We all know that college basketball programs make a lot of money. But just how much money is "a lot of money"? The Triad Business Journal found statistics from the U.S. Department of Education for the 2014-2015 season. Where does Wake Forest stand and what does that say about the fan base?
|Rank||Team||Revenue (2014-2015)||Wins (2014/2015)||Revnue Per Win|
Original source: Triad Business Journal
The definition of revenue is "all revenues attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities. This includes revenues from appearance guarantees and options, contributions from alumni and others, institutional royalties, signage and other sponsorships, sport camps, state or other government support, student activity fees, ticket and luxury box sales, and any other revenues attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities."
My take on these revenue numbers is that it's remarkable that Wake Forest ranks 10th. This data is all from the 2014-2015 season, which is Danny Manning's first year. The fact that Wake Forest was still able to come in 10th, despite coming off of 4 seasons of Jeff Bzdelik, and only winning 13 games during the 2014-2015 season says a lot about the passion that the fan base truly has. Miami had nearly double the wins that Wake Forest did, yet Wake brought in $700,000 more in revenue.
Wake's fan base is small, but it's very passionate. The support has waned over recent years, but that's a natural reaction to the product that has been on the court. Wake fans are begging for a winner to be on the court, and I can guarantee that a winning team will be met with outstanding support from the fan base. It has been six years since Wake Forest heard its name called on Selection Sunday for any postseason tournament, and this drought has had one positive. The positive is that when Wake Forest does become good again, and Wake will become good again, those teams will be met with great support. The fans will no longer take for granted the talent on the court, and will come out in major numbers to support the team.
Wake Forest has the smallest fan base of Power 5 schools. That's just a numbers game based on enrollment. But don't mistake quantity for quality. Wake has passionate fans who desperately want to see this program return to where it belongs. These numbers made me proud to be a Wake Forest fan, and I hope to see Wake continue to rise up that list in the years to come.