Champions Circle drive gains momentum

The start of the 2021 Northwestern State football season is two months away, but the Demons already are in the red zone.

The NSU athletic administration and football coaching staff have developed a three-year plan to enhance funding for the Demon football team, driven by the Champions Circle, the football program’s fund-raising vehicle within the Demons Unlimited Foundation, and its “first-and-goal” fund raising mantra.

“The core of the ‘first and goal’ plan comes from within the football program. It articulates a strategic plan developed by Coach (Brad) Laird and his staff feel which, in conjunction with upgrades that have already been made in recent years, can bring championship football back to NSU,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke, who noted the goal is to raise at least $100,000 annually through the Champions Circle.

“Funds were raised for Demon football, in the heart of the pandemic last summer, so there is a level of confidence that the bar can be raised this year, especially with the opportunity to contribute over the course of 12 months. Those who love Demon football, including football alumni who laid it on the line as players and continue to impact the program on multiple levels, will be a key factor in moving the needle.”

Included in the three-year plan jointly devised by the administration and coaching staff are underwriting for summer school, as well as summer strength and conditioning sessions; increased recruiting budgets and improved equipment and apparel. Burke emphasized that 100% of all contributions to the “first and goal” initiative will benefit Demon football.

The Demons open the 2021 season Sept. 4 against North Texas, following a spring 2021 season in which Northwestern State dropped four games by eight points or less.

“The amazing support from our alumni, friends and family is second to none,” Laird said. “We appreciate your continued assistance as we prepare for the 2021 season.”

The Champions Circle is divided into six donation-based levels, all of which offer unique benefits.

The “Kick-Off” level requires a $250 donation per year ($21 per month) and includes a “Champions Circle” sticker. The “Drive-Starter” level begins at $500 per year ($42 per month) and includes the Champions Circle sticker as well as publication of the donor’s name in the Gameday program and on

At $1,000, donors enter the “First Down” level, adding a Champions Circle hat to the previously mentioned benefits. “Field Goal” level donors give $2,500 per year, earning a coach’s polo as well as the earlier stated benefits.

At $5,000, donors move into the “Touchdown” category, which gives them a sideline pass for Demon home games in addition to the previous benefits. Finally, the “Champion” level comes to donors who give at least $10,000 per year. Benefits for those donors include those mentioned before as well as a pregame locker room invitation and an autographed football from the team.

For more information on the Champions Circle, contact either Burke ( or Laird (

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE