Love of expensive ASU blazer turns student to crowdfunding

(Photo by Sean Wiseman. Courtesy of Bennett Dwosh)

(Photo by Sean Wiseman. Courtesy of Bennett Dwosh)

What started out as a joke crowdfunding campaign has now turned into real money for marketing senior Bennett Dwosh.

During a visit to the new Sun Devil Marketplace in College Avenue Commons, Dwosh saw something he just had to have: a maroon and gold checkered blazer. However, the price was too expensive for him because he is on a college student’s budget.

“I saw the jacket and I saw the price and knew I couldn’t afford it,” Dwosh said. “I remembered a guy asking for money to make potato salad and he raised something like $70,000, so I thought I could easily raise the $425 dollars for the jacket.”

Dwosh started his campaign through gofundme and has raised $160 in four days with donations ranging from $5 to $50.

“I posted this to see how many laughs I could get and thought if I could get some money for the jacket, too, then that would be great,” he said. “I saw a couple of $5 donations and then some $20 donations and thought I might actually be able to get the jacket.”

Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular over the past few years with movies such as “Veronica Mars” and Zach Braff’s “Wish I was Here,” raising funds through Kickstarter to produce the films. Smaller projects like the man and his potato salad have come under criticism for taking money for frivolous items or activities.

“I think that is a major weakness of people’s view of crowdfunding,” Dwosh said. “The goal of it in reality is not to get others to pay for something for you; rather, it is to rally a whole group of people to earn something through collective buy-in. Others use crowd funding to study abroad or just even travel the world. I want to buy a jacket.”

Student Engagement Coordinator Sean Wiseman donated $5 to Dwosh’s campaign and said he hopes it will get other students excited about ASU.

“I know Bennett and the kind of guy he is and how much he loves ASU,” Wiseman said. “He is a proud Sun Devil that he would wear the jacket with pride to honor ASU. I think with him wearing the jacket, it will encourage others to show their Sun Devil pride.”

Business communications senior Zahra Giga said the campaign shows Dwosh’s school spirit.

“I think the campaign is very entrepreneurial and will help promote school spirit,” she said.

Dwosh said he has every intent of purchasing the jacket even if the money isn’t raised in full through the campaign and will be buying it within the next few weeks.

“If I don’t raise the full amount to get the jacket I will still get it using my own money to offset the cost,” he said. “My goal is to unveil it for the UCLA football game on Sept. 25.”

Reach the reporter at jshanco2@asu.edu or follow on Twitter @joey_hancock