The Dallas Stars held their first 50/50 raffle on a Saturday in February. At an earlier than usual Saturday start of 5 p.m. versus the New York Rangers, the Stars raised over $20,000 in their first night of charitable fundraising through the new raffle afforded to them by the Texas legislature.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Farris said he has not received one complaint about the 50/50. He said the winner of the first raffle expressed their excitement and was glad they voted for the recent legislative measure.
Farris said that since Tom Gaglardi bought the team and installed the new front office staff, Dallas Stars management has been looking for new ways to engage with fans. The 50/50 raffle gives them another layer to engage hockey fans in Dallas, and adds a tradition to the game day experience seen in more traditional hockey markets previously.
The 50/50 raffle gives the Dallas Stars Foundation a steady stream of donations throughout the year to put back into the community. Farris believes the 50/50 raffle could give the foundation up to $400,000 a year from which they can make a meaningful impact to their core partners.
Each season, the foundation starts at zero and has to figure out ways to put money into the coffers in order to fund core partner initiatives. The steady influx of revenues from the 50/50 raffles will allow the foundation to fund long-term partnerships and multi-year commitments to charitable causes, whereas before the planning was done on an annual basis only because of the start from zero each year.
In addition to working with charitable cause partners, the foundation is also able to host special event nights with the 50/50 raffle to bring a higher profile to special charitable events. On the Pevs Protects night in March, the Stars donated all proceeds from the 50/50 raffle that evening to the American Heart Association. Proceeds from non-event nights goes into a general fund that the foundation uses to fund their annual giving initiatives.
Since starting the raffles, the total amount raised each game has reached five digits every night, with weekends having a stronger showing. With added awareness and education of fans on what the 50/50 raffle is and what they could potentially win (half the pot as a cash prize each night), the foundation expects to see increased participation as the season moves into the playoffs and beyond.