Husker fans fighting to get what they paid for after subpar gameday experience
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Avid husker fan AJ Brink pictured himself and three out-of-state friends watching a Nebraska football game from a skybox.
“I was under the impression the $2,000 I paid was going toward suite tickets and that money would go to charities,” Brink said. “Instead we got some $25 tickets.”
Instead of regular stadium seats, AJ expected to watch the Minnesota game in a suite as part of a private promotion called Nebraska GameDay Experience promoted by a group called Nfluence.
“It was absolutely not what we were sold, and not what we were expecting,” Brink said.
Just before kickoff, the Minnesota gameday experience started with a red flag. The promoter posted a sign that “due to not enough seats reserved by our benefactor, all experience buyers are being refunded.” This group paid for the less expensive packages.
“Each of you paid $1,000 for two tickets plus perks did any of that come true. No.”
“We were promised refund dates, I think three or four different times,” said buyer Troy Hughes. There was a perk package to come along with it.”
“I want my money and perks to that,” said fellow buyer Cody Salsman. “I was promised perks like a Yeti Cool and custom Husker jersey.”
Through his lawyer, former husker Adam Carriker says he was never paid to be a pitchman for the Nebraska GameDay Experience. Carriker says he’s deeply saddened and angry to learn numerous fans didn’t get what they paid for.
“We are raising money for great Nebraska charities,” Carriker said.
The Nebraska football hall-of-famer says he was misled into promoting the expensive ticket package after being told proceeds would go to a dozen charities, which is one reason this fan paid $1,000.
“We were misled because we thought we had ticket perks and the money was a fundraiser for organizations doing great things in our community,” Salsman said.
6 News contacted several charities listed that proceeds would benefit. A spokesman for the Ronald McDonald House says it’s not received a donation in relation to this experience. And the Sam Foltz Foundation hasn’t heard of the promotion.
“I donate a lot to events and non-profit groups, and this makes me second guess ‘Should I be contributing,’” said buyer Adam Bayse.
Most of the Nebraska GameDay Experience fans paid with credit cards last summer and are disputing charges with their banks if it’s not too late in the game.
“It wasn’t what any of us were expecting that’s for sure,” Brink said.
In a statement, Adam Carriker says the promoter called Nfluence used his website and sent emails in his name without his knowledge or permission. Carriker’s attorney says he’s sent the promotions group a cease-and-desist letter. One of the promoters texted that their attorney would be sending out a statement but none so far.
Carriker’s full statement:
“Last summer, a company purportedly specializing in pro bono and charitable work, and doing business as “Nfluence,” asked if I would agree to promote a charitable project, which would be known as the Husker GameDay Experience. The representatives of Nfluence represented to me that the Husker GameDay Experience would raise funds for charities by giving fans the opportunity to purchase Husker swag, suite tickets in Memorial Stadium, and watch Husker football games alongside former Husker players. I was told that the proceeds of the Husker GameDay Experience would be donated to 12 different charities whom I knew to be reputable. Because the proceeds were going to a charitable cause, I agreed to promote the Husker GameDay Experience; however, my participation in the Husker GameDay Experience was limited to allowing upcoming events to be posted on my website and appearing on one promotional video. I recently discovered that numerous fans who used their hard-earned money to pay for the Husker GameDay Experience never received certain tickets, swag, and other benefits that they paid to receive. After further investigation, I was also shocked to discover that, without my authorization, Nfluence obtained complete access to my website and had been sending numerous emails concerning the Husker GameDay Experience through an email account that Nfluence created in my name without my knowledge or consent. Unfortunately, these unauthorized emails created the appearance for fans that I was directly involved in the Husker GameDay Experience, which was never the case. I am deeply saddened and angry to learn that numerous fans did not get what they paid for, and although I had no involvement in the situation, my team and I are committed to doing everything reasonably within our power to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions, including but not limited to demanding that Nfluence and its principals agree to reimburse the affected fans for the funds that they paid for two Husker GameDay Experiences which never occurred (and for related perks and swag which were not received). We are still investigating this matter and will continue to do so aggressively. I want to thank my fans, followers, and supporters for their patience and support as we work through this very unfortunate matter.”
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