The Florida Gulf Coast men’s basketball team put not just their program, but school on the map advancing to the Sweet 16 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. It’s impossible to put a price on the kind of exposure and earned media the school from Fort Myers — established just over 20 years ago in 1991 — received due to their magical run beating Georgetown and San Diego State convincingly.
When the cash registers officially closed and numbers tallied, Florida Gulf Coast only cashed out on about $15,000 in royalties from sales of officially licensed merchandise in the first quarter of 2013.
$15,000 doesn’t seem like a whole lot, right? Here’s how FGCU’s payday shakes out:
FGCU receives an 8 percent royalty on the wholesale price — not retail price — of officially licensed merchandise, and splits that revenue with Licensing Resource Group. A T-shirt that sells for $20, for example, may only carry a wholesale price of $5, which would generate a royalty of 40 cents. LRG’s cut would be 14 cents, leaving just 26 cents for FGCU. For the period that ran Jan. 1 to March 31, royalties totaled $22,017 on $293,119 of wholesale sales, the vast majority coming from apparel sales.
When compared to the $5,298 in royalties from the first quarter in 2012, Loren Prive, FGCU’s director of business operations, commented: “It doesn’t look huge, but when you compare it to last year, it’s much better.”
While the increased royalties FGCU received is certainly a nice boost, it pales in comparison to larger schools and athletic programs around the country. The University of Florida, for instance, brought home $6.3 million in licensing royalties from July, 2011 to June, 2012.
Ultimately, the real money to be made from their NCAA Tournament success is from a stark increase in high school students applying to the school. From an ESPN article in late March:
From March 21 to March 25, unique visitors to the admissions page on FGCU’s website leaped from 2,280 to 42,793. Overall visits to the school’s website topped out on Monday at 230,985, not counting the 117,113 who went directly to the athletics page. In the month leading up to FGCU’s advancing to the Sweet 16, visitors to the website had seen a daily count as low as 18,863.
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