The Husker Air Force: It Exists, But Can We Make It Better?

Mark Nolan

While Nebraska doesn't maintain a private plane on its own, a donor program does exist for the benefit of the football and basketball programs. But can we take advantage of the fervor of our own recruitniks in a better way?

You'll see the excuse often on message boards, in comments and across the Internet. Someone will inevitably suggest Nebraska isn't providing enough air support to the Nebraska football staff for their recruiting needs. With a so-called "national" recruiting strategy, it makes sense for Nebraska's coaches to have access to the skies to get those studs to Lincoln.

But the fact of the matter is, Nebraska does have an air force. No, they're not going to carpet-bomb Iowa City or strafe Goldie, but these planes do ferry our coaches around the country.

Known as the Husker Air Force, this airplane "donation" program encourages friends of the program (as it were) to enlist in the "Air Force" and to support the organization through four different routes:

The Husker Air Force has four easy options to participate with Husker Air Force partners - Jet Linx at www.huskerjetcard.com or UltraAir at huskerjet.com. When donors enlist, they can:

  • purchase hours with Jet Linx or UltraAir
  • donate purchased hours
  • donate personal airplane hours
  • donate cash to the Husker Air Force at the NU Foundation
  • They even outline the recruiting strategy!

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    (via Husker Air Force, Football Recruiting Needs)

    (They used the word process, which makes me giggle like a two year old. But really, take a look through that as well as the basketball one, some interesting tidbits in them.)

    And like many organizations seeking funding, Nebraska provides certain incentives depending on how generous you are.

    For $1,000 to $4,999 donors

    • Invite to annual event-August practice experience

    For $5,000 to $9,999 donors

    • Jacket-1st year members
    • Model of plane-1st year members
    • Invite to annual event-August practice experience

    For $10,000 and above donors

    • Jacket - 1st year members
    • Model of plane -1st year members
    • Invite to annual event-August practice experience
    • Private event with coaches annually

    Oh and that jacket?

    It's a nice jacket. A very nice jacket. Which of course made me want one.

    Which of course led to this Tweet from Matt Burnell (if you're on Twitter and you like college football, Matt is a great follow. Great insights on X's and O's.)

    Of course, "Get Nebraska Football Some Airplanes" or "Get this random Internet guy a jacket" is probably not a viable idea for Kickstarter. But still, it's an interesting idea - what if you made the barrier to entry lower and offered more incentives? What if you made it easier for fans around the country to get involved in recruiting?

    Matt got the ball rolling with the following proposed incentives. (Remember that for these crowd-funding venture, each level of incentive typically includes the previous level.)

    $100 - Signed Memorabilia

    $500 - Invite to a luncheon

    $1000 - Meet and Greet with Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst

    $5000 - 2 Free Tickets to Any Event

    $10,000 - Custom Model Air Force Plane

    Over $10,000 - Custom Husker Air Force flight jacket

    Of course, this post would be boring if we left it there. So we got creative.

    *Must be willing to sign a NDA and never tell your friends.

    And how about we throw in this one:

    $5 - Voucher for a free Runza

    And for $15, Nebrasketball Coach (and sometimes Wizard) Tim Miles will tweet about your Runza experience.

    What do you think, Nebraska fans? What kind of incentives would you want to see to get you on board with the Husker Air Force?

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