Local Retailers See Surge in Texas Tech Merchandise Sales - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/08

Local Retailers See Surge in Texas Tech Merchandise Sales

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Football season is quickly approaching and Texas Tech is ranked in the top 15 teams in both the AP poll and the coaches' poll. All the hype means more people are buying Tech merchandise.

The city is filled with black and red and local retailers are gearing up for what looks like a promising season for the football team and their business. "Football season is crazy. It quadruples sales around here," said Red Raider Outfitters Apparel Designer Jen Taler. 

Alan Berger, the owner of Campus Design, says football season makes up about two thirds of his yearly profit. The start of a new football season always means big business for Tech merchandise sellers, but this year retailers have seen an even bigger boost than usual. "We're seeing a 20 to 25 percent increase just because all of the rankings and how well known our program is now and how every body's excited about the upcoming season," said Berger. 

One player is behind much of the hype - Michael Crabtree.  "Michael Crabtree is definitely a phenomenon that we haven't seen in the merchandise business in a very long time," said Berger. 

Crabtree is such a big seller that Red Raider Outfitters designed their "Wreck 'em Tech" game day shirt with him in mind. "Having Crabtree, such an awesome player, it just kind of came naturally," said Taler. 

Spirit Shop is experiencing the Crabtree Craze as well.  Spirit Shop didn't have any Crabtree merchandise last year, but this year it's making up 20 percent of the stores sales for the fall season.

It's the same thing at Campus Design.  Crabtree gear makes up 15 to 20 percent of their recent sales. "When your team's doing well people want to support the colors and show their school pride a whole lot more," said Berger. 

NCAA rules say stores can't put Crabtree's name on their merchandise, but it definitely hasn't stopped them from using his jersey number which is #5.

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