Local News

Heels merchandise head and shoulders above rest

Posted March 19, 2009
Updated March 20, 2009

— The Tar Heel brand name is a money-maker, generating $25.9 million for the University of North Carolina, according to a recent analysis by Forbes magazine.

The sales made UNC the most valuable men's basketball program in the country, Forbes said. The University of Kentucky ranked second with $25.4 million in merchandise sales.

UNC shirt, UNC merchandise Retailers win when UNC takes court

Duke University came in eighth on the Forbes list at $16.8 million, with North Carolina State University and Wake Forest University tied for 18th place at $12.8 million each.

Retailers in Chapel Hill said UNC-branded clothing, mugs and other items have continued to sell in recent months, despite the recession. The start of the NCAA Tournament, in which the basketball team won easily Thursday and is among the favorites to win the national title, ratchets sales up even higher, they said.

"I told somebody the other day there's only four things that people need. That's food, gas, shelter and Carolina souvenirs, and we happen to be in the latter part of that, so we're very fortunate," said Genny Wrenn, manager of the Shrunken Head Boutique on Franklin Street.

Holly Dedmon, manager of Chapel Hill Sportswear, said most local merchants win whenever the Tar Heels take the court.

"People, they just want something else, maybe to be distracted from everything else that's going on in life with their jobs or their financial situation," Dedmon said.

"You're going to spend money on the Tar Heels," fan Chris Parsons said. "It's always going to happen, no matter what."

Carolina Brewery manager Thomas Transue said his restaurant is usually packed during the NCAA Tournament, especially when UNC is playing.

"There is such a strong background. We've had folks coming in for years for the Tar Heels," Transue said.

20 Comments

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  • truthinadvertising Mar 20, 3:37 p.m.

    state came in tied for 18th...i guess that isn't too bad for a basketball team that couldn't crack like the top 100 for a postseason tournament. Sure, Unc is popular...but I have always heard that part of the reason the sales were high across the country because a certain gang uses the light blue. same for ucla.

  • uncfan81 Mar 20, 2:50 p.m.

    "hahaha. do you consider the fact that the engineers who design your cars also come from state? and the roads that you drive on to get there? and the stadium in which you watch your game? and the electrical system that lights it?"

    Hmmm. Funny. I don't recall being taught that NC State was the ONLY engineering school in the world. My bad!

  • Citizen7265 Mar 20, 2:48 p.m.

    My grandfather just read this and said, "Fools and their money are easily parted." LOL

  • DookStateSucks Mar 20, 2:30 p.m.

    And out come the haters.

  • Coach K is still GREAT Mar 20, 2:26 p.m.

    WOW, there must be a lot of baby boys being born these days...

  • Jeremiah Mar 20, 2:18 p.m.

    "guess we have bandwagon fans and state fans go to their games in a horse and wagon."

    hahaha. do you consider the fact that the engineers who design your cars also come from state? and the roads that you drive on to get there? and the stadium in which you watch your game? and the electrical system that lights it?

  • onyourheels2 Mar 20, 1:54 p.m.

    i guess we have bandwagon fans and state fans go to their games in a horse and wagon.

  • Timbo Mar 20, 1:53 p.m.

    "You think the color that is used to signify a woman who is pregnant with a boy is feminine? "

    Yep. Look who came up with the colors: women.

  • ImaBee Mar 20, 1:34 p.m.

    "Why would any man want to wear that color? It's so feminine."

    You think the color that is used to signify a woman who is pregnant with a boy is feminine? Wow really?!?!

  • Jeremiah Mar 20, 1:28 p.m.

    there's a reasons their fandom is referred to as "wal-mart nation"

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