With March Madness kicking off this week for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the University of Arizona BookStores on campus expects to see a boost in sales similar to last year.
“March has been very profitable for us over the years when we’ve had teams in March Madness,” Cori Rhodes, UA Bookstore sales manager said. “Last year alone, we made over $500,000 in profit in the month of March.”
Rhodes was quick to point out, though, that an increase in sales is all dependent on how far both teams go in their tournaments.
“When the women’s team made it all the way to the national title game a couple years back, we brought in record-breaking profits for women’s basketball merchandise that year. Same thing goes for the men’s team. We’ve already sold over 1,000 Pac-12 champions shirts since they clinched their second straight Pac-12 tournament title,” Rhodes said.
The smaller A-City/Just Sports store at 936 E. University Blvd. is fully expecting to see a huge uptick in sales in response to March Madness.
“During my time here at the store, we’ve seen a consistent 40% boost in sales when the NCAA Tournament rolls around,” assistant manager Grecia Silva said. “Items like basketball jerseys and hats see the most significant boost when it comes to overall sales.”
While A-City may not have the same selection as a larger store such as the bookstore, Silva said that hasn’t stopped it from turning a profit for March Madness.
“When March Madness wrapped up last year, we were able to rake in $40,000 in profit, and for a relatively small store like us, that’s absolutely huge,” Silva said. “Both the fan and business person in me are crossing their fingers that both teams go far.”
The Arizona men's basketball team's 2023 NCAA Tournament run ended in the first round after a loss to Princeton University 59-55 on Thursday, March 16. The Arizona women's basketball team is set to start its tournament run against West Virginia University on Friday, March 17, at 9 a.m. MST.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
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