Tourney time is big business for Spartans

EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Tickets aren’t the only things that get sold when Michigan State makes it to the NCAA tournament.

The “Big Dance” is “big business” in mid-Michigan.

Jerseys, sweatshirts, socks and even face tattoos.

The MSU Student Bookstore sells all the Spartan swag a fan could imagine.

And today, sales are looking up after the MSU men’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament for the 20th consecutive year.

“It’s a great thing for the university, it’s a great thing for clothing sales. Business is obviously driven by sales and by them being in the tournament,” explains SBS manager Brad Ballein. “If they hadn’t made the NCAA you’d see a definite drop off in sales.”

Despite the team’s rocky path to the tournament MSU new media director Matt Larson says the tournament attracts all sorts of fans, from students, to alumni, even those who usually don’t keep up with sports. “Any Spartan gets excited about the NCAA tournament. It’s a new fresh start you know. Everyone starts with the same 0 and 0 record.”

And even though Tulsa is a 12 hour drive from East Lansing Larson says that won’t stop Spartan fans from making the trek to cheer on the team.

“The great thing about being a Spartan is you’ve got fans all over the country, so I would expect a great turnout,” said Larson.

Regardless of how the team does Ballein says Spartans are always loyal fans.and customers.

“Win or lose, you’re a Spartan town. You’re gonna be there, you’re gonna buy stuff, you’re gonna support the team, you’re gonna wear your green, you’re gonna wear your white, cheer your heart out, that’s what we do,” concludes Ballein.

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