COLUMBIA, S.C. —Clemson’s national championship will mean millions of dollars in economic benefit to South Carolina, according to a professor at the University of South Carolina who studies the economic impact of sports. “The impact of just on the merchandising would probably be, I’m guessing, five to eight million dollars right now,” says Dr. Tom Regan, a professor of Sport and Retail Management.
He says the championship should also mean more money for Clemson through sponsorships and marketing, and that Saturday’s victory parade will mean a boost in business for hotels and restaurants around Clemson. He thinks Clemson is also likely to increase ticket prices and there will be more demand for luxury box and club level seats, bringing in even more.
T-shirt manufacturer Eat More Tees in Columbia started making championship t-shirts as soon as the game was over. “Well it definitely increased sales. We’ll look at about generating $200-250,000 in extra revenue that we would not have expected otherwise,” says owner Rusty Koss. He says his business doesn’t usually go until full production for the year until February, so this is giving his employees some extra hours.
The added business from the championship also helps make up for last year. His business and others had blank t-shirts ready to print when Clemson was in that national championship game too, but when Clemson lost they couldn’t print the shirts.
Dr. Regan says besides the tangible benefits, there are ones that can’t be measured. “The intangible, with the goodwill that they won across the nation? I don’t know how you put a price on being a champion, a national champion. I mean, to them, it’s infinity because it’s forever you will be a national champ.”