OSU men's basketball team makes run for Final Four, but the hype not the same as run for football ti
The Ohio State University men's basketball team claimed a spot in the NCAA's Final Four after beating Memphis Saturday. And many fans are hopeful the Buckeyes can bring home another national title for its school. But the hype leading up to a possible basketball championship does not begin to compare to one in football.
The hype surrounding a possible national championship for Ohio State's football team seemed to begin before the season did. And it didn't let up until OSU met Florida in Arizona.
And even though OSU's men's basketball is in the running for a national title, the hype does not seem as impressive.
With the end of basketball season nearing, some local stores are still taking out large ads for OSU football gear with little attention placed on basketball. Store owners say there's a good reason why: football brings more cash.
A few folks straggle in Conrad's, a longtime OSU fan outfitter. Conrad's manager Rob Cohen won't deny that OSU football generates more revenue, but he said people are still excited about the basketball team.
"It's been a long time since, you know, they've gone all the way. And hopefully they will. People are excited. I know people were staying up watching the game last night, it was very late, and I did. And it was a great game," Cohen said.
But even with the Final Four just around the corner, Cohen said basketball still trails football revenue. And he has his own theory as to why basketball remains less popular.
"Maybe because it's played, some games at night and people have to work and it's hard for them to get over here and things like that. Whereas football is always on a Saturday, and people make a weekend of it," Cohen said.
And Kelly Dawes, owner of College Traditions, agreed. Dawes said her store sees a spike in revenue when the basketball team plays at home, especially on the weekend. But she said business doesn't really pick up until March Madness.
"Until we really get to Final Four, you don't see a huge jump until that point. Back I believe it was in 1999 when we went to the Final Four it was unbelievable the response that we got," Dawes said.
Dawes said only one customer that she knows of has inquired about Sweet Sixteen gear.
"We typically don't do a whole lot with Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight or Great Eight, but once you get to Final Four that's when it all sparks. And of course if we were to see a national championship, we're all keeping our fingers crossed, I think that will be very, very well received," Dawes said.
Both stores have already ordered championship gear in anticipation of a win.
Rick Van Brimmer is Ohio State's trademark licensing director. Van Brimmer also has a theory as to why football outshines basketball in popularity and revenue. He said basketball's scheduling is not convenient for all fans.
"Basketball sometimes plays on Mondays, sometimes plays on Wednesdays, sometimes plays on Saturdays, sometimes plays on Sunday afternoon. It doesn't have the regularity to it and there aren't, A., there aren't as many people at the game and B., there aren't the parties that are associated with Ohio State football that are taking place," Van Brimmer said.
Van Brimmer said OSU typically sees spikes in revenue when the teams are doing well. He said that's because people want to be a part of a winning program. And Van Brimmer expects to see a jump in its revenue if the basketball team brings home another title.
"Certainly we will see an increase in sales as the basketball team does well. And certainly if they would win the championship, you know, we would expect a spike," Van Brimmer said.
OSU's men's basketball team will take on Georgetown Saturday in Atlanta in a national semi-final game.