January 12, 2015—the day the Ohio State Buckeyes became “undisputed
champions” of college football. That day marked the beginning of something special for
Buckeye Nation. Ohio State’s 42-20 victory over the Oregon Ducks in the inaugural 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship changed the nation’s perception of Ohio State, while also making a substantial financial impact on Ohio State and local businesses near its campus.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State is expecting an increase of $3 million in royalties from licensed merchandise sales by the end of the year, netting around $17 million in total royalty revenue. The football team itself has also benefited from its national championship run. The Wall Street Journal reported that Ohio State has become the most valuable college football program, worth more than $1.1 billion. After the season, the estimated program revenue for Ohio State was $93,036,878, one of the highest in the nation.
While the College Football Playoff National Championship has affected the school and football team, local retailers have also prospered from Ohio State’s big win. Conrads College Gifts, a college apparel retailer on Lane Avenue, believes that the National Championship has made a clear, positive impact on their business. Since January 12, “sales have increased significantly,” said Bennett Cohen, who has worked in the accounts payable department for Conrads for 30 years. Likewise, profits have gone up more this year than they have in previous years. While there have not been changes to the prices of merchandise, Conrads has had to bring in more clothing due to an increase in demand for championship gear. T-shirts, hats, gloves, and scarves are the primary products that have sold out at a faster rate.
College Traditions, located near Ohio Stadium on Lane, has also profited from increased business. Owner Kelly Dawes explains, “sales have skyrocketed and business has been unbelievable [since January].” Since she started working for College Traditions in 1987, Dawes believes that business has never been better. “Business is way up. It’s even surpassed the 2002 national championship.” Dawes said there is normally not much business in January, but this year was different due to the sheer number of customers hoping to get their hands on some Ohio State apparel.
Ohio State’s championship run has helped not only the football team, but also the campus area and its many local merchants. If the top-ranked Buckeyes continue to thrive this year and reach the College Football Playoff again, then it can be expected that Ohio State and surrounding areas will continue to benefit from a financial standpoint.