SU men's basketball: Winning breeds economic immunity

The crowd at a Syracuse men's basketball game last year was raucous.

The crowd at a Syracuse men's basketball game last year was raucous. SU athletic department

— Regan focuses on a few main points in his work: Can the experience be enhanced? Is it feasible to keep it going? How does pricing and marketing fit in with location? Has there been an increase in season ticket sales? (SU does not release information on season ticket sales.) They’re just some of the questions he tries to answer.

In regard to Syracuse, Regan was pretty blunt in his responses.

“Winning helps the brand, especially in Syracuse,” he said. “Locally, merchandise sales go up. They get a No. 1 ranking which gives them national stature, therefore the Orange’s brand will continue to stretch across the country.”

He cited several trends for Syracuse, most notably that the team is consistently on ESPN as the featured game of the day.

In the national media, much has been said about the Fine allegations, as well as what happened at Penn State. Jerry Sandusky, former assistant to legendary football coach Joe Paterno, is in a scandal involving sex abuse accusations.

“The best thing to happen for Syracuse was the Sandusky case,” Regan added. “Penn State handled the situation much differently than did Syracuse. The SU administration acted quickly to make the necessary adjustments. In New York, Sandusky and Penn State take all the heat.

“Couple that with the success, the 20 wins in a row, and everything that has happened in Syracuse gets overshadowed by success.”

Winning. You see it all the time in college sports, that when a team starts winning, the national limelight shines incredibly bright. Smaller, lesser-known schools seem to pop in and out of the consciousness so quickly that you don’t really get to see what’s happening. Take the last few NCAA Tournaments for example and answer this question: Do you remember talking to your friends about Butler University prior? What about Virginia Commonwealth University? Both of those schools have made unprecedented trips to the Final 4 recently. Unless these schools sustain similar success, Regan says, they won’t be able to build a national branding anywhere near Syracuse’s, Duke’s or North Carolina’s.

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