Open Letter from Coach Steve Williams

I wanted to finally get around to contacting the Tiger Rugby Alumni and see how everyone is doing. With covid around it has been a weird year for everyone especially the University of Memphis and the Tiger Rugby Team. Because of covid the University cancelled the fall season and rugby until further notice. There are discussions about possibly starting it up in the near future but given the current situation in the City that is doubtful.We are hoping some type of spring season will take place but again, like everything else, time will tell.

Memphis Tigers 1989

Another phenomenal development for the Team was getting Blake White to coach the team. Blake comes over from the Arkansas State Rugby Team which is one of the most successful and nationally ranked teams in the country for the past 20+ years. Blake decided to coach the Tigers as he see almost unlimited potential with the Memphis Team especially with the high school feeder program we have in Memphis and the surrounding areas. He also has great international connections and we could shortly see players with accents (other than Southern) attending Memphis and playing for the Team.

I know many of you were wondering where I have been and why I haven’t already contacted you asking for donations. I really don’t have any good excuse other than I got lazy and found a number of reasons not to do anything. Well I hate to tell you this but I’m back, lean, mean, I’ve got my hand out and I’m again asking for money. As usual we have a number of potential sponsorship levels and opportunities for you to donate to the Team. The donation levels range from as little as $10/month to over $5,000. Should donate you over $5,000 we can easily customize the proper recognition of your donation and work on getting your name and likeness on any number of merchandise or sponsorship items. The donation opportunities listed below are various sponsor levels which could be a monthly draft or lump sum donation. You can choose one of 5 different sponsor levels from the Grey Tiger to the Gold Tiger. In return for your donation you would receive some stunning Tiger merchandise based on the level of your donation.

University of Memphis Rugby Team Donor Levels

Grey Tiger $10 per month$120 per year – foam drink koozie. – This donation will provide a player with a jersey.

Blue Tiger $25 per month $300 per year – koozie and cap. – This donation will pay the S.C.R.C. Conference dues for a year.

Striped Tiger $50 per month $600 per year. koozie and polo shirt. – This donation will pay for the cost of game balls and athletic tape for 1 year.

Silver Tiger $100 per month $1,200 per year – koozie, cap and polo shirt. – This donation will pay for referees for one season.

Gold Tiger $250 per month $3,000 per year. koozie, cap, polo shirt, gym bag – This donation will pay the cost of van rentals for 2 tournament trips each season.

The next donation option would be to sponsor a Team locker. The Team has arranged to fabricate lockers that will be installed in the locker room which is located in the Elma Rhone Fieldhouse. We are looking for individuals or firms that would be willing to be a sponsor for one or more of these lockers. The sponsorship cost is $5,000 and would be good for 10 years. The individual or firm sponsoring the locker will have their name placed on the locker. Below is the information on the locker sponsorship opportunity and a picture of the typical locker is on the attached Tiger Merchandise Sheet. To date we have sold 7 lockers so if you want your name emblazoned on a locker used by one of our stellar student-athletes please let me know.

University of Memphis Locker Sponsorship -Team Locker Sponsor$5,000Payment terms: One-time payment or $1,000/year over 5 years. Donor will have name in plaque placed on the locker. The lockers will be located in the team locker room in the Elma Rhone Fieldhouse. The final sponsor opportunity would be to fund a one or four year scholarship for a player. The donor would have the scholarship named after them if desired. To date we award 7 scholarships annually to deserving students that are members of the rugby Team. This would be an opportunity to financially assist and provide that extra support for one of the student-athletes on the Team.

University of Memphis Rugby Scholarship Sponsor

Scholarship Sponsor $1,200 to $4,800 Donation over a 1-2 year period depending on term. This donation will provide a 1 or 4 year, $1,000 per year scholarship for a student.

Here are a couple of web site links to make either your monthly or lump sum donations described above. For locker or scholarship sponsorships please contact me to discuss the specifics of that type of donation. As always any donation you make to the Tiger Rugby Foundation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Click on on this link and follow the instructions for your donation and sponsor level for the Club. If one of the links below is not a donation option for you we will take cash, checks, credit cards, Venmo and any other form of legal currency or tender and have even been known to accept a large bag of small unmarked bills in a pinch.

Finally I know many of you were hoping to purchase some additional Tiger clothing. We continue to stock a lot of the same Tiger merchandise you purchased last year and gave to family and friends as gifts and tokens of your appreciation. This year we have the same quality merchandise that you have seen in many of the clothing boutiques and fashion houses in Memphis, New York and Paris. Email Me for a Merchandise Form and consider stocking up before the holiday rush begins. Nothing says your special to me like Tiger merchandise given as a gift for Halloween, Deviled Egg Day (11/2), National Fast Food Day (11/16), or National Tie One On Day (11/25).

Last year we received almost $60,000 in donations and commitments from alumni, players, parents and rugby supporters from around the country. We are hoping the Alumni will take a few moments to consider donating to the program again or for the first time.

So before you forget, write yourself a note to donate to the University of Memphis Rugby Team. Please remember that I’m getting older by the day and may not have much time left. So it’s important you dig deep as you can because you don’t want me to come back to haunt you for missing a unique donation opportunity. Let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above sponsorship levels for the Team and thank you again for your support of the University of Memphis Rugby Team. Take care and be safe,

Steve Williams

Tiger Rugby Foundation