Major Attraction

Tech's merchandise revenue gets boost with Knight arrival

Bob Knight's influence has cascaded into many areas of the Red Raider athletic landscape since he became head basketball coach at Texas Tech in 2001, including the noticeable area of merchandise.

Associated Press
Bob Knight took flak from national media for wearing logos on his clothing but the numbers don't lie - Texas Tech's head coach brings in revenue where he goes.

"I think it's one of the contributing factors along with the overall success of the sports program, including football," said deputy athletic director Bobby Gleason, who has seen the revenue numbers increase steadily during Knight's tenure at Tech.

During the fiscal year before Knight arrived (2000-01), Tech generated just more than a quarter of a million dollars in revenue from royalties on merchandise bearing the university's trademarks and logos, Gleason said.

Knight was introduced as the program's head coach in March 2001, and revenue increased to $326,307 during the next fiscal year. Tech's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, Gleason said.

Gleason is quick to spread the credit for the steady increase. He said Knight, who is a nationally known sports figure, plays a part, but so does visible success by other sports programs.

"It's definitely true that Texas Tech has much more national exposure than before Bob came," Gleason said. "And, I think, with that, these licensing revenues are a reflection of that overall national exposure.

"There are several contributing factors to this growth. Bob Knight and the success of the basketball team. Mike Leach and the football program's success in going to the Cotton Bowl as well as going to several larger, national bowls, and then, of course, I think the women's basketball team contributed to that. All of the sports, really, have had an impact on that."

Indeed, the Tech athletic department has enjoyed broad-based success in recent years with the football program earning Cotton and Holiday bowl bids the past two years and the basketball programs routinely qualifying for postseason play.

All of those factors have contributed to the additional revenue from licensing fees. In the fiscal year that ended in June, Tech earned just more than $900,000 from licensing fees, Gleason said.

Show me money

Revenue by school year
1999-2000: $257,576
2000-01: $326,307
2001-02: $381,217
2002-03: $479,514
2004-05: $782,188
2005-06: $901,058

Source: Texas Tech athletic department

"Licensing is another source of revenues that all athletic departments have recognized as a potential growth area," Gleason said.

Paige Holland, assistant director of external operations for the Tech athletic department, agreed Knight has been one of the factors influencing the growth of licensing revenue.

"I think it can be attributed to Coach Knight as well as Coach Leach exposing Texas Tech athletics on a more national scale," she said. "We've always said it's him and the success of Coach Leach and the women's basketball program that have increased our revenues."

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