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The Money Side of a BCS Championship

By on January 17th, 2011 in Football Comments Off on The Money Side of a BCS Championship

When Wes Byrum’s kick sailed through the uprights as time expired on the game clock last Monday, the $30,000 crystal football that came with that kick represented a fraction of the dollars about to come Auburn’s way.

For Tiger fans, the past week has been a once in a lifetime experience. For the athletic department and merchandisers, it’s a gift that will keep on giving for the foreseeable future.

CNBC business reporter Darren Rovell said last week that Auburn’s increase in merchandising sales should be higher than past BCS champions. “While schools have typically seen at least a 25 percent royalty bump after winning the national championship, I’m guessing Auburn’s take is going rise by more than 50 percent,” said Rovell.

Rovell attributes the increase to the length of time between championships for the Auburn program. Last week’s win marked it first national championship in 53 years. He also points out that Auburn has plenty of room to grow.

“Auburn was the 14th most popular school (nationally) in sales from July through September, according to rankings compiled by CLC, which manages the trademarks to most of the big time schools,” Rovell wrote.  “A host of other SEC schools ranked ahead of them, including Alabama (2), Florida (3), Georgia (5), LSU (8) and Tennessee (10).”

A check of the Auburn bookstores on Saturday showed wall-to-wall merchandise celebrating the school’s national title. Whether you’re in the mood for shirts, mugs, hats, posters, even turf from the BCS playing field, it’s available for purchase.

By Rovell’s count, Auburn already had 175 different licensed items for sale the day after the championship game. That number should increase dramatically in the days ahead.

However, be warned: Anything with the BCS logo on it comes at a premium. A check of prices locally showed most items running 15-to-20 percent higher than comparable goods without the coveted logo.

Auburn typically gets 10 percent of the revenue for any licensed product displaying its logos. For BCS items, the school collects 12 percent. Bookstore owners are passing that cost on to consumers while maintaining their healthy markups.

All of this additional revenue comes on the heels of what’s already been a very profitable 2010 season. Through the end of November, Auburn merchandise had already experienced a 27 percent increase over last season, according to CLC.

Auburn collected $3.4 million in royalties last year (2009). That number trails Texas who led the nation with nearly $10.2 million in merchandising revenue. Ohio State was second with nearly $8 million.

Auburn fans will have a chance to spend more money this weekend when the University hosts its Championship Celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Saturday event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT. No tickets are necessary and seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Come early and bring your credit card.

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