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Selling Carolina Blue, Raking in the Green

Posted April 4, 2008

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— Businesses in Chapel Hill are cashing in on the Final Four frenzy. Fans of the Tarheels are buying up hats, shirts, glasses, anything with that Carolina Blue tint.

Even those who can not be at the games in San Antonio are stocking up on Carolina gear. One store owner told WRAL she had sold more than 750 T-shirts in the past few days.

Store owner Genny Wrenn has seen some championship-level shoppers. "Carolina people are just crazy fanatics," she said. "They just love their 'Heels."

Cleaven King bought three hats, four shirts, a button and a sticker for his car.

The souvenir business couldn't be better. That's good news for merchants and the university.

Last fiscal year, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill took in $2.8 million from sales of licensed merchandise. All that money goes to fund scholarships.

The previous top year for sales corresponded with the Tarheels most recent national championship in 2005. That has fans, students and shopkeepers rooting for a win.

"I'm not nervous yet," Wrenn said, "Come back and see me tomorrow!"

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