Another college basketball season has come to a close and we have a new National Champion. The North Carolina Tarheels dismantled the Michigan State Spartans to take home the title last night. For retailers of North Carolina products, today is a great day. As a person who has spent many years in the sports products business I can tell you there is nothing quite like a hot market after a championship.
Sports retailers throughout North Carolina are scrambling today to get in all of their t-shirts, caps and memorabilia commemorating the Tarheels' accomplishment. If you are a retailer who is lucky enough to have your local team win a championship, it is like having an early Christmas. In a time of the year when sales are typically slow, the championship hot market gives you a huge shot in the arm.
I remember in 1996 when the Kentucky Wildcats won their first championship since 1978 how crazy things were. The fans had waited 18 years for another championship and demand for products was out-of-this-world. We had our people scrambling all over Kentucky trying to get our store the t-shirts and hats we needed to satisfy the fans' demands. At one point in the day we had a crowd of people waiting around the store looking for our delivery of championship hats to come in. When the hats arrived, the person bringing them in was completely surrounded and we sold them as fast as we could get them out of the box.
For licensed products companies and sports apparel retailers, these are the events that make the business great and give them a sales shot that keeps them in business for another year. There is nothing quite like a good championship hot market.