The Final Four and Nike

As the Men’s Final Four is set to tip-off in New Orleans this weekend, while the Women’s Final Four will be played in Denver, along with great basketball games, fans should keep their eyes peeled for something else:  Swooshes.

Since as long as 1985, when Nike introduced The Dunk shoe and entered into sponsorship agreements with colleges whose basketball programs would wear The Dunk in the school’s colors, Nike has forged strong bonds with some of the top college basketball programs in the nation.  Some 27 years later, that bond continues to be strengthened.  In January, Nike unveiled its most recent piece of college basketball apparel:  the Hyper Elite Platinum series.  The focal marketing point of the Hyper Elite Platinum series was an innovatively designed uniform created largely from recycled polyester.  However, from a fan perspective, the highlight of the new series was that Nike designed the uniforms for the nine teams which have won national championships while wearing its apparel:  Arizona, Baylor (women), Connecticut (men and women), Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse.

It is no coincidence that some of the most prestigious college basketball programs have won national championships while donning Nike apparel.  In developing products specifically designed for college basketball players and creating a proactive sponsorship and marketing approach, Nike has set itself apart as the leader in college basketball apparel.

This fact is demonstrated when one considers how many Division I basketball programs Nike currently has sponsorship agreements in place with.  According to Mary Remuzzi, Director of Global Communications for Nike, Inc., 54 teams that competed in this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament are sponsored by Nike, with 50 being “Nike schools” and four being “Jordan schools.”  Additionally, all four of this year’s number-one seeds are sponsored by Nike, while ten of the top-16 seeds are sponsored by Nike (seven being “Nike schools” and three being “Jordan schools”).  Of the teams participating in the Men’s Final Four, two are sponsored by Nike:  Ohio State and Kentucky.

Nike also has a stronghold when it comes to sponsorships for women’s basketball programs.  According to Remuzzi, 50 of the teams that competed in this year’s NCAA Division Women’s Basketball tournament are sponsored by Nike.  Of this year’s number one seeds for the women’s tournament, three of the four are sponsored by Nike.

When asked what the business benefit is to Nike in outfitting college athletes with Nike apparel, Remuzzi provided great insight into Nike’s longstanding history of working with college athletes.  Remuzzi said,

“Nike is a youth brand committed to developing young athletes. We design our products by working with athletes to gain their insights. By supporting college athletics, it helps us create and then showcase our most innovative products.

Nike actually has a long history of supporting college athletics stretching back to when Steve Prefontaine ran for the University of Oregon in the 1970s under the Coach Bill Bowerman, one of Nike’s co-founders.  Ever since, Nike has been about bringing the best athletes at the collegiate level (and beyond) our most innovative products to help inspire them and help them perform at their best. A good example is the University of Oregon (co-founder Phil Knight’s undergraduate alma mater) and the uniforms we developed for the school’s football team that debuted in last year’s Rose Bowl (http://www.nikeinc.com/news/oregon-ducks-will-wear-most-innovative-football-uniform-to-date-for-rose-bowl). This was the most advanced uniform system ever assembled.”

With respect to college basketball, Nike re-committed itself to providing student-athletes with innovative products by debuting its Style of Dress uniforms in 2007.  System of Dress revolved around the idea of giving players a “more tailored look on-court,” while also providing them with a design compatible with high-performance play.  The Style of Dress line was originally introduced to only four programs in 2007 (Arizona, Floria Ohio State, and Syracuse).  The fact that the line’s most recent release (the Hyper Elite Platinum series) was introduced to nine schools, demonstrates Nike’s continued commitment and interest in outfitting college basketball programs with its innovative apparel.

In coming years, one can only expect Nike’s sponsorships of college basketball programs to increase.  For the time being, though, all one needs to do to spot a Nike sponsored program, is be on the lookout for the Nike Swoosh on a player’s jersey or shorts.

UCSD Tritons

Who Really Pays to Play? The role of student fees

Guest author: Dr. Michael Lorenzen

Dr. Michael Lorenzen is the principal owner of Collegiate Athletics Strategy Advising, a firm that provides advisement services to collegiate athletics administrators. He’s also a frequent guest contributor to BusinessofCollegeSports.com.

A rather important benchmark for intercollegiate athletics was established recently, albeit a bit under the radar in lovely San Diego, CA.  The undergraduate student body at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) was given the opportunity to vote on something called the Division I Student Scholarships Referendum, which would have increased student fees by $165 per quarter in order to fund a transition for the athletic program (ICA) from Division II to Division I (http://as.ucsd.edu/ica/).  The status quo ICA operating fee was already $119.78 per quarter and the referendum would have raised it to $284.78.  Almost a third of the increase was slated to be set aside for financial need programs, but the remaining $117.15 was all for support of athletics. Without any other visible means to support the transition, the undergrads were being asked if they would put up the millions of dollars necessary to step up and swim in the bigger pool of the NCAA.

The referendum came at a time when the state of California is in a deep financial hole and continuing to slash support for higher education.  Every school in the Cal State and University of California system has felt the impact and been forced to confront difficult new operating realities.  From 2010 to 2012, UCSD lost $70.5 million in state funding, which resulted in some pretty serious hardship for the school, including painful budget cuts to things like library funding and postponement of faculty recruitment.  Student fees in other areas have been raised on an annual basis and the amount of debt incurred by undergrads has jumped more than $3,000 over the last decade after inflation (http://as.ucsd.edu/docs/ICA_Election_Results_2012.pdf).

Asking the undergraduates to pay for expensive athletics has been a trend in the last decade in California and it has largely been viewed favorably by the students who vote.  One could argue that the undergrad who approves such a tax are often deciding to pass on a fee that will affect future students much more than themselves, but there has been a consistent majority urge from students to invest in having better athletics on their campuses.  Without their willingness to go further into debt, mid-tier NCAA institutions find themselves in an ever-greater bind as the cost of competing rises, just as state support for universities is declining.  And, perhaps more importantly, just as the wealth often associated with collegiate athletics is increasingly concentrated in the small number of schools that generate profits from athletic operations.

According to the NCAA (http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/2010RevExp.pdf), “a total of 22 athletics programs in the FBS [Football Bowl Subdivision] reported positive net revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, which represents an increase from the 14 reported in 2009”.  This refers to the 120 big-time, major conference programs that have the greatest opportunity to reap the rewards of corporate sponsorships and media contracts.  The largest such school generated $143.6 million, which was a staggering $108 million more than the median generated revenue for schools of that level at $35 million.  Granted, that number one contender also spent $130 million that year, but the median spending of those who were trying to keep up with the Joneses was $46.7 million.  The net of all that math is that the “median negative net generated revenue”–a nice euphemism for bleeding cash–for the 98 FBS schools that lost money was just under $10 million.  The authors of the report noted excitedly that in the previous year schools lost on average a little more than $10 million each, so that must be good news.  Unless you’re the AD who is trying to figure out where to come up with that $10 million.

The story is similar at the next level down in the NCAA, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).  For those schools the “median negative net generated revenue” was $9.2 million and was consistently rising across the country.  The scarier number is that the median generated revenue was only $3.3 million and there is little potential for those schools to find big paydays on the scale of their Pac 12, Big 10, or SEC brethren.  The annual losses are nearly as big as the FBS schools but there is even less opportunity for filling that gap without turning to the one pot that every administrator seems to think is infinitely refillable–student fees.

UC Davis (UCD) began planning for a transition from Division II to Division I for the same set of basic reasons that UCSD looked at the issue–surely such a large school better fits the profile of the big Division I institutions than little Division II schools with 25% as many students on average.  In the first stage of the Davis process students passed the Facilities and Campus Enhancement Initiative (FACE) in February 1999 that resulted in an $18 per quarter increase in student fees (http://daviswiki.org/move_to_division_i).  Next up was the 2002 Campus Expansion Initiative (CEI) that elevated student fees by $120 per quarter for undergrads and $22 for grads.  The bill was passed by 54% (http://daviswiki.org/Campus_Expansion_Initiative) with the funds from that bill dedicated to a variety of campus projects, but almost half of it in order to provide for $4 million per year in grants-in-aid for athletics.  In spite of those increases, by 2010 UCD announced it was eliminating four sports to save money and that another student fee increase had not been enough to fund the scale of a Division I program that the student body now found themselves effectively owning (at one point student fees accounted for 75% of the athletic department’s budget).

The same financial pinch motivated similar “asks” by administrations of other universities in California.  In May 1999, UC Irvine students approved a $33 hike per quarter to help fund athletic scholarships.  In April 1998, UC Santa Barbara students approved a $9 per quarter increase and in June 1998 UC Riverside students voted to pay an additional $35 per quarter.

On the surface, and given the trend with state schools in California, to many folks I’m sure the decision in San Diego appeared to be a no-brainer.  Like UC Davis, UCSD is by far larger than the average Division II university, has several teams that already compete at the Division I level (volleyball and water polo), and does fit the profile of the other large institutions in the UC system in California in many ways.

Nonetheless, what UCSD does not have (nor was it proposing to add) is the economic engine that pulls the athletic train in the form of a Division I football team.  It also does not have a local culture of rabidly supportive and passionate UCSD community-based fans.  But perhaps most importantly, the undergraduate student body appears to believe that they’re paying quite enough for their education and have no desire to pay an additional $1,980 over the course of their four years for the privilege of having higher profile and larger scale competitive sports teams.  In the final tally of voting on the Referendum, 11,407 students turned out and they voted a fairly resounding no, with 57% saying they did not want the referendum to pass (http://as.ucsd.edu/docs/ICA_Election_Results_2012.pdf).

It is difficult for many faculty and students to stomach the idea of increasing fees to pay for athletics at a time when the fit of intercollegiate athletics on campus is ever more tenuous.  Are student-athletes still students and is the function of athletics still well-integrated with the academic mission of higher ed institutions?  You can find plenty of critics who will say no.

But on the other side of the equation, there is the undeniable buzz and passion associated with March Madness. Students at Norfolk State University (NSU) pay $1,379 per year in athletic student fees, which fund 83% of the school’s $10 million athletic budget.  Do the NSU Spartan faithful feel like they got a good return on their investment when their men’s basketball team, a #15 seed, made history and knocked off mighty Mizzou, a #2 seed, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?  How about when Florida crushed the Spartans in the game 48 hours later by 34 points to end the Norfolk State season?

Whatever they feel after such extraordinary wins and painful losses, the non-athlete student on campus is going to be asked to bear more of the burden of maintaining collegiate athletics.  Their willingness to do so will have a significant impact on the future of the intercollegiate athletic enterprise.

Guest Post: Mercy Project

Chris Field is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Mercy Project. His claim to fame is that his first varsity hit was a three run homerun. Unfortunately, that was his only hit of the entire season (he finished 1 for 26 with a .038 BA). You can find him on Facebook and Twitter under mercyproject.

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This site has successfully established a rich and complex relationship between college sports and business. It’s fascinating for the sports nerds among us (and you probably qualify unless you ended up here by accident) to pore over the numbers game behind the teams and sports we love to watch and cheer on. Sports are indeed big business, and it’s riveting stuff.

But today, Kristi and Alicia have graciously given me the chance to write about another part of the world of sports that I don’t think we talk about enough—the ways sports can bring us together and bring out our best.

This weekend, from Friday to Sunday, a group of 56 players from around Texas will play a non-stop, 49-hour baseball marathon that will land them in the Guinness Book of World Records. As the game is played none of the players involved will leave the playing area. Food, short naps, and bathroom breaks will all take place within a few hundred feet of the foul lines. To be clear, these are not All Star baseball players either. Just one of the players had a short stint playing college ball, and the rest of them would do well to look smooth in front of your typical freshman high school team. But what this group lacks in athleticism they more than make up for in sheer insanity.

How crazy are they? This will actually be their third world record in the last 24 months. First they played kickball for 50 hours, then flag football for 24 hours, and now baseball for 49 hours. So who are these people, and what do these world records have to do with the best of humanity? To answer that, we have to go back to August of 2009 when I found myself in a boat, in the middle of a huge lake, in Ghana, Africa. It was there that my life would be changed forever when I met a 9-year old boy named Tomas. It was there that I held the hand of a child slave.

Experts estimate that slavery is more prevalent in the world today than at any other point in history. That’s depressing to think about, isn’t it? It certainly is for me. I had heard snippets here and there about modern day slavery, but it all became a crushing reality the day I met Tomas. To actually hold the hand of a child who had been purchased for about $20, and was now owned by another human, was simultaneously shocking and heart wrenching.

I was even more shocked to find out that Tomas was just one of an estimated 7,000 children in Ghana who have been sold by their destitute parents to work in the labor intensive fishing industry. These children can be as young as five years old, and they work nearly 100 hours a week for their slave masters. To look into their eyes is to see the living dead as they convey an emptiness that still haunts me nearly 2 ½ years after first meeting Tomas.

One of the many children Field has met while on the lake in Ghana.

I’ve now been to Ghana 14 times, and my wife and I run a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children like Tomas to be rescued and brought new life. Our model involves teaching new methods of cage fishing (called aquaculture) so that the men who own the children will no longer have the need for this child labor.

Mercy Project founder Chris Field and a child in Ghana.

We are literally “teaching a man to fish” so that these children can be rescued and returned to their families.

So that these children can actually be kids again.

So that these children can run, and laugh, and play games like baseball.

That’s why we keep doing these crazy world records. Not for the chance to show our kids we made it into a fat book of records at their school library but so that we can tell our kids we really tried to make a difference. We saw something that was broken, and we tried to find creative ways to fix it.

These events have given us an outlet to do that. They are a way for the average person, athlete or far from it, to be a participant in a way that connects them to something bigger than themselves. Because that’s what sports do, isn’t it? Connect us to something bigger than ourselves? We become fans of a team and get the chance to live vicariously through their touchdowns, three pointers, and triple overtime wins. To feel like a part of an exclusive club because these are “our guys or girls” and “my team.” Sports does that in us.  It does that to us. It gives us a way to feel like we belong.

In the case of these ridiculous sports marathons, it gives us the chance to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. To play a kid’s game, for kids who don’t get to play, is fiercely symbolic and richly poignant. Playing baseball for 49 hours gives us an opportunity to say, “I’m doing this on your behalf, Tomas. Because every child should get to run and play games like this. I’m playing because you don’t get to, and I will keep playing until you get to sub in for me at one of these events.”

Participants enjoy a game of football to support Mercy Project.

But it’s not just symbolic. This game also gives us the chance to do something really tangible and significant. General donations (from people like you) and player sponsorships from this weekend’s game should total more than $30,000. That’s enough money to fund an entire village’s economic development project. That’s enough money to rescue an entire village of slave children. All from a simple baseball game.

The power of sports is broad, and it’s certainly big business. But it’s also world changing. Don’t believe me? Just ask Tomas in a few years.

***To make a donation for this event and the kids in Ghana, you can go here.***

Highest Net Income Amongst Athletics Departments

To conclude this week’s series, BusinessofCollegeSports.com will list in order the athletics departments earning the highest net income  in 2010-11.

Issue has been raised by some over the classification of revenue minus expenses in this series as “profit,” since athletics departments are nonprofit organizations.  It should be noted, that in the disclosures to the Department of Education, the athletics departments do not report either profit or net income.  Rather, they report their revenues and expenses.  For this series, profit/net income was calculated by subtracting the total expenses reported from the total revenues reported.

As noted above, the data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

In 2010-11, 48 athletics departments in BCS AQ conferences generated a positive net income.

School Athletic Department Net Income
Conference
Alabama $31,684,872.00 SEC
Penn State $31,619,687.00 Big Ten
Michigan $26,649,499.00 Big Ten
Texas $24,317,815.00 Big 12
Kansas State $23,395,408.00 Big 12
Notre Dame $19,147,710.00 Big East
Ohio State $18,630,964.00 Big Ten
Oregon $16,433,642.00 Pac-12
Oklahoma State $14,365,376.00 Big 12
Michigan State $13,512,269.00 Big Ten
Arkansas $11,285,623.00 SEC
LSU $10,401,982.00 SEC
Florida $10,056,601.00 SEC
Georgia $9,575,569.00 SEC
Oregon State $954,682.00 Pac-12
Oklahoma $8,064,477.00 Big 12
Purdue $6,773,110.00 Big Ten
Mississippi State $6,306,583.00 SEC
Virginia $6,038,664.00 ACC
Vanderbilt $5,767,543.00 SEC
Iowa $5,296,068.00 Big Ten
Indiana $5,293,816.00 Big Ten
Nebraska $5,170,608.00 Big Ten
Virginia Tech $4,314,760.00 ACC
Louisville $3,952,601.00 Big East
Auburn $3,484,657.00 SEC
Texas A&M $3,224,429.00 Big 12
Texas Tech $3,124,246.00 Big 12
Kentucky $3,122,674.00 SEC
Miami $2,763,826.00 ACC
Washington $2,330,501.00 Pac-12
Illinois $1,815,596.00 Big Ten
Colorado $1,763,633.00 Pac-12
Arizona $1,524,374.00 Pac-12
Utah $1,147,160.00 Pac-12
South Carolina $762,726.00 SEC
Syracuse $717,817.00 Big East
North Carolina $660,231.00 ACC
Wisconsin $655,421.00 Big Ten
Duke $567,207.00 ACC
Maryland $263,711.00 ACC
Clemson $216,318.00 ACC
North Carolina State $192,151.00 ACC
California $181,167.00 Pac-12
Missouri $143,588.00 Big 12
Iowa State $121,686.00 Big 12
Connecticut $94,522.00 Big East
Tennessee $14,447.00 SEC

In previous posts from this series, you’ll remember that every Big Ten athletics department ranked in the top-50 for revenues and expenses.  However, neither Minnesota nor Northwestern achieved a net income above zero.

The conference with the highest percentage of members having a positive net income was the SEC.  All but one SEC member (Ole Miss) generated a positive net income in 2010-11.  The SEC was also home to the athletics department with the highest net income of any BCS AQ school, Alabama.  However, the ten schools generating the greatest net income in 2010-11 are from a mix of conferences.  The only conference not represented in the top-10 is the ACC.

Conference # of Athletics Departments % of Conference
ACC 8 50%
Big 12 8 80%
Big East 4 25%
Big Ten 10 83.33%
Pac-12 7 58.33%
SEC 11 91.60%

Top-50 Largest Athletics Department Spenders

This week, BusinessofCollegeSports.com showed you the revenues, expenses and net income of athletics departments in the BCS AQ conferences.  To conclude this series, BusinessofCollegeSports.com is ranking the top-50 athletics departments with the highest revenues, expenses and net income.  In this installment, we will show you which athletics departments spend the most.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is from 2010-11.  While this data is not perfect, it is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.

School Athletic Department Expenses Conference
Texas $125,978,117.00 Big 12
Ohio State $113,184,855.00 Big Ten
Florida $112,951,656.00 SEC
Tennessee $102,480,757.00 SEC
Auburn $100,497,784.00 SEC
Oklahoma $96,274,366.00 Big 12
LSU $96,019,689.00 SEC
Michigan $95,836,991.00 Big Ten
Wisconsin $92,939,345.00 Big Ten
Alabama $92,225,560.00 SEC
Iowa $87,607,487.00 Big Ten
Florida State $86,946,503.00 ACC
Penn State $84,498,339.00 Big Ten
Louisville $83,783,719.00 Big East
South Carolina $82,941,941.00 SEC
Georgia $82,765,498.00 SEC
Kentucky $81,755,641.00 SEC
Stanford $81,125,476.00 Pac-12
Arkansas $80,482,490.00 SEC
Minnesota $78,924,683.00 Big Ten
Nebraska $78,509,148.00 Big Ten
USC $75,707,273.00 Pac-12
Notre Dame $75,360,209.00 Big East
Virginia $72,400,342.00 ACC
Texas A&M $71,719,872.00 Big 12
North Carolina $70,709,553.00 ACC
Kansas $70,028,683.00 Big 12
Washington $69,306,426.00 Pac-12
Oregon $67,900,835.00 Pac-12
Michigan State $67,450,913.00 Big Ten
Duke $67,418,981.00 ACC
UCLA $66,003,893.00 Pac-12
Indiana $64,878,825.00 Big Ten
California $64,825,171.00 Pac-12
Boston College $64,078,272.00 ACC
Connecticut $62,948,800.00 Big East
Clemson $60,958,659.00 ACC
Baylor $59,859,235.00 Big 12
Purdue $59,293,193.00 Big Ten
Missouri $58,862,366.00 Big 12
WVU $58,003,719.00 Big East
Miami $57,561,177.00 ACC
Maryland $57,501,307.00 ACC
Virginia Tech $56,762,362.00 ACC
Arizona $56,750,057.00 Pac-12
Northwestern $56,214,293.00 Big Ten
Pittsburgh $56,044,309.00 Big East
Oklahoma State $55,757,830.00 Big 12
Illinois $55,723,771.00 Big Ten
Arizona State $55,378,783.00 Pac-12

While 80 percent of the Big 12′s members ranked in the top-50 in terms of revenue generated, only 70 percent ranked in the top-50 for expenditures.  Thus, it is expected that at least several Big 12 members should generate a net income in the black.  Only four Big East members ranked in the top-50 for revenue generated.  However, five Big East members ranked in the top-5o for expenditures (Pittsburgh did not generate enough revenue to make the top-50 list, but is on the top-50 list for expenditures).  Again, every Big Ten athletics department made the top-50 list for expenditures.

The chart below depicts how many places each conference held in the list and the percentage of the conference which made the list.

Conference # of Athletics Departments % of Conference
ACC 9 75%
Big 12 7 70%
Big East 5 31%
Big Ten 12 100%
Pac-12 8 67%
SEC 9 75%

Top-50 Highest Athletics Department Revenues

This week, BusinessofCollegeSports.com has shown you the revenues, expenses and net income (profit) of athletics departments in the BCS AQ conferences.  To conclude this series, BusinessofCollegeSports.com will rank the top-5o athletics departments with the highest revenues, expenses and net income.  First up is athletics department revenues.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is from 2010-11.  While this data is not perfect, it is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.

School Athletic Department Revenue Conference
Texas $150,295,932.00 Big 12
Ohio State $131,815,819.00 Big Ten
Alabama $123,910,432.00 SEC
Florida $123,008,257.00 SEC
Michigan $122,486,490.00 Big Ten
Penn State $116,118,026.00 Big Ten
LSU $106,421,671.00 SEC
Oklahoma $104,338,843.00 Big 12
Auburn $103,982,441.00 SEC
Tennessee $102,495,204.00 SEC
Notre Dame $94,507,919.00 Big East
Wisconsin $93,594,766.00 Big Ten
Iowa $92,903,555.00 Big Ten
Georgia $92,341,067.00 SEC
Arkansas $91,768,113.00 SEC
Louisville $87,736,320.00 Big East
Florida State $86,946,503.00 ACC
Oregon $85,740,068.00 Pac-12
Kentucky $84,878,315.00 SEC
South Carolina $83,704,667.00 SEC
Nebraska $83,679,756.00 Big Ten
Stanford $81,125,476.00 Pac-12
Michigan State $80,963,182.00 Big Ten
Minnesota $78,924,683.00 Big Ten
Virginia $78,439,006.00 ACC
USC $75,707,273.00 Pac-12
Texas A&M $74,944,301.00 Big 12
North Carolina $71,369,784.00 ACC
Washington $70,231,336.00 Pac-12
Indiana $70,172,641.00 Big Ten
Oklahoma State $70,123,206.00 Big 12
Kansas $70,028,683.00 Big 12
Kansas State $68,875,266.00 Big 12
Duke $67,986,188.00 ACC
Purdue $66,066,303.00 Big Ten
UCLA $66,003,893.00 Pac-12
California $65,006,338.00 Pac-12
Boston College $64,078,272.00 ACC
Connecticut $63,043,322.00 Big East
Clemson $61,174,977.00 ACC
Virginia Tech $61,077,122.00 ACC
Colorado $60,923,253.00 Pac-12
Miami $60,325,003.00 ACC
Baylor $59,859,235.00 Big 12
Missouri $59,005,954.00 Big 12
Arizona $58,274,431.00 Pac-12
WVU $58,003,719.00 Big East
Maryland $57,765,018.00 ACC
Illinois $57,539,367.00 Big Ten
Northwestern $56,214,293.00 Big Ten

Several things stand out in this list.  First, every Big Ten team made the list.  This is notable, as the SEC is typically viewed as the “power conference” when it comes to all things finance.  The SEC had a great showing in the top-50, but only nine of its twelve athletics departments made the list.  The conference with the least athletics departments on the list was the Big East, which only placed four of its members on the list.

The chart below depicts how many places each conference held in the list.

Conference # of Athletics Departments on List % of Conference
ACC 9 75%
Big 12 8 80%
Big East 4 25%
Big Ten 12 100%
Pac-12 8 67%
SEC 9 75%

Highest Athletic Department Net Income: SEC

The last conference to be covered in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s look into athletic departments with the highest net income is the SEC.  Tomorrow, BusinessofCollegeSports.com will rank the top-50 most athletic departments with the highest net income, as well as the athletic departments which generate the most revenue and those with the greatest expenses.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

 

School Total Athletic Department Revenues Total Athletic Department Expenses Net Income
Alabama $123,910,432.00 $92,225,560.00 $31,684,872.00
Arkansas $91,768,113.00 $80,482,490.00 $11,285,623.00
Auburn $103,982,441.00 $100,497,784.00 $3,484,657.00
Florida $123,008,257.00 $112,951,656.00 $10,056,601.00
Georgia $92,341,067.00 $82,765,498.00 $9,575,569.00
Kentucky $84,878,315.00 $81,755,641.00 $3,122,674.00
LSU $106,421,671.00 $96,019,689.00 $10,401,982.00
Ole Miss $48,916,161.00 $48,916,161.00 $0.00
Mississippi State $49,893,731.00 $43,587,148.00 $6,306,583.00
South Carolina $83,704,667.00 $82,941,941.00 $762,726.00
Tennessee $102,495,204.00 $102,480,757.00 $14,447.00
Vanderbilt $55,632,098.00 $49,864,555.00 $5,767,543.00

In terms of SEC athletic department net income, for anyone who is familiar with the conference, there really aren’t any surprises.  Perhaps the only surprise, is that one athletic department turned zero net income in 2010-11:  Ole Miss.  Ole Miss generated the lowest amount of revenue in the SEC, but had the second-lowest expenses (Mississippi State’s were lower).  Outside of Ole Miss, every other athletic department, save for South Carolina and Tennessee, generated at least $1 million in net income.  Alabama’s athletic department generated the greatest amount of net income in 2010-11, with $31,684,872.00

In 2010-11, three SEC athletic departments had expenses exceeding $100 million:  Auburn, Florida and Tennessee.  In terms of revenue, five SEC athletic departments generated over $100 million in revenue:  Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.

Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Pac-12

Next up in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s look into the athletic departments with the highest net income is the Pac-12.  Yesterday, BusinessofCollegeSports.com showed you net income of athletic departments in the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten conferences.  Today, we’ll wrap up the conferences with the Big East, Pac-12 and SEC.  Tomorrow, we will show you the top-50 athletic departments with the highest net income.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

 

School Total Athletic Department Revenues Total Athletic Department Expenses Net Income
Arizona $58,274,431.00 $56,750,057.00 $1,524,374.00
Arizona State $55,378,783.00 $55,378,783.00 $0.00
California $65,006,338.00 $64,825,171.00 $181,167.00
Colorado $60,923,253.00 $59,186,620.00 $1,736,633.00
Oregon $85,740,068.00 $69,306,426.00 $16,433,642.00
Oregon State $50,843,837.00 $49,889,155.00 $954,682.00
Stanford $81,125,476.00 $81,125,476.00 $0.00
UCLA $66,003,893.00 $66,003,893.00 $0.00
USC $75,707,273.00 $75,707,273.00 $0.00
Utah $38,091,533.00 $36,944,373.00 $1,147,160.00
Washington $70,231,336.00 $67,900,835.00 $2,330,501.00
Washington State $40,617,093.00 $40,617,093.00 $0.00

In 2010-11, seven of the twelve Pac-12 athletic departments generated a positive net income.  The five Pac-12 athletic departments which generated zero  net income were:  Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington State.  Notably, Stanford had the greatest amount of expenses last year in the Pac-12, at $81,125,476.00.

Last year, Oregon generated the greatest amount of revenue of any Pac-12 athletic department with $85,740,068.00.  Subsequently, Oregon also enjoyed the greatest amount of net income in the Pac-12 at $16,433,642.00.  Four other Pac-12 athletic departments enjoyed net income over $1 million:  Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Washington.

Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Big East

Next up in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s look into the most profitable athletic departments is the Big East.  Yesterday, BusinessofCollegeSports.com showed you the net income of athletic departments in the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten conferences.  Today, we’ll wrap up the conferences.  Tomorrow, we will show you the top-50 most athletic departments with the highest net income.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

 

School Total Athletic Department Revenues Total Athletic Department Expenses Net Income
Cincinnati $37,367,392.00 $37,367,392.00 $0.00
Uconn $63,043,322.00 $62,948,800.00 $94,522.00
DePaul $23,795,916.00 $23,795,916.00 $0.00
Georgetown $31,671,020.00 $31,671,020.00 $0.00
Louisville $87,736,320.00 $83,783,719.00 $3,952,601.00
Marquette $24,797,869.00 $24,797,869.00 $0.00
Notre Dame $94,507,919.00 $75,360,209.00 $19,147,710.00
Pittsburgh $56,044,309.00 $56,044,309.00 $0.00
Providence $20,650,327.00 $20,650,327.00 $0.00
Rutgers $53,436,027.00 $53,436,027.00 $0.00
St. John’s $32,289,136.00 $32,289,136.00 $0.00
Seton Hall $21,785,714.00 $21,785,714.00 $0.00
USF $43,494,246.00 $43,494,246.00 $0.00
Syracuse $51,433,840.00 $50,716,023.00 $717,817.00
Villanova $29,523,919.00 $29,523,919.00 $0.00
WVU $58,003,719.00 $58,003,719.00 $0.00

Out of all of the BCS AQ conferences, in 2010-11, the Big East had the greatest number of athletic departments which turned a net income of zero.  Twelve of the Big East’s sixteen athletic departments turned zero net income in 2010-11.

The four Big East athletic departments which turned a positive net income in 2010-11 were:  UConn, Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

Of these four schools, the largest net income was enjoyed by Notre Dame, which it should be noted, is independent in football.  Notre Dame enjoyed net income of $19,147,710.00 in 2010-11.

While Notre Dame’s revenues exceeded those of Louisville, Louisville had greater expenses.  Louisville generated $87,736,320.00 in revenue and had expenditures of $83,783,719.00 in 2010-11.  This allowed Louisville’s athletic department to enjoy a net income of $3,952,601.00.

Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Big Ten

Next up in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s investigation into the athletic departments with the highest net income is the Big Ten.  Earlier today, financial data for ACC and Big 12 athletic departments was posted.  Tomorrow, we’ll investigate the Big East, Pac-12 and SEC.  On Wednesday, a list of the athletic departments with the highest net income will be published.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

School Total Athletic Department Revenue Total Athletic Department Expenses Net Income
Illinois 57,539,367.00 55,723,771.00 1,815,596.00
Indiana 70,172,641.00 64,878,825.00 5,293,816.00
Iowa 92,903,555.00 87,607,487.00 5,296,068.00
Michigan 122,486,490.00 95,836,991.00 26,649,499.00
Michigan State 80,963,182.00 67,450,913.00 13,512,269.00
Minnesota 78,924,683.00 78,924,683.00 0.00
Nebraska 83,679,756.00 78,509,148.00 5,170,608.00
Northwestern 56,214,293.00 56,214,293.00 0.00
Ohio State 131,815,819.00 113,184,855.00 18,630,964.00
Penn State 116,118,026.00 84,498,339.00 31,619,687.00
Purdue 66,066,303.00 59,293,193.00 6,773,110.00
Wisconsin 93,594,766.00 92,939,345.00 655,421.00

In 2010-11, two Big Ten athletic departments turned zero net income:  Minnesota and Northwestern.  Each of these athletic departments, however, generated over $55 million in revenue.

Save for Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin, in 2010-11, every other Big Ten athletic department generated over $1 million in net income.  However, Michigan and Penn State led the way in terms of net income generated.  Michigan generated net income of $26,649,499.00, while Penn State enjoyed a net income of $31,619,687.00.

Interestingly enough, however, is that Ohio State generated the greatest amount of revenue of any Big Ten athletic department.  The Ohio State athletic department generated revenue of $131,815,819.00.  However, Ohio State’s athletic department also had the highest amount of expenses in the conference, at $113,184,855.00.