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Surprising: The Most Profitable NCAA Basketball Programs

Financials of the nation’s 344-odd Division I NCAA teams are out and and NC State’s hoops program is among the nation’s best in terms of profit margin.

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Looking at the numbers above, you will see that UNC generates almost twice as much revenue as NC State, but that it’s matching expenses are more than double than those of the Wolfpack’s.

Looking at the ACC, here’s how the schools stack up. First, by profitability (and double-click to see chart full-size):

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Next, by revenue

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Looking at these numbers, it becomes very clear that NC State’s hoops program is a cash cow for the athletics department, but that the results on the scoreboards have not matched those on the general ledger.

This says several things to me:

  • That NC State’s fans are incredibly loyal and generous, despite the team’s performance
  • That NC State’s hoops program has more than enough revenue to take on more expenses, such as
  1. Holiday tournaments such as the Maui Classic
  2. An increased recruiting budget
  3. lower ticket prices for unsold seats – used to generate brand loyalty
  4. Marketing
  • And finally, if it comes to hiring a new coach, that the money is there for the top names in the game

Overall, the national numbers illustrate the multi-million dollar business that men’s hoops represents to universities and colleges:

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