Team Makers

Team Makers: Gearing Up For The Twin Cities

Get a behind the scenes look into all the planning that went into Target Field weekend with NDSU Director of Athletic Development for the Twin Cities Stefanie Kelly.

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With the enormous alumni base in the Twin Cities specifically, how exciting is this event for NDSU and Bison athletics?


This is an incredibly unique and exciting opportunity for both the University and Bison Athletics. The Twin Cities is a prime recruiting area for first-year students and student-athletes. An event of this magnitude will likely bring regional and national attention to NDSU and Bison Athletics.

Athletics is often referred to as the front porch of the university. It’s the most visible department on campus and builds affinity and community amongst alumni and fans.

For the players, having an opportunity to kick off the 2019-20 season in one of the premier sporting venues in front of almost 40,000 fans is an experience of a lifetime.

How have Team Makers helped in making this weekend the best it can be?

For our student-athlete alumni who proudly wore the Bison uniform, Team Makers and the Bison Football Players Association is hosting an all sport student-athlete alumni celebration at Fulton Taproom near Target Field the day before the game. This will be an evening for student-athlete alumni to reunite with former teammates and coaches. Members from the Team Makers executive committee will be present at the event to thank and engage with alumni.

What kind of impact does the Team Makers organization have on those members/alumni living in the Twin Cities?

We have loyal and passionate donors in the Twin Cities who have financially supported Bison Athletics for years, and we can now regularly thank and re-engage them.

As an organization, we want to develop more personal relationships with our alumni and fans in the Twin Cities. Whether you’re donating $100,000 or $100, we want our donors to feel good about their experience. Being able to communicate in person with donors about how their dollars are making an impact inspires greater involvement.

As a former Bison student-athlete myself who benefited from the generosity of Team Makers, being able to thank a long-time Team Maker in person is meaningful.

Why is it so important to cater to those alumni that do live in the Twin Cities?

With more than 14,000 alumni in the Twin Cities we have a real opportunity to build new relationships, network, and better serve our donors and alumni.

The Twin Cities will be a key area for us as we grow Team Makers memberships and introduce new projects coming down the pipeline.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced throughout this planning and executing process?

We’re all familiar with the success of Bison Athletics; however, it can be challenging to explain the importance of revenue generation when we’re capturing league titles and winning national championships. We have an incredible following and donor base, but continued growth is critical as we continue to strive to be the top mid-major athletic program in the country.

Because of the strong financial support of Team Makers, Bison Athletics is having an immense amount of success in all sports. Team Makers provides scholarship support for all 16 athletic programs. There can sometimes be a perception that football is the only benefactor of Team Makers.

Also, some think joining Team Makers requires a large donation. You can join Team Makers for as little as $100 per year. Plus, members have an opportunity to purchase single-game tickets before the general public – an attractive benefit for some Twin Cities alumni who can’t commit to season tickets but are interested in seeing 1-2 games per season.

How crucial a role does fundraising play in a weekend like this? And do you have any expectations/goals in that vein for that weekend?

We have an incredible opportunity to share Team Makers with our alumni and fans. Our goal is to build relationships and educate fans in a way that inspires them to support Bison student-athletes in their pursuit of athletic and academic excellence.

We will have Team Makers information tables located in section 116 and at Gate 3 inside Target Field to answer questions. We’ll also have in-game digital advertising on the ribbon boards and we’re considering a short in-game video as well.

What are some events fans can get excited about leading up to the big game?

The all sport student-athlete alumni celebration at Fulton Taproom hosted by Team Makers and the Bison Football Players Association will kick off the weekend for Bison Athletics.

Also happening Friday evening, the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association is hosting a Twin Cities Pep Fest at the Renaissance Depot, also in downtown Minneapolis. The event will feature music from the Front Fenders and family activities.

On game day, we are encouraging all of our fans to enter Target Field early due to the lack of tailgating space available around the stadium.  Ticket holders will be able to enter the stadium starting at noon (3 hours prior to kickoff)with full access to concessions, bars and restaurants inside Target Field. There will also be a pre-game concert, hosted by Cenex, featuring country artist Jordan Davis.

I also encourage alumni and fans to visit our official Team Makers viewing sites located throughout the Twin Cities: Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar in Bloomington, Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar in Roseville, LynLake Brewery in uptown, and Erik the Red, located in downtown Minneapolis.

If fans are looking for transportation to the game, Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar in Roseville, is organizing shuttle buses to Target Field from their location.

For Twin Cities alumni who are maybe not as involved as they’d like to be with athletics, how can they get involved in the area?

The easiest way to get involved is by joining Team Makers. Anyone interested in the future of Bison Athletics is encouraged to join.

If you enjoy networking, consider becoming a Twin Cities Team Makers Fund Drive volunteer. We currently have a small team of volunteers who help raise scholarship support for student-athletes.

Fans can visit one of our official Twin Cities Team Makers watch sites during the football season. These sites are a great place to watch the game and connect with fellow alumni and fans in a fun atmosphere.

Finally, attend a Team Makers event. Come and check us out. We’re looking at hosting quarterly happy hour events and working to bring a golf event to the Twin Cities in 2020.

Follow NDSU Team Makers on social media to stay informed or can contact Stefanie directly at [email protected] to learn more about how to get involved in the Twin Cities.

Team Makers Watch Sites: Twin Cities Edition

If you can’t make it to the game in the Twin Cities on August 31, there are plenty of watch sites in and around Minneapolis to check out NDSU-Butler. Make your way to these watch sites on August 31!

Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar – Bloomington
4217 American Blvd W.
Bloomington, 55437

Joe Senser’s Kitchen & Bar – Roseville
2350 North Cleveland Ave.
Roseville, MN 55113

LynLake Brewery
2934 Lyndale Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Erik the Red
601 Chicago Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Team Makers: Gearing Up For The Twin Cities
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