The success of last year’s basketball seasons increased more than just school spirit on campus – donations and merchandise sales are also up.
“There has been a positive increase in the annual funds and ticket sales, as well as the support for athletics in general,” said Executive Director of University Advancement, James Ledyard, who declined to release exact figures. “However, it is difficult to identify variables.” He pointed to the fact that there has been a steady increase in ticket sales and funding with the continued achievements of the basketball teams.
Ledyard said that success can especially bring attention from alums. “There have definitely been more conversations (among alumni) about athletics and supporting GW teams,” he added.
Dom Perno, associate athletic director for recreation development, agreed with Ledyard’s assessment of last season’s influence on donations.
“The interest (in the basketball team) improved considerably right after the season with everyone jumping around and feeling excited. Even now, we are seeing improved season ticket sales and fundraising. Membership to the Colonial Athletic Club has also increased significantly,” Perno said.
Although he also declined to cite specific numbers on the increase, Perno said that seasons such as last year’s help other sports generate support.
“The important thing is to keep going…to keep the momentum up,” Perno said.
Merchandise sales have also been positively affected by the increased popularity of GW athletics, said Patricia Lee, director of the GW Bookstore.
Lee said. “When teams do well and become high profile, increased sales in GW merchandise follows. The bookstore tracks the trends and additional merchandise is added to the selection to promote team and school spirit.”