Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

VCU's Big Upset Even Bigger When You Look at Finances


Finances Make VCU’s Win Even Bigger:

VCU beat Duke 79-77 last night. That’s a big deal, but you’ll consider it an even a bigger deal when I take you through the finances of it all. How about this: Last year, Duke spent $8,133,188 on its basketball program. Last year, VCU spent $11,974,399 on its entire athletic budget to support 14 different sports, according to what the school filed to the U.S. Department of Education. As I wrote in a recent blog, VCU is the only school in this year’s tournament to report a loss of more than $1 million ($1.13 million) on basketball last year and consider that Duke made $4 million.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski could be the long term loser from a Duke program decline. He makes about $1.5 million in salary and bonuses, but his speaking fee could drop below $40,000 and he won’t be considered as much by corporate America for marketing deals.

The biggest financial winner could be first-year VCU coach Anthony Grant, who, according to my calculations, has made $333,374 this year. That’s including $58,374 in bonuses, factoring in $11,458 for last night’s win. Grant also made $22,917 for the NCAA berth, $3,000 for the CAA title and $5,000 for the championship game being on national television.

Thanks to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, we can get a great look at Grant’s contract:
Annual base salary: $275,000
Length: Runs through April 30, 2012
Deferred compensation: $60,000 per year, goes into an annuity; must stay until April 15, 2009 to collect a portion of the annuity; amount he can collect increases each year he stays
Radio/TV programs: $15,000 per year.
Miscellaneous: Income from basketball camps, use of car; if Grant resigns to take a head coaching job at another school, that school must schedule a home and home series with VCU or pay $75,000 to buy out the series.

Major Incentives:
CAA Coach of the year: $5,000
Regular season title: $2,000
Conference tournament title: $3,000
NCAA tournament berth: 1 month base salary ($22,916)
NCAA tournament win: ½ month base salary ($11,458)
Victories over Virginia, Virginia Tech: $2,500
Other ACC teams: $1,000
Richmond: $1,000
Other A-10 teams: $1,000
Average home attendance: 5,000-5,499 ($2,000), 5,500-5999 ($3,000), 6,000 and above ($4,000).
TV appearances: $5,000 per national appearance, $2,000 regional, outside VCU or CAA package

Nike dominates tournament:

Of the 48 teams that remain in the tournament as of this morning, 32 teams (66 percent) are either Nike or Nike-owned Jordan brand. Adidas has 13 teams (27 percent), two teams have Reebok and New Balance has one team in Winthrop. Unfortunately, there’s no team that has some no-name apparel company making their jerseys. I had a lot of fun following St. Joe’s a couple years ago when their jerseys were made by Sports Belle.

My sickest jersey award:
How about Wright State’s jersey? It’s just green with white “Wright State” lettering, but it’s in a Matt Groening Simpsons type font. Love it. Sad they went down. Would have liked to see more of that.

Going Green:
St. Patrick’s Day is becoming a bigger event in the sports merchandise world. I see more green team stuff than ever before. What I’m saying is, it’s far from the days in the mid-80’s when I wrote the New York Mets equipment manager to see if he had an extra green hat that they wore. On Saturday, fourteen Major League Baseball clubs will be wearing green: Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Rockies, Tigers, Royals, Mets, Pirates, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, Mariners, Devil Rays and Blue Jays. New Era Cap has of course made a ton of these things to sell. Meanwhile, the NBA has three teams: the Bulls, the Celtics and the Knicks will be wearing special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys. They’ve been doing this for years now and each year the sales steadily increase. Last year, sales of NBA St. Patrick’s Day merchandise at the NBA Store in Manhattan increased by 27 percent as compared to the year prior.

Questions?  Comments?