University moves up rank of top-selling sports merchandising

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    The Collegiate Licensing Company has ranked the university No. 55 out of 75 top-selling institutions for collegiate merchandise for the first quarter of the 2009-2010 year. The university moved up four positions from the fiscal year ranking for 2008-2009.

    University bookstore general manager Llisa Lewis said she thought the university would be ranked higher by the end of the 2009-2010 year.

    The rankings were based on licensing royalties, which Lewis said is why the university ranks lower when compared to other schools. She said licensing royalties were collected not only on merchandise sold in the university bookstores, but also merchandise sold at other outlets nationwide.
    The University of Texas at Austin was ranked No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year on the CLC’s list for 2008-2009.

    The University of Florida, Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama and the University of North Carolina were listed in the top 10. Lewis said she was not surprised these schools were near the top of the list because of their national exposure and the number of students enrolled at the schools annually.

    Lewis said she thought that if the schools were ranked by royalties returned per-student, TCU would rank higher. She said a nationally well-known school with more than 50,000 students could more easily out-sell a regionally well-known school with fewer than 10,000 students simply because of the number of alumni.

    She also said increased national exposure from this year should contribute to increased university merchandise sales. Bookstore employees have been receiving orders from Horned Frog fans nationwide, she said.

    “We got so many Christmas calls for 5- to 10-year-old little boys who wanted a jersey,” Lewis said. “I had one dad who was calling from Ohio and he was like, ‘Well, we’re in the playoffs, and he wants a TCU jersey.'”

    While sales made during football season account for a large portion of yearly revenue, Lewis said the university’s unique atmosphere was another big draw for consumers.

    “I think the value of TCU (is) in its entire program, not just football, but the entire school is reflective in what people see in the football program,” Lewis said. “They see a core value, no gimmicks…and an honesty that just isn’t out there in, unfortunately, a lot of other programs, both pro and college.”

    Lewis said she could not provide exact figures for total collegiate gear sales because the information is privileged, referring questions to Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration. Gutierrez could not be reached for comment before press time Thursday.

    Freshman pre-business major Andres Ventura said he thought the ranking could be higher, and he agreed that the success of athletic programs on campus probably contributed to the school’s ranking.

    Freshman nursing major Sarah Woolman, who was shopping for Clinique products with her mother and grandmother Tuesday afternoon, said she thinks the school’s ranking will be higher next year. She said the atmosphere on campus combined with the bookstore’s post-game clothing discounts after football wins may boost the school’s ranking.

    Michele Woolman, Sarah Woolman’s mother, said the type of sales the university bookstore offered during football season were similar the merchandise discounts after football games at the University of Oklahoma’s bookstore. Sarah Woolman transferred this semester from the University of Oklahoma, which was No. 10 on the 2008-2009 CLC list.

    Mountain West Conference Merchandise Sales Rankings for fiscal year 2008-09

    46. Brigham Young University

    47. University of Utah

    59. Texas Christian University

    60. Colorado State University

    64. University of Wyoming

    66. University of New Mexico

    70. United States Air Force Academy

    San Diego State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas are unranked.

    For a complete list of rankings, visit www.clc.com.