Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FGCU shirt sales and web clicks soar during NCAA Tournament

Dan Timms, 67, of Bonita Springs looks at Florida Gulf Coast University sweatshirts Saturday at the campus bookstore.

Associated Press

Dan Timms, 67, of Bonita Springs looks at Florida Gulf Coast University sweatshirts Saturday at the campus bookstore.

ESTERO — College T-shirts are a grand tradition, a block letter pride point no matter where your school stands in the sporting world, something to keep in a sacred sock drawer until you die.

Surely that was true at Florida Gulf Coast University. In March 2012, the school bookstore reported selling $5,483 worth of women's FGCU hats and clothes, and $14,624 for men.

Ahem. Fast forward to this month and its madness, when FGCU's previously unheralded basketball team beat No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament, and remains in the hunt for a national title. This month the school reports that sales shot up to $34,034 for women's apparel and $114,870 for men's. That's a bajillion percent increase.

The school's website is going crazy, too.

In quieter times, before anyone knew much of the team and its coach and his supermodel wife, visits to hovered between 20,000 to 49,000. When FGCU beat Georgetown Friday, website visits soared to 117,344.

Sunday, FGCU beat San Diego State and became the first No. 15 seed in tournament history to reach the Sweet 16. That day, more than 177,000 people visited the blue-and-green website with its message of "Sustainability, Excellence, Service."

Monday, when shirtless dudes gathered for a pep rally and writhed in blue body paint and players did their Eagle dance and fans shrieked DUNK CITY, DUNK CITY, DUNK CITY, website visits topped 230,000.

And you better believe people wanted T-shirts. The school will calculate updated dollar figures again today.

Melissa Santimaw and her husband drove to campus Saturday. The proud 2005 alumni wanted an exciting shirt to let everyone know her allegiance. The bookstore was flooded with three times its normal foot traffic that day and had lines out the door. It carried only one sartorial option for Santimaw, a disappointingly plain blue shirt with green and white block letters that said "FGCU ALUMNI."

She bought it anyway.

Times staff writer John Woodrow Cox contributed to this report. Stephanie Hayes can be reached at or (813) 226-3394.

FGCU shirt sales and web clicks soar during NCAA Tournament 03/26/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings