Wichita State Says Final Four Appearance Will Drive Merch Sales To "Uncharted Territory"
Wichita State Univ. Assistant AD/Marketing & Corporate Relations John Brewer said that the company that licenses WSU brands for T-shirts and other merchandise "estimated earlier that reaching the Sweet 16 would mean a bump, pushing the university’s typical annual revenue of $125,000 to about $200,000," according to a front-page piece by Dan Voorhis of the WICHITA EAGLE. However, Brewer said that the Final Four is a "whole different level." Brewer said that it is a "little early to know what this will mean for WSU merchandise sales." He added, "This is uncharted territory. I’m assuming there is one solid week for them to be on sale, but there will probably be some trickle effect after that.” School officials said that WSU would gain from "at least three sources: tournament-related earnings, increased merchandise sales and increased contributions from alumni and other donors." WSU Senior Associate AD/External Operations Darron Boatright said, "We're not out there shaking our buckets yet. It's like being in the middle of a tornado and somebody asking what the damage is." WSU will get about $450,000 "for its tournament run, plus another $367,500 to cover expenses for playing in three cities: Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Atlanta" (WICHITA EAGLE, 4/2). In Wichita, Suzanne Perez Tobias noted WSU fans "lined up by the hundreds on Easter morning to get first pick of Final Four T-shirts emblazoned" with the WSU mascot WuShock's "distinctive scowl" (WICHITA EAGLE, 4/1).
GETTING YOUR MONEY'S WORTH: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell reported Ft. Myers-based music producer Charlie Pennachio on March 25 "filed for a trademark for the term 'Dunk City.'" Pennachio said that his son "goes to school" at Florida Gulf Coast Univ. and that he was "encouraged to make the business move by one of his clients." FGCU has licensed merchandise with its logo and "Dunk City" on it that has been "selling at local retailers, but the school itself has not yet made a formal claim to the mark" (ESPN.com, 3/29).
MARKETING MACHINE: In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote since "almost the moment" the NCAA Tournament field was announced, Nike's social media machine "has been cranking." One after another, Nike has "churned out magazine-quality ads with snappy slogans -- 'Don't Be Fooled By The Smarts Or Harvard Will Teach You a Lesson,' for example -- for some of the nearly 50 tournament teams it outfits in sneakers and uniforms." In another time, these are the "kinds of Nike ads that would have found a place on a billboard in each college's hometown or maybe even in New York City's Times Square." But these Nike ads have been "appearing on Twitter and Facebook." And as each team advances, the ads have been "appearing within hours of the game's final buzzer." Speed has "caught up with creativity as an essential element in building and maintaining a brand" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/30).