March 24, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
Thanks to the new Sporty’s Flying Club Rebate Program, 25 groups have received their share of more than $1,000 in the first quarter. Under the program, flying clubs provide Sporty’s with their club roster and register at the program’s website. Sporty’s handles the tracking and bookkeeping of members who purchase from the website.
Part of the registration process is to supply a copy of the bylaws, which must include a provision that the flying club is accepting new members. “The financial health of a flying club is important, and a club can’t always be tapping members for higher dues and fees,” said Sporty’s President Michael Wolf in a press release. “Sporty’s has provided one pathway to bring revenue to the club with almost no effort.
The Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Flying Club, with 100 members, earned $55 in its first rebate check, said President Phil Ritts in an email. “The Sporty’s rebate program is a wonderful way for our flying club and Sporty’s to mutually benefit from the purchase of pilot supplies and accessories,” he said. “We have agreed to credit all future rebates to our club social fund for events such as our annual dinner/dance gala as well as various aviation related field trips.”
Mike Vanderweide, president of the Charlottsville, Va,-based Monticello Flying Club, said his eight members participate in the Sporty’s program. “Any chance to bring down our costs, I jump on,” he told AOPA. “Our rebate was $8, but anything is better than nothing."
“We are pleased with the early results of this program,” Wolf said in the release. “As more clubs sign up we hope to issue larger rebates. It’s really a simple program. Flying club members make a purchase, and their club gets a check.”
Each flying club will be able to earn up to $5,000 a year through Sporty’s program. Clubs can add new members at any time and will be asked twice a year to review their registered club members to delete those individuals who are no longer affiliated with a particular club.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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