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Sports Belle Still "Belle" Of St. Joseph's Plus Markets And NCAA

Four years ago, I was going through the uniform rosters of all the NCAA Tournament teams and I found “Sports Belle” next to then No. 1 seed St. Joseph’s. I had never heard of this company. So I called them up. And found out the team that had just finished a perfect regular season was paying to wear the jerseys and shorts from this small manufacturer out of Knoxville, Tenn.

It was an awesome underdog story. And what was even better was the fact that after years of a great relationship, the deal was up after that year and one would have to believe that St. Joe’s was going to go the route of Nike or adidas.

Well, this year I checked back and, good for them, St. Joe’s is still with Sports Belle.

It’s a great against all odds story, which unfortunately didn’t get any easier on Sunday night when a fire heavily damaged its company headquarters. The company said in a press release that football and basketball uniform orders are still being shipped, but baseball orders are not being taken as of now as company officials search for a new building.

Workplace Productivity?
Everyone knows I criticize that workplace productivity study. So how productive are the markets on the first day of the NCAA Tournament? Well, we’ll say this, it’s not like people aren’t trading.

Year

Avg NYSE Volume (Millions)

Day 1 of Tourney Volume (Millions)

Difference

2007

1,573.1

1,511.0

-4%

2006

1,617.2

1,658.4

3%

2005

1,545.8

1,581.5

2%

2004

1,420.9

1,363.8

-4%

2003

1,366.4

1,439.1

5%

Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Groupargues that the volume actually decreases the day before the tournament because people might be filling out their brackets.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com
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