Wisconsin’s Athletic Department Budget – Revenues

Last Updated on June 5, 2014

Recently, BusinessofCollegeSports.com wrote that per data obtained via the Department of Education, Wisconsin’s athletic department had revenues of $93,594,766.00 and expenses of $92,939,345.00 in 2010-11.  Comparing these numbers to those that other athletic departments submitted to the Department of Education demonstrated that in 2010-11, Wisconsin had the 9th highest expenses and the 12th highest revenues of all Division I athletic departments.

Given the idiosyncracies of the Department of Education data for athletic departments, BusinessofCollegeSports.com followed up with Wisconsin’s athletic department to delve deeper into their budget.  Randy Marnocha, Wisconsin’s Associate AD for Business Operations graciously opened up the athletic department budget to BusinessofCollegeSports.com.  What follows is an exclusive, in-depth look into Wisconsin’s revenues and expenses.

Today, Wisconsin’s revenues will be examined.  Tomorrow, BusinessofCollegeSports.com will post Wisconsin’s athletic department expenses for 2010-11. 

The chart below depicts the revenues that Wisconsin reported to both the NCAA and the Department of Education.  As BusinessofCollegeSports.com has previously explained, there are differences in these two reports which account for the different revenues that a school reports to each.  For instance, Wisconsin does not report utilities to the Department of Education, while that number is reported to the NCAA. 

RevenueRevenue Reported to the NCAARevenue Reported to the DOE
Operating Revenue$80,941,888.00$80,941,888.00
Capital Revenue$799,792.00$799,792.00
Big Ten Media (Campus)$2,772,546.00$2,772,546.00
Coaches Camps & Clinics$1,707,848.00$1,707,848.00
Adidas Allotment$928,882.00$928,882.00
UWF Gifts in Kind$332,597.00$332,597.00
UWF Special Account$1,119,638.00$1,119,638.00
UWF Other Expenses$286,925.00$286,925.00
Institutional Support$4,553,901.00$4,553,901.00

As depicted above, the largest source of Wisconsin’s athletic department revenue came from operating revenue.  The following items make-up Wisconsin’s operating revenue:  Ticket sales, revenue received from the Big Ten Conference, gifts in kind, concessions and catering, media revenue, events, post season revenue and “other” (which will be described below).  Below is a snapshot of how much each of these revenue streams contributed to Wisconsin’s overall operating revenue.

Revenue StreamAmount Generated
Ticket Sales$27,333,230.00
Gift Funds$13,861,398.00
Multi Media$5,007,040.00
Post Season$2,579,248

The chart below depicts the amount that Wisconsin teams were able to generate through ticket revenue.  Unsurprisingly, football leads the way.  Perhaps, the most interesting thing to note in this chart, is the great disparity between men’s sports and women’s sports ticket sales.

TeamTicket Revenue
Men’s Basketball$5,369,181.00
Men’s Hockey $3,398,978.00
Women’s Basketball$138,893.00
Women’s Hockey$43,303.00
Varsity Sports$22,825.00

In 2010-11, Wisconsin received $19,664,188.00 in revenue from the Big Ten Conference.   The chart below depicts the amount of revenue Wisconsin received from the Big Ten Conference.

Conference PayoutAmount
Big Ten Media$13,903,475.00
Football Bowls$2,493,258.00
Football Tickets($850,722.00)
NCAA Broad Based$3,286,099.00
Big Ten MBK Tournament$385,574.00
Basketball Tickets($80,353.00)

The “NCAA Broad Based” payout noted above includes payments made by the conference for the NCAA basketball fund distribution (teams earn one unit for each NCAA March Madness game they play in, except for the National Championship; conferences distribute the money derived from these units), sports sponsorship and grants in aid, and any supplemental distributions, if approved.  Additionally, negative numbers are shown for football tickets and basketball tickets.  This is because Big Ten Conference members pay into a ticket pool.  If a school makes over a certain amount in ticket revenue, they pay into the pool.  Schools falling below the ticket revenue amount receive a payout from the Big Ten Conference.   

Next, is a chart depicting the revenue generated by Wisconsin’s advertising ventures.

Advertising RevenueAmount
CR Chairbacks$537,849.00

Wisconsin has an advertising contract with Learfield/BSP.  According to Marnocha, “They do most of the signage around the facilities, radio spots, television spots, etc.  They sell the rights to advertise in our media guides and programs.  They sell the advertising for the big, LED signage that we have in the stadium.”  With respect to the adidas and Coca-Cola amounts, Marnocha notes, “These amounts are part of adidas and Coca-Cola’s contracts with us and they give us a certain amount of money to advertise their products.”  CR Chairbacks refers to Camp Randall Chairbacks, sold for the football stadium. 

With respect to the post season, the chart below highlights Wisconsin’s overall post season revenues.  This amount is for all Wisconsin teams that participated in the post season in 2010-11.  Those teams included:  Football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, volleyball and wrestling.

Post Season Revenue$2,579,248.00

As for catering and concessions, the following chart breaks down how much revenue was generated through catering, events and at specific team’s games:

Concessions and CateringAmount
Men’s Basketball$723,244.00
Men’s Hockey$556,843.00
Other Sports$261,009.00

The next chart depicts the revenue that Wisconsin receives from the Big Ten’s media contracts.  One thing to note, is that a significant portion of the amount of money Wisconsin receives from the Big Ten Network is returned to the Wisconsin campus and not used by the athletic department.  Additionally, according to Marnocha, each Big Ten Conference school receives the same Big Ten Network payout each year. 

Big Ten Media RevenueAmount
Big Ten Network$7,894,078.00
Athletic Department Portion from BTN$5,193,765.00
Campus Portion from BTN$2,772,546.00

The portion of “other” revenue depicted in Wisconsin’s operating revenues is composed of the following:

Other RevenueAmount
Processing Fees$1,383,937.00
Interest Income$35,883.00

Visit BusinessofColllegeSports.com tomorrow to get an inside look into Wisconsin’s athletic department expenses.


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  • harryh123
    May 3, 2012

    Very good information, but I don’t understand something. What is the difference between BTN dollars of $7.8m+, Ath Dept BTN $5.1m+, and Campus BTN $2.7m+. What is the difference between BTN, Ath Dept BTN and Campus BTN ?

    • Alicia Jessop
      May 3, 2012

      Hi Harry,

      Overall, Wisconsin received $7.8 million from the Big Ten Network last yar. $5.1 million of that went to the athletic department. The remaining $2.7 million went to the general campus, to fund things like scholarships for non-student-athletes.

      • harryh123
        May 3, 2012

        Ok, thanks, got it now.

        Really good “stuff”, appreciate it.


  • Mamun
    May 22, 2012

    If you modify the hedaers in your browser you can. Basically you change the value of the user agent and then revisit the site. But now the site thinks you are an iPhone, iPad, etc. so no re-direct. Do a serach under how to modify hedaers

  • advantageschneider
    May 9, 2013

    Does anyone know what the $4.5M in institutional support is?

  • advantageschneider
    May 9, 2013

    Nevermind. Didn’t see the last chart.