Carolina Looks to Return to No. 1 — at the Cash Register

In a merchandising sales slump through early 2005, UNC had lost its reign as the university with the best-selling athletic licensing products to the University of Michigan, according to the Collegiate Licensing Co.

But since the Tar Heels brought home a fourth national basketball championship title in April, UNC paraphernalia has been flying off shelves.

“Local, national and Internet retailers have reported very good sales [since the championship win],” said Derek Lochbaum, UNC’s director of trademarks and licensing. “There have been high demands for products . and we expect to see a nice boost in revenue from the national championship product.”

From mid-2004 to April, sales of UNC merchandise had been down 20 percent from a year earlier, when net revenue from merchandise carrying UNC logos totaled nearly $3.5 million. Lochbaum said that “we’re in good position” to beat last year’s numbers and return to the top of the sales chart. Final numbers will be known this summer. The 1993 men’s basketball championship boosted trademark revenue that year by at least $500,000, according to UNC officials.

Beginning July 1, all revenue from merchandising will go to the UNC’s general scholarship fund.

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