Sports funding, a matter of need, not popularity

Shantala Muruganujan, Staff Writer

In terms of victories, Branham’s football and girls tennis teams are a lot alike, as both had a great regular season. Yet only one team went undefeated — girls tennis. You probably didn’t know that, because we’d be lucky to have one fan show up to our games. We get a fraction of the coverage and fans.

On the other hand, a single football game draws hundreds of fans, and generates enormous amounts of media attention, this paper included, and even from the Mercury News. 

This means more money generated for the team, and more money to spend toward the program. While fans can help a team generate revenue through ticket, snack and merchandise sales, much of the funds that they receive are decided in a more egalitarian way.

The reason why some sports seem better-funded than others is not because they are more popular than others, but because their equipment and necessities are more expensive.

All sports need money for their basic equipment necessities. The athletic department, whose purchases are approved by the parent and staff-run Sports Boosters, covers those items for each team from the general athletic account. For uniforms, merchandise, and optional equipment, teams have to volunteer and donate with their own efforts. The athletes participate in fundraisers to help their team gain money. Activities such as bake sales, VerticalRaise fundraisers, and flea markets help the teams earn money for their sport. 

As a tennis player, our team needed the required items; tennis balls, nets, and uniforms. In addition to that, we also wanted to have a ball machine to help us improve our skills. Ball machines are expensive, and can range from $500 to $6,000. Most of our money is from fundraising. I initially thought that sports like tennis, which don’t have much participation or popularity are low funded. I found out that I wasn’t the only one who thought their sport didn’t have lots of financial support. There is reasoning of why some sports are given more money and how it is allocated. 

If you compare tennis with football, which is more popular and generates more revenue, you might think that sports aren’t equally funded. Football requires helmets, shoulder pads, and other equipment to be able to play the sport. There are about 80 players on the football team, and the equipment is lots of money for each student.

To play tennis, all you need are sneakers a racquet, tennis balls and a uniform.

Students should be aware that sports don’t have the same funding because their sport needs different equipment than others. Each sport’s funding is at a good amount to support the teammates and provide them with everything they need to play. 

All sports need money for their necessities for their essential equipment. The Athletic Department covers those items for each team from the general athletic account. For uniforms, merchandise, and optional equipment, the team has to volunteer and donate in their own efforts. The athletes participate in fundraisers to help their team gain money. Activities such as bake sales, online fundraisers, and flea markets help the teams earn money for their sport.