Indiana Univ. Merch Sales Surging; AD Considers Assembly Hall Naming-Rights Deal
The Indiana Univ. men's basketball team would appear likely to fall from the No. 1 position in the polls after last night's loss to Minnesota, but the program's "resurgence over the last two seasons has already put bucks in the bank," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. IU officials said that royalties from the sale of licensed merchandise through Feb. 18 have increased 31% "over last season." Licensed merchandise sales last year were up 15% "over the year before." The officials said that those figures combined represent "another mid-six-digit windfall." IU officials added that licensing revenue was "either flat or down a bit each of the four years leading into last season." Sources said that if IU were to win the national championship, licensing revenue increases could be near $1M "during this fiscal year alone." Revenue from merchandise sales is "expected to eclipse" $2M this year. Long Performance Advisors President Mark Long said that if IU could surpass the $2M mark, the school "would rank among the top NCAA basketball powers." Meanwhile, IU AD Fred Glass said the school would explore a naming-rights deal for Assembly Hall "if someone came forward with a sizable gift." He added that there is a "higher comfort level with naming the building for an individual donor rather than a company," and that Assembly Hall "could be kept as part of the moniker." Glass said IU is "about maxed out" when it comes to in-stadium signage and other advertising opportunities. He "refuses to put a corporate logo on the court's surface." The school in recent years has "added sponsor messages to video sideboards and the overhead scoreboard." IU basketball revenue in recent years has accounted for 25-31% of total athletic department revenue, a "higher percentage than any other Big Ten school" (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/25 issue).