SOURCE: Marcus Lemonis LLC

Marcus Lemonis LLC

September 16, 2015 13:52 ET

Marcus Lemonis of CNBC's "The Profit" Kicks Off the $10 Million "Ballgames to Books" Challenge

Donations Starting From $25 Will Allow Sports Fans to Put Their 'Money Where Their Mouth Is' and Raise Funds for Education Focused Programs Through College Sports Rivalries

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL--(Marketwired - Sep 16, 2015) - CNBC host, entrepreneur and philanthropist Marcus Lemonis has shown over and over that he knows how to help companies increase revenue on his hit CNBC reality series, "The Profit," and now he is asking college sports fans to do the same for their favorite schools. Lemonis is following up on a friendly rivalry wager he made in 2014 from his Twitter account @MarcusLemonis, when his beloved Miami Hurricanes played against their well-known rivals the Florida State Seminoles in a football game. Lemonis promised that he would donate $25,000 to the FSU School of Business if the football team won against Miami. The Seminoles reigned successful in the November 15, 2014 battle with an end score of FSU 30 to Miami 26. Now, Lemonis is not only paying up, but also stepping up, by encouraging corporations and alumni from across the country to join his challenge, "Ballgames to Books," by offering donations to their rival's academic departments when their favorite team loses. Donations are encouraged in any amount, starting at $25.

"I am passionate about college athletics and even more passionate about supporting educational programs. The 'Ballgames to Books' challenge is an opportunity for alumni to give back to schools in a creative and positive way," said Lemonis. "We tend to get fired up when it comes to our favorite teams playing their rivals: Alabama vs Auburn, Texas vs Oklahoma, Oregon vs Oregon State, Clemson vs South Carolina, Duke vs North Carolina, UCLA vs USC, BYU vs Utah, Michigan vs Ohio State, Notre Dame vs USC and hundreds more across the country. I am calling out alumni to put their money where their mouth is. If you are so confident that your school is going to win, put money on the table! And if they lose, then PAY UP! The silver lining is that your donation goes to supporting education and future leaders!"

Lemonis will be making a special appearance at Florida State University on Saturday, October 10th, to pay up on the $25,000 challenge that he lost from the 2014 game. Additionally, in an effort to accelerate "Ballgames to Books," Lemonis will kick off the challenge this Saturday, September 19th, for the Miami vs Nebraska game with an increased $50,000 wager. Lemonis remarked, "I'm so confident the Canes will win that I am putting $50,000 on the table!"

What makes his offers particularly unique is that while Lemonis is a native of Miami, he graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lemonis commented, "No worries, I will be sure to show my support when the Marquette University Basketball team play against the Wisconsin Badgers on December 12th with another $50,000! Do I have any takers that want to support the Badgers and challenge me?" 

Lemonis is suggesting that universities, corporations and alumni get vocal on their social media pages, as well as posting YouTube videos stating the challenge and tagging their universities and their rivals using the hashtag #ballgamestobooks. "My goal is to create awareness and raise $10 million for education programs and what better way than through our country's love of college sports," remarked Lemonis. 

Tune into CNBC's The Profit, Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT when it returns on November 3rd to watch Lemonis as he saves struggling businesses. To learn more about "The Profit," visit: Like it on Facebook: and follow it on Twitter: @CNBCprimeTV #TheProfit.

About Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis is an entrepreneur, investor, television personality, and chairman and CEO of Marcus Lemonis LLC as well as Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. Camping World is the nation's largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam is the world's largest RV owner's organization. Visit

Lemonis is also known as the "business turnaround king" and host of CNBC's prime time reality series, The Profit, in which he lends his expertise to struggling small businesses around the country and judges businesses based on a "Three P" principle: People, Process, and Product.

More about Marcus Lemonis can be found at, Facebook and Twitter @MarcusLemonis.

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