Upon the arrival of new head coach, James Franklin, fans were promised a "new era" of Vanderbilt football. Franklin has created a palpable energy that reenergized long-time supporters and attracted new fans. And now, all Vanderbilt football supporters can contribute directly to the team's evolution through membership in the exclusive GridIron Club.
In addition to former members of the Commodore football team, this fall the GridIron Club will open membership to all supporters of Vanderbilt football. "It is imperative that we grow the GridIron Club," said head coach, James Franklin. "After months of consideration, we determined the GridIron Club represents the best way to encourage greater support of the football program. This offers a rare opportunity for fans to become inside supporters and key contributors as we continue to build and improve the Vanderbilt football program."
With former players at the core of the new GridIron Club, the organization will help garner financial resources to support the program's ascension to championship level contender under Franklin. The club's expansion offers members the opportunity to get involved with a host of football-related activities through the five membership levels, ranging from the Black level of $150 to the Anchor level of $10,000.
Embarking on his first year at Vanderbilt, Franklin is adamant about building strong relationships with former Commodore players. "Our former players will remain the foundation of the GridIron Club. They serve as role models and career mentors to our current student-athletes. Preserving that connection is important. Expanding the program will enable the GridIron Club to become a great networking resource for past and present players," according to Franklin.
National Commodore Club Executive Director Mark Carter explained that the reimagined GridIron Club offers a direct avenue for fans to help the football program improve. "One of the most often asked questions we receive is: what can I do to help the program?" Carter said. "The answer is, first, buy season tickets and come to the games. Second, make an unrestricted annual gift to the National Commodore Club to support all of our student-athletes and the department's scholarship costs. Next, make a restricted annual gift to the GridIron Club. Then, for those who are able, make a capital project or endowment gift and consider including Vanderbilt Athletics in your estate. Last but not least, encourage others to do the same."
All future GridIron Club members will enjoy the added benefit of National Commodore Club membership and will enable donors to earn NCC priority credit. As in past years, an unrestricted annual gift to the NCC is required to receive priority seating and parking for Vanderbilt games.