, or to just demonstrate that raw belief in self coupled with dedication to hard work can produce results that are sometimes only dreams to many.  This all happens when you simply buy a tie today, so please click the link and buy one for yourself or as a gift.  If you don’t remember where on the page the link is, our Square store is http://mkt.com/followmetorio/silk-team-tie.

Jimmy Spithill and David at a FundraiserDid you know that David was wearing this same tie that you can buy when he met with Oracle Team USA Skipper Jimmy Spithill in Florida just a few days ago?

I am not suggesting that every time you put on this tie that the world’s top sailor will walk through the door and sit down to talk to you about your sailing and offer to give you a few pointers and take you out for a sail on his foiling AC45…but I can tell you for certain that if you do not buy a tie that it will never be the case that he would walk in to meet with you while you are wearing the tie…that you didn’t buy.  If you followed that lack of logic, I hope it made you laugh, and if not you should giggle anynow and realize that I am trying to put a little humor into this request for some help in my fundraising.

Please buy a tie today? You can order it through the page we made on Tackk (it is not a nautical reference as you might think, but it is another cool product of Cleveland, Ohio just like me). That page is right here https://tackk.com/97sk8v


If you buy a tie or not. I am glad that you are here on my blog reading about my campaign and about my efforts to bring an Olympic Sailing Gold Medal home to the USA in 2016. Will you please share this page on your twitter, or facebook page? Maybe one of your friends will see it and buy a tie (https://tackk.com/97sk8v) or be an executive at a corporation who wants to plaster their brand all over our boat as we train and compete all around the globe against the top athletes in this sport….You never know if you don’t ask right?

In conclusion, I need financial support to train for the Olympics and you can use a tie so it is a win-win-WIN situation if you buy a tie and then share my story with others. Fundraising doesn’t have to be boring, it can be fun if you let it be. And remember that Jimmy Spithill knows that this tie marks the supporter of one of his newest friends and a future helmsman on one of those AC45’s! So he probably will pick you out in a crowd if you are wearing it!

Thanks for helping me in my fundraising efforts!

Enjoy your evening and God bless you in this Holiday season.