Tuesday, September 15, 2009

OU Athletics

When the OU Athletic Department announced earlier this year that the football team was going to play at Cowboys Stadium against Brigham Young, they weren’t just thinking about the exposure it would receive for the university.

“They have the community’s interest in mind when a putting a schedule together,” Stephen Koranda said executive director for the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The media value is amazing, phenomenal.”

The highly televised game will be treated as home game for the Sooner s so the revenue figures look to be very beneficial to the university.

“We’re still able to get the appreciation of 6 home football games like last year, so the impact is still there” Koranda said having dealt with the athletic department during his nine months at the position.

Koranda said there was so much opportunity for tourism dollars due to OU Athletics.

“There is so much more outside of OU Football,” Koranda said. “Our baseball team hosted a NCAA regional along with the softball team.”

In addition to success of OU Athletics, the city of Norman received notoriety in 2008 as the sixth “Best Place to Live” in the United States by CNN Money.

“We have developed a marketing strategy for that because there are a segment of people out there that like to visit the place that is similar to the place they currently live in,” Koranda said. “We feel that is the way we depict Norman.”

According to Norman tax reports for the months during the football season, despite the recession, there was an increase in sales tax revenue for 2008 as compared to 2007.

In the month of September 2008, the sales tax went up 11.6 percent. The month of October was the peak with 13.2 percent followed by November with 12.29 percent.

In actual numbers, the sales tax revenue for the aforementioned months was $3,590,084, $3,620,418, and $4,264,540, respectively.

Anthony Fransisco, finance director for the city of Norman, said that a great portion of the sale tax figures include room rates for hotels, the building and the luxury sectors.

“There are many things that are receptive to the economy such as buying jewelry, buying refrigerators and going out to McDonalds rather than Olive Garden,” Fransisco said. “Football is pretty much recession proof. Football fans will show up.”

With the season tickets having a 99 percent renewal rate, it could mean great opportunities to Norman especially with the success of last year.

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