This season, the success of the San Diego State men’s basketball team has brought hundreds of students to camp out in front of Viejas Arena for tickets, while bolstering Aztec pride, game attendance and recently, the sale of merchandise at the SDSU Bookstore.
Basketball fever seems to multiply with every game and has students purchasing Aztec gear in a frenzy. Although the main attraction for shoppers has mostly been basketball merchandise, it has also fueled the sale of general SDSU imprinted products.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in apparel sales and increases in all of our units,” Todd Summer, the bookstore director, said. With merchandise selling out quickly, the bookstore is attempting to keep up with the demand.
“We are continually reordering things,” he said.
The most popular must-have item is the exclusive Nike replica jersey, which was only available as a web offer for a limited time and has recently sold out online. The jersey was originally planned to be carried in stores later this month, but an order limit of 250 jerseys was reached just by online preorders alone.
“Customers have been asking about basketball merchandise daily,” Jessica Rodriguez, assistant manager for clothing at the bookstore, said. She has also noticed the frequent sale of school spirit items.
“We’ve been selling a lot of pom-poms … and the foam fingers, and pretty much everything like hats, clothing, sweatshirts and T-shirts,” Rodriguez said.
The demand for basketball merchandise doesn’t stop at the store on campus. The Aztec Store at the Fashion Valley Mall, the store website and Viejas Arena have also seen an increase in sales because of the recent basketball hysteria.
“Everyone comes in looking for jerseys or just any basketball merchandise, and once we have it, it sells out pretty fast over here,” Angelica Lind, sales associate at the Aztec Store in Fashion Valley, said.
With more than 4,000 new students this semester, many came to campus unaware of how powerful the basketball wave has been. However, they have witnessed the enthusiasm around campus and are quickly catching on.
“I’m a new student, so I’m buying merchandise because I’m going here now, but the basketball team has definitely also influenced me,” James Giblin, a television, film and new media student, said.
Even students who do not usually attend the games have become interested in browsing the basketball merchandise.
“It’s pretty new,” Lind said. “Before, it was kind of slow. People would come in to get basic stuff, but I think now since the team is doing so well, people are supporting them a lot more.”