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Published 07/03/2013
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#BuildingChampions Wednesday It Starts With U

By David Villavicencio

It Starts With U.

Those are four words the Hurricane Club wants Canes fans across the globe to know.

“It Starts With U” is also the name of the Hurricane Club’s initiative to aid growth of the award-winning Building Champions campaign. The initiative encourages Hurricane Club members to become “Canes Reps” that will help grow Miami’s athletic development arm.

“We are empowering our Hurricane Club members to join as Canes reps,” said Alfonso Restrepo, Miami’s Assistant Director of Development. “What a Canes rep does is they are our eyes and ears on the street. They help us promote the Hurricane Club and bring in new members to the Hurricane Club.”

The “It Starts With U” initiative is off to a strong start with more than 40 Canes reps registered.

“It’s been very successful so far,” Restrepo said. “We obviously want more Canes reps and our goal is to get to 100 by the end of the year.”

That group has already made an impact, but Restrepo envisions the success to multiply as the program grows.

“The initiative has brought close to 100 new donations to the Hurricane Club directly from the help of Canes reps,” Restrepo said. “It’s even added new major gift donors to the program.”

A Canes rep helps the Hurricane Club and their assistance is rewarded through a variety of different avenues.

“We give benefits to our Canes reps,” Restrepo said. “We give them perks and special access as a thank you for their help. Once a rep signs up and has his first referral joins the Hurricane Club, they both receive a limited edition “Building Champions” commemorative hat. We’ve also hosted the Canes reps in the Athletic Director’s suite during a men’s basketball game. There are great benefits and access opportunities for our volunteer reps, it’s a win-win for everybody involved.”

The “It Starts With U” initiative has a far reach across the United States. Restrepo says the program has participants from a variety of different demographics living all over the country.

“Our Fans have loved it,” Restrepo said. “We have Canes reps as far as Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa. There are alumni and die-hard fans. We have young alumni and people who have been in the Hurricane Club for over 30 years. The response has been very positive and they’re excited to help us continue to build champions.”

The Hurricane Club is excited to announce a “Canes Rep” challenge. Starting on July 8th, the Rep that signs up the most new Hurricane Club members in a two week window, will receive 2 complimentary tickets for the UM vs. UF game in the Club level of SunLife Stadium. Old and new reps are eligible for this challenge, and all new members have to join the Hurricane Club before 5pm on July 19th. For more information on the Canes Rep program and to sign-up, please visit

To help build champions and join the Hurricane Club, visit Follow Associate AD Jesse Marks on Twitter, @jessehmarks, for all the latest Hurricane Club updates.