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April 11, 2024

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Successful season boosts sales

The success of the Falcon football team, at 4-2, has translated into successful University clothing sales this semester.

“I think there’s a direct correlation,” said Teri Long, liaison between the University bookstore and athletic department at football games. “Everybody wants to follow a winning team.”

The University sold between $10,000 and $11,000 worth of athletic clothing at the five home football games last year said Paul Krebs, athletic director. This year, through three home games, $16,000 thousand in athletic apparel has been sold.

One of the main reasons for such a rise in merchandise sales has come from an increase in attendance at the football games. According to J.D. Campbell, director of athletic communications, attendance is up by about 4,800 fans per game.

“We’re very happy with the interest the students have shown in the team this year,” he said.

For the first time this year, there is a joint agreement between the athletic department and University bookstore, allowing the two departments to split the revenues from clothing sales at games. This has allowed the bookstore to offer promotions at games, such as a raffle for a $250 book scholarship at each game, in order to encourage fan attendance.

Besides Falcon merchandise sales being up at football games, sales have also risen at the University bookstore. However, according to Long, it is not known exactly how much the increase has been.

The University is not the only benefactor of the football team’s success. The off-campus bookstores have also seen BGSU apparel move off the shelves quickly.

According to Kent Kokomoor, manager at BeeGee Bookstore, he has noticed about a 15 percent increase in University clothing sales.

“Around Thursday and Friday (business) really starts picking up for the game during the weekend,” he said.

Having more people come into the bookstore to buy clothing for the football games has led to increases in sales in other areas Kokomoor said.

“Since they’re already in here, they might start wandering around and pick up a supply or poster,” he said.

While the success of the football team has had a great deal to do with the rise in University merchandise sales, Krebs said other factors have helped almost as much.

This year, for the first time, the University has athletic apparel made by companies such as Adidas, New Era and The Game. Krebs said having name brand companies creating the apparel has helped spark interest in athletic clothing.

“We’re going to continue to aggressively sell name brand products fans are interested in,” he said.

Although the rise in merchandise sales is unusual during football season, it is not unusual during other times of the year.

University clothing has sold well during basketball season the last two years, in correlation with the success of the men’s basketball team.

“Last year, during football season, sales were down,” Kokomoor said. “During those months of basketball season it picked up; carried over from the season before.”

Kokomoor said that the only difference between this year and last year will be that instead of sales increasing when basketball season hits, they will remain steady this year.

“If anything I would expect a bit of an increase,” he said. “Especially if the basketball team has the season I expect them to have.”

According to Kokomoor, who was a student at the University in the late 70’s, said fan spirit was just as high or higher then for the hockey team, which had recently won a national title.

“Back then, the Ice Arena was always packed,” he said. “If any team is doing good it starts a spark in interest.”

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