For any specific questions please email us directly at one of the email addresses here. We will try to use this page to respond to comments that may be of interest to many people, but our primary point of contact is via email.
Are you a real rowing team?
LOL yes! Warwick Rowing (formerly University of Warwick Boat Club) was founded in 1966 and has been officially recognised as one of the university’s best sports clubs for its unique combination of accessibility and competition focus. Now on the verge of top tier status in British rowing, Warwick Rowing has produced some of the most outstanding rowers of recent years, including Tom Solesbury (Current British Olympian and World Cup Championship medallist, Boat Race winner with Oxford in 2009) and Ben Ellison (2011 Boat Race winner with Oxford).
Why do you do a calendar?
Rowing is a really expensive sport, and we don’t get as much help with our costs as rowing clubs at other universities. This is mainly because, compared to other top tier universities, we are relatively new, and do not have large alumni bequests to fund sports activity. Back in 2009, our boats were dilapidated and we had no way of repairing them. We started the calendar as a way of literally keeping the club afloat! The success of the calendar has transformed the club, and has also enabled us to start making a contribution beyond our sport. See Charity below.
Supporting Warwick Rowing
What products do you sell?
We sell a growing range of Warwick Rowers products featuring our men’s team. These include the print calendars, the “making of the calendar” films, and a range of digital stills downloads that include the calendar images themselves and around two hundred bonus images in a variety of different packs. We have also just introduced a range of greeting cards, and will be bringing you more great, new products over the coming months. If you have any ideas, please write to our producer at [email protected]
Do you only sell products with guys?
“Warwick Rowers” is just the guys, but the girls in the club produce a very cool calendar of their own. If you want to buy products featuring the women’s team, please go to warwickrowing.org/shop
Why do you want to write to me?
Two reasons. Firstly, we want to be able to let you know when we bring out something that might interest you. Also, support is crucial to success in sport. It helps us as a team to be able to let you know when we’re doing well or, even more, when we need to be in your prayers!
Who runs the business?
We do! Apart from our producer, who’s long done with university, we are all current full-time students at the University of Warwick, and active members of the rowing club. This does mean that we aren’t always as good as Amazon when it comes to getting everything right, but please believe us when we say that we are trying really hard!
Where do you sell your products?
We mainly sell our products online at warwickrowers.org, so you’re in the right place, right now! And we deliver all over the world!!
We are also open to approaches from retailers and are delighted to say that our print calendars are already available from Kitson stores throughout Los Angeles; Calendar Club in Leamington Spa, England; Eisenherz Books in Berlin; and Bookworld in Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain.
Why can’t I get the film as a DVD?
We decided long ago that the simplest way of getting our films to people was via downloads. DVDs are expensive to make, particularly the BluRay format that would be required to show our films, which are produced in full 1080P HD. We also recognize that people may want to play our films across a range of devices, and our format allows the films to be played on smartphones, tablets, computers and media servers.
Why is there a copyright notice on my digital downloads?
We want to give our customers the best possible versions of our digital content, optimized for clear viewing on high resolution displays. Unfortunately, we have had experiences in the past where this content has been posted in public forums for people to download. We want everyone to understand that, while we share lots of free content publicly, our high resolution content is only for people who support our club and our charity. These notices are there to remind people of that, but we do try to make them as unobtrusive as possible.
Charity and Sport Allies
When I buy your products, where does my money go?
Briefly, the money is divided between production costs, supporting the club in its sporting activity, and supporting good causes. The project’s fixed overheads are pretty much limited to website hosting – there is no rent to cover, we have no salaried workers, and everyone who works on the project does so either voluntarily, on task-related short-term contracts, or for performance-related pay only.
So is this a student project or a professional enterprise?
We’d like to think of it as a student project that delivers content like a professional enterprise! The calendar was originally created and marketed to raise funds to support student sport, and every penny from all sales went to Warwick Rowing. Apart from the photography, the students did everything themselves. However, we all recognized that this limited the scope of the project in many ways. The calendar and all the associated products are now professionally produced, and while this means that we incur production costs, we have succeeded in keeping fixed costs to a minimum while creating content that reaches a much, much wider market.
So how much goes to good causes?
Even with higher costs, more than half of the money you pay goes directly to either the rowing programme or to our Sport Allies programme challenging homophobia. To put this in context, charity Christmas cards in the UK are legally obliged to give only 2% to charity, and our research shows that most such cards give less than 10%.
We introduced charitable giving with the launch of our 2012 film, when we donated 25% of the retail price of the film to Sport Relief, a major UK national charity. We then decided to use our 2013 film to support the StandUp Foundation, a charity registered in both the UK and the US challenging homophobia. Although our 2013 film was more expensive to produce, we committed to giving the StandUp Foundation up to 20% of the retail price of the film, with a minimum donation of 50p per download.
How much support will Sport Allies get from Warwick Rowers product sales?
With our new Sport Allies initiative, we are making a clear commitment to give an absolute minimum of 10% of all profits from every single product we sell, not just the films. This is vastly more than we have given before. And we are giving more than money. Equally importantly, everyone involved in the project, including our professional associates, is committing to give contracted minimum volunteering time to making Sport Allies happen.
Tell me more about Sport Allies!
We’re very excited about this. Sport Allies was born out of the Warwick Rowers calendar project, and the relationship that It has enabled between a bunch of (mainly!) straight jocks and the gay community. We are proud of this relationship, and Sport Allies is how we plan to honour it.
As well as having attracted the support of a UK registered charity to work with us on developing our programme, we have also secured the support of one of the world’s largest accountancy and professional services corporations.
Sport Allies will:
• Deliver an outreach programme to local schools, challenging homophobia and seeking to make sport more accessible to all
• Establish a replicable model for all university sports clubs to become more diverse and inclusive, and undertake community outreach work to promote inclusion to young people
• Develop and produce viral content to encourage young people who need advice about their sexuality to call a national helpline in the UK or visit a website which will list similar international resources.