SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Within minutes of South Carolina winning a NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship in 2022, Barnes & Noble College (BNC) had merchandise available to buy online, according to a case study from BNC.
The big win translated into big sales of South Carolina gear, the study said.
Total sales in the month following the championship were more than the prior three months combined.
Sports gear is big business for many Division I universities. It’s not just because fans are buying merchandise; universities also sign contracts with sports apparel companies.
The Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team is the NCAA playoffs this year. In 2019, KU announced one of the largest apparel deals in college athletics at the time. It was a 14-year, $196 million agreement with Adidas that extended to 2031.
Forbes reported in 2018 that UCLA had an $18 million annual deal with Under Armour.
When fans see a company logo on team’s apparel that’s because the university has a contract.
The more popular the team, the more likely it is for team merchandise to be bought and worn.
Vivid Seats did an analysis of ticket sales in each county in each state in the U.S. to determine the most popular men’s and women’s college basketball teams. The analysis was released this month. Vivid Seats sells tickets to various sporting events.
Overall, the Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team is the most popular, according to Vivid Seats.
South Dakota has an interesting mix. In Minnehaha, Lincoln, Moody and Brookings counties, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits are the most popular Division I women’s team. The Jackrabbits are set to play the University of Southern California in the NCAA tournament at 7 p.m. CT on Friday.
In Brule County, the University of Connecticut women are the most popular. In Hand County, it’s the University of South Dakota.
There is even more of a mix for popular Division I men’s basketball teams in South Dakota.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are the most popular men’s team in Spink County. It’s Texas Tech in nearby Clark County. In Kingsbury and Codington counties, the most popular men’s team is the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. In Minnehaha County, it’s the Nebraska Cornhuskers, according to Vivid Seats.
The Hawkeyes are the most popular team in Iowa. It’s the Gophers in Minnesota. Nobles County in Minnesota has North Carolina State fans, in a break from Gopher support.
Texas Tech is the most popular men’s team overall, according to Vivid Seats. It’s followed by Kentucky and Tennessee.
In revenue studies over the past several years, some of the most popular teams in the country, which includes attendance, have made the most revenue. Among those men’s teams are Duke, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and Louisville.
The Duke University men’s basketball had $28 million in expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA). The team had $45 million in revenue.
Kansas had $17.1 million in revenue and $15.5 million in expenses. Kentucky listed $22.6 million expenses and $22.6 million in revenue.
Syracuse had $34.1 million in revenue and $14.8 million in expenses.
In the women’s division, Baylor, UConn, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida State are among the top revenue programs.
Baylor had $6.3 million in revenue and the same in expenses, according to the EADA. Tennessee had $2.4 million in revenue and $5.9 million in expenses. South Carolina had $9.5 million in revenue and the same in expenses. UConn had $8.5 million in revenue and the same in expenses.
In terms of attendance, the NCAA data shows the South Carolina women led the nation in attendance in 2021-2022 with 196,286 total fans or 12,268 per game in 16 games. Iowa State was second with 172,200 total fans or 9,567 per game in 18 games.
Syracuse led the men’s attendance with 320,279 total attendance for 16 games in 2021-2022. That is 20,017 per game. Kentucky was second with a total of 348,082 at 19,338 per game for 18 games.
Name, Image and Likeness for student athletes in the NCAA means athletes can have individual deals for merchandise.
BreakingT is one of the companies with NIL contracts with student athletes. The University of North Carolina said the university and basketball players have benefitted from BreakingT contracts.
In June of 2022, UNC topped the BreakingT list for top-selling merchandise with basketball as the dominant sport. June 2022 was the one-year anniversary of NIL.