Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 27, 2013

Leonard: When Hoosiers win, Indiana U. sees dollar signs

When Indiana’s Hoosiers do well on the basketball court, they do well with fundraising and merchandise sales.

Donations earmarked for athletics were up more than $1 million last year from the previous year and Indiana University communications spokesman Mark Land said it’s logical to assume the Hoosiers’ phoenix-like rise from the doldrums of the past years was the reason.

Revenue from royalties earned from the sale of IU athletics-related merchandise rose 15 percent last year and as of early March was more than 30 percent higher than last year, he said, noting those figures were compiled before the Hoosiers claimed the Big Ten regular season title and before IU was named a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

“Anecdotally,” he said, “I was just talking to Val Gill (the university’s director of licensing and trademarks) yesterday, and she said merchandise is flying off the shelves right now.”

Requests for the use of licensed IU logos and trademarks also are up. “We’re getting the number of requests in one day that we used to get in one week,” Land said.

That’s good news as well at a school where basketball-related revenue accounts for 25 to 30 percent of sports income, a number roughly double the norm at football powerhouses such as Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska. It’s even good for the IU regional campuses, Land said, because royalties are shared throughout the system.

Butler University saw a large bump in applications for admissions when its basketball team reached the Final Four in 2010 and 2011. “That doesn’t really happen for us, because we’re a pretty well-known name brand nationally and we get plenty of applications,” Land said. “There might be some uptick, but not enough to shout about.”

What makes the IU spokesman happy is the free and positive press that winning basketball generates for the overall university and the opportunities that creates. While IU may well be known nationally, there’s always room for a bigger presence and greater prestige. “It allows us to get the message out, especially to key areas outside the state,” Land said. “For example, if we’re fortunate enough to get through this weekend, we’ll be headed to Washington, D.C., next week, and that’s a big area for us, a place where we know we’d like a higher profile,” he said.

That creates a good problem to have — do you market the school comprehensively or do you target the new School of Global and International Studies as an example of the positive energy and foresight of IU?

“To have the president pick us to win the championship, I don’t know how you measure that, but it can’t be a bad thing,” Land said.

IU’s thrilling return to basketball prominence last year and top 10 rankings for the entire 2012-13 season certainly fueled enthusiasm on campus, and that’s something money can’t buy, the IU spokesman said. A camera crew will set up in the Indiana Memorial Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today to videotape good-luck messages to show next week, he said. On Thursday, if the Hoosiers are still in the tournament, the campus will celebrate a “Show your Stripes” day and school representatives will be randomly handing out IU “swag” to students strutting their stuff.

On the subject of apparel, Land said it looks like athletics director Fred Glass absolutely made the right decision when he declined the offer from apparel sponsor Adidas to put the Hoosiers in special, flashy uniforms during last week’s conference tournaments.

Notre Dame, Kansas, Cincinnati and Louisville all agreed to wear the new uniforms and were widely panned by fans and critics. “We got a lot of praise from people for standing our ground,” Land said. “And, really, it makes all the sense in the world. Our look is distinctive in part because it doesn’t change. Whether it’s the candy-striped pants or the jerseys with no names on the back, it says IU. It says tradition.”

Whether the Hoosiers will ever again have to wince when an announcer describes them as the University of Indiana is another matter. “I haven’t heard that one for a while,” the IU spokesman said. “But as long as Charles Barkley’s around, there’s always a chance for that to get screwed up.”

Mike Leonard writes for the Bloomington Herald-Times.

 

        For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller