Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Closer: The Tournament Effect...

The "madness" has struck, and man, has it been wild.

Everyone knows how much money is earned by the conferences that compete in the NCAA tournament, but what is rarely spoken about is the other things it can bring to the schools and conferences that succeed.

According to ESPN Business Reporter and Insider, Darren Rovell, out of schools that make the Sweet 16, the average bump in applications to the University is 4%. An increase in applications leads to and increase in acceptances and natural growth of the school which betters the school for its students. An increase in applicants will also increase the competition around the school, leading to better numbers for the admissions office and a better academic standing on a national level.

Also, the increase in popularity of your name will bring you more attention online, for your website and your social media platforms. An increase in activity on your website and social media pages makes it a hot property for possible sponsors and advertisers, which will earn the University more money. For example, one of the "Cinderella" stories of this years NCAA Tournament, Florida Golf Coast University, experienced multiple server crashes following their first and second round victories. Their admissions site went from a few thousand visitors to over a hundred thousand visitors; their athletics site went from about 16,000 hits to over 560,000 hits, all of these over the course of 2 days. All of this because of their teams unlikely victories over #2 Georgetown and #7 San Diego State.

I have mentioned where FGCU has benefited and will continue to benefit as a University, but who else will "profit"? Coach Andy Enfield is making just $157,500 this year, with a $5,000 bonus for reaching the tournament and a $10,000 bonus for the Sweet 16. If his team wins the National Championship, Enfield will only receive a $25,000 bonus. In perspective, John Calipari made nearly $4 million this year, with possible bonuses well over $250,000 (if he had won/made it to the tournament).

Andy Enfield is the hottest young coach on the market and could very well gain big attention for coaching spots nationwide, UCLA or maybe even Minnesota. In similar contract situations to other young coaches, Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens, Enfield WILL get paid more money. The difference with Enfield is that FGCU has only been a University since 1991 and has only been NCAA Division-I basketball eligibility for two years, so they don't have nearly the money that Smart and Stevens schools, VCU and Butler, have.

The success of teams in the tournament can bring a lot of different things to their schools, but it can also take things away. It will be interesting to see what happens at Florida Golf Coast University this off-season and see what happens with their young coach Andy Enfield in the future.

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