|Great Time to Be a Bear
4:45 P.M. MONDAY, FEB. 6, 2012
Are we having fun yet? These are special times to be a Baylor Bear!
March Madness is right around the corner and the #6 Bears and #1 Lady Bears are poised to make exciting runs in the NCAA Tournament again this year. Ticket information will be available at BaylorBears.com in the coming weeks.
I don't see any reason why Baylor Nation can't fill the Ferrell Center for the remaining home men's and women's basketball games beginning this week when the Oklahoma women (Feb. 6) and Kansas men (Feb. 8) come to Waco.
There are several prominent national media outlets working on stories about the success of Baylor teams and student-athletes this year. The value of this publicity is immeasurable and does wonders in advancing Baylor's brand nationally and internationally.
National Signing Day in football is always an exciting time for our coaches and fans. Coach Briles and his staff did an exceptional job in recruiting again this year in securing a Top 25 class that is ranked as high as third in the Big 12. Moreover, Coach Jobson and Coach Harbour announced outstanding recruiting classes in women's soccer and track and field, respectively.
Baylor's spring sports are getting underway and we are looking forward to great success. I want to encourage each of you to come out and support these outstanding teams.
We have number of very good questions this week from our fans, so let's find out what people want to talk about:
I have noticed for years that when it came to NCAA basketball tournament, the same venues are most always used because the size of the arena. Baylor is never chosen because the size of the Paul J Meyer arena. Has anyone thought to check to see if the arena could be raised in height to add a couple of thousand more people so BU could host a tournament event and possibly a Sweet 16 or Elite 8 event?? I am pretty sure we will not build another arena, at least not in my lifetime, but as good as our teams are it would seem to me that we could look at ways to make the arena bigger.
David R Clark
Thank you for the e-mail and questions about the Ferrell Center. We are blessed with a great venue that fits the needs of our teams and fans. As you know, we added the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice facility a few years ago to improve the facility, enhance recruiting and provide a great practice environment for our student-athletes.
At this point, it is unlikely that we could significantly expand the size of the facility without embarking on a very large and expensive project.
How much does Baylor make from the Bowl Game and how much does the Big 12 get out of that amount?
Thank you for the questions. Baylor was provided with a bowl expense allowance of approximately $1 million to cover the costs of sending the team and travel party to San Antonio for the Valero Alamo Bowl. These funds pay for transportation, lodging, meals and operational expenses for the team, band, spirit squad and staff. With that, we expect to break even on this year's bowl game. However, the Alamo Bowl payment to the Big 12 is several million dollars and these funds are divided equally among the Conference members and distributed to member institutions.
You are doing a fantastic job. Baylor is having tremendous success under your leadership.
It is my understanding that the live Bears may not attend the games due to the stresses of the football environment. t is also my understanding that they could attend the games if they lived at the stadium. If this is the case, there MUST be a live bear habitat incorporated into the on-campus stadium should it come to fruition.
Jonathan Stinson III
I appreciate the e-mail and kind comments. These are exciting times!
The live Baylor Bear mascots are unable to attend home football games until such time as a suitable habitat is created for them. The University has studied developing such a facility at Floyd Casey Stadium and Populous has designed a Bear Habitat feature in the proposed on-campus football stadium.
Our staff recognizes and appreciates Baylor Nation's affection for the live Bear mascots and wants to ensure that they return to Baylor football games as soon as possible.
Why isn't Baylor merchandise sold everywhere that UT, A&M, Texas Tech and TCU gear is? Every time I walk into an Academy, I am overwhelmed with gear from other schools. Baylor merchandise is impossible to find unless it is ordered online. It hurts us. Our branding can be enhanced with targeted marketing. It's easier to buy an OU, or LSU hat in Fort Worth than a Baylor hat, or T Shirt. This needs to be addressed.
We have made great progress in this area over the past 18 months thanks to excellent work by Nick Joos, the University Licensing team and LRG (our licensing partner). Merchandise sales and royalties have more than doubled over this period. In the DFW Metroplex, it is my understanding that the Rally Houses have an outstanding supply of Baylor product, so you may wish to check one of those out.
One of the significant challenges that we face is that our sports teams have different apparel partners (Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, etc.) Traditionally, this has allowed us to maximize the value of these contracts for each team. However, since Baylor has not had an exclusive apparel partner, our ability to achieve desired distribution of merchandise in the marketplace has suffered.
We are currently exploring opportunities to reach an all-school agreement with an apparel partner who will provide great value to our teams and successfully distribute merchandise into the marketplace for our fans. This would be an ideal situation for the athletics department, University and Baylor Nation if we are able to build such a partnership.
When will the fund raising campaign for the new football stadium begin? Football plus men's and women's basketball teams all have huge momentum right now. Plus, I would bet many alumni receive their bonuses at the end of the year. It seems like this is perfect time to roll out an aggressive campaign to get the stadium funded. Frankly, I cannot see how the timing would get any better.
Thank you for the e-mail and support. We are enjoying a tremendous amount of momentum and it has positively impacted fundraising and ticket sales as both areas are at record levels. We are working with the leadership of the University to develop plans as to how best to proceed with our fundraising efforts and believe that there is no better time to build Baylor than the present.
Could you please explain why the Big 12 Conference is going to continue having its basketball championship tournaments in Kansas City, MISSOURI when the conference will no longer have a team within the state? Why spend our money in an out of state venue? Does that mean the conference will schedule neutral site games at Kyle Field in the future too!
I appreciate your e-mail. The Big 12 has contracted with Kansas City for the Conference men's basketball tournament through 2014. We have a wonderful partnership with the City and fans have strongly supported the event in this community. Despite the departure of the University of Missouri from the Big 12, I expect that Kansas City will remain a popular location for the Big 12 basketball tournament in the future.