SBD/4/Collegiate Sports

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: ACC TOURNAMENT A MONEY-MAKER

          The economic impact of the ACC Tournament is profiled
     by Mark Asher of the WASHINGTON POST, who writes that "it is
     by far the conference's biggest money-maker, directly
     accounting for" $35-40M in revenue for its nine member
     schools.  The schools raised a total of $52M in tax
     deductible donations to their athletic scholarship funds in
     the FY '98 and "expect" to generate $55-60M in the current
     FY.  ACC Associate Commissioner Tom Mickle said roughly 50%
     of those donations are "attributable directly" to the
     tournament.  When revenue from ticket sales ($3.2M), TV
     rights fees ($5.7M), corporate sponsorships (at least $3M)
     and program sales/licensed products ($250,000) are included,
     the total "surpasses" $35M.  For this year's tourney at the
     23,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum, each school was allotted
     2,450 tickets at $220 per booklet.  Raycom Sports Exec VP
     Ken Haines said that the tournament normally draws triple
     the ratings of regular season games.  Haines "attributes" a
     third of the revenue from the ACC's $17M basketball TV
     rights fee -- which is paid by Raycom and Jefferson-Pilot
     Sports -- to the tournament.  Due to the scarcity of
     tickets, a source said that Haines "limits" his $3M
     corporate sponsors, which includes both TV ads and an ACC
     partnership, to six tickets each.  Another source of revenue
     for the conference during the tournament is the retail sale
     of licensed merchandise, which usually totals between
     $400,000 and $500,000 (WASHINGTON POST, 3/4).

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Colleges, Raycom Sports

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