With three games remaining in the regular season, LSU’s winning record in basketball and its quest for an SEC title is sparking increased sales across Baton Rouge for Tiger merchandise.
Patrick Wilkerson, co-owner of Bengals & Bandits, says they’ve seen a 50% spike in basketball merchandise sales this year, prompting the store to not only reorder several basketball-design shirts but also expand its hoops-related offerings. It’s a level of demand, Wilkerson says, the store hasn’t seen in the past. The passion play is also resulting in higher sales for children’s products and apparel.
“When the team wins it affects the university, but it also ripples along the small business community around the campus,” Wilkerson says. “It’s not like football where there’s tailgating, and it’s great for businesses like us when people want to visit The Chimes or City Slice before a basketball game.”
Justin Donahue, store manager of Alumni Hall in Perkins Rowe, says they’ve seen a 25% to 30% increase in basketball merchandise sales, beginning shortly after the team’s upset, last-second win over Kentucky earlier this month. They, too, have expanded their basketball merchandise inventory.
Ashley Fairley, owner of Tiger People Clothiers, with locations on Burbank Drive and Perkins Road, has especially seen a boost in sales for products targeting men and children.
“Typically our baseball sales overshadow basketball,” Fairley says, “But this year, our basketball merchandise sales have driven us to the point where its overshadowing baseball.”