Featuring Head of Partnerships – Cheerleading, Dance, and Youth Football, Robin Coe
ANDY: You’ve been with Double Good since we launched Virtual Fundraising. In fact, you were one of our first Pop-Up Store Organizers. What attracted you to Double Good and our online fundraising?
ROBIN: As a program owner, I was always looking for ways to raise money for my athletes in the cheer and dance community to defray costs for training, apparel and travel. The U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) introduced me to the platform in March of 2017. I was skeptical at first and thought it was too good to be true. A company that did all the work for you? No handling money, no handling paperwork, no sorting inventory, no delivering a product? Wait what? It turned out that online fundraising was the easiest, quickest and most profitable fundraiser that my program ever did and it was fun too!
ANDY: Why do you think our Virtual Pop-Up Stores are a good fit for the Cheer and Dance community?
ROBIN: Cheer and Dance are expensive and costs continue to rise. We love what we do so we continue to find ways to keep our athletes healthy both emotionally and physically. Anyone in our industry is very busy so we don’t have a lot of time on our hands whether it be a program owner, coach, parent or athlete. Our industry is all over social media so the Double Good Virtual Fundraising platform is easy, quick and profitable. We don’t have to work very hard or spend a lot of time raising money. As a parent I invested 30-45 minutes in tagging potential supporters over a 4 day period and sold almost $1,200.
ANDY: How long have you been involved with competitive cheer and dance?
ROBIN: I have been involved in competitive cheer and dance in some fashion for 53 years. My coaching career began 35 years ago beginning with school cheer and moving into the all star world in 1999. I am the former owner of Spirit Festival Championships and became an active member of the USASF in 2003 when the organization was founded. In 2005, USASF brought me on board as the USASF Northeast Regional Director to roll out the membership and credentialing program until I retired from that position in 2014. My all star cheer & dance program, Spirit All-Stars in Hamden CT (1999-2017), was one of the first members of the USASF when they began to roll out the membership program. I found myself wanting to create something new and different in the competitive world in 2018 so the “virtual” competition innovation began. Little do people know that I had already had a patent pending for this technology before the pandemic hit. My event producing company, Winners Choice Championships, is now producing LIVE In-Person and LIVE & Remote events. Although I retired from owning a gym in 2017, I was still in the industry rolling out the Double Good online fundraising platform across the US and loving that it was helping so many athletes do what they love to do. My daughter is a 13 year all star veteran of our industry so I continue to wear many hats and love it all!
ANDY: What makes our partnership with USASF special?
ROBIN: Our mission at Double Good aligns with the mission of the USASF. We support and enrich the lives of the athletes, families, programs and communities. Double Good became the official fundraising partner of the USASF in 2016. After coming on board at Double Good, program owners could now see the advantage of using the online fundraising platform and it just took off! After seeing the Exceptional Athletes perform at Worlds, Double Good and the USASF partnered in making the Exceptional Athletes Gala a reality in 2018.
ANDY: Tell me more about the Exceptional Athlete program. How was it started?
ROBIN: Teams with special needs athletes began in Kentucky in the early 1990s. Program owners all over the country began to see these athletes perform and wanted to start a program in their gym. It is a wonderful opportunity to include every ability hence the birth of Cheer Abilities and Dance Abilities teams within the USASF. Glenda Broderick, USASF Southeast Regional Director and Director of the Exceptional Athletes, took these teams to the next level by creating different divisions of competition. Teams were attending the USASF Worlds Championships by receiving At-Large Bids from event producers around the country so why not create their own division and “real” competition. Exceptional athletes want the opportunity to compete and to be treated just like every other athlete.
ANDY: What is your advice for someone who wants to get involved in the Exceptional Athletes or start an Exceptional Athlete Team?
ROBIN: I would advise them to gain support in their program and to visit https://www.usasf.net/exceptional-athletes and download the information. The most important step is to contact Glenda who will support and guide you.
ANDY: You’ll be at USASF Cheerleading Worlds soon. What are you most looking forward to when you’re there?
ROBIN: The Double Good team will absolutely be at Worlds and would not miss this opportunity! You will find us at both venues for cheer & dance as well as visiting the football field at All Star Sports and the pool at Coronado Springs Resort. Don’t be shy, come say “hi”. We may very well have popcorn with us. Our team looks forward to participating in the Exceptional Athletes Gala and watching as many teams as possible compete and do what they love to do. We are in awe of the talent, creativity and the hard work every athlete, coach and program owner has invested on their Road to Worlds. It means the world to us to see the impact that Double Good has on the all star community.
ANDY: Last year, Worlds was different given the circumstances. What will be different this year for the athletes, coaches and families?
ROBIN: This! Let’s say the fact that Worlds is open for all to attend this year brings the competition to a whole new level. Athletes feed off the energy of the spectators and coaches. Worlds will be ALIVE again! The fact that we can see faces again brings LIFE back to Worlds! The world being open allows teams from other countries to compete again making it a true Worlds experience. It will be amazing to see and participate in. I am so happy for these athletes, coaches, and families!