UConn's Basketball Success Could Boost Merchandise Sales, Applications, Donations
UConn for the second time in 10 years has sent both its men's and women's basketball teams to the championship game, meaning the programs are again "likely to be a boon for the university and its bottom line," according to Adam Molon of NBCNEWS.com. UConn Associate AD/Communications Mike Enright said, "It brings great notoriety for the teams, but it also brings great notoriety for the university." He said that based on observation from the '04 season, higher merchandise sales "on items like T-shirts and caps will likely be one of the most tangible effects of the increased attention." Enright said of '04, "We saw a doubling of our money resulting from the licensing of our goods. We doubled it from approximately half a million to $1 million." TiqIQ VP/Data & Communications Chris Matcovich said that next season's ticket sales and prices "could also see a boost." Enright said that there "may also be an increase in financial contributions from alumni" and the on-court success "may even translate into a larger applicant pool." But Webster Univ. associate professor of economics Patrick Rishe said that while UConn's tournament wins "may boost application numbers slightly, the university won't likely experience the kind of boost that universities with lower profiles have generated through unexpected athletic success." UConn "currently has an annual athletics budget" of $62M (NBCNEWS.com, 4/7).
OLLIE OOP: In Hartford, Dom Amore reports UConn AD Warde Manuel plans to sit with men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie and "talk about a new contract, which will include more years and dollars" now that the men's team has won the national championship. Manuel said, "I'm going to enjoy this. And then we're going to sit down. Kevin knows how I feel about him. He knows I have a love for him, I know he has a love for this university. And when we sit down, I think it's going to be a great conversation." Ollie made $1.2M base salary this season, the "lowest among coaches in the Final Four, but he was only in his second year." He has "four years to go, but he is likely to get a longer deal" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/8).