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The Tiger

What Clemson’s national championship success means for them off the field

Kim Montuoro, Photo Editor
Students purchasing Clemson-related gear

There is no doubt that the Clemson Tigers have made their debut in the college football world. In 2015, Coach Dabo Sweeney led his 13-0 team to another victory in the Capital One Orange Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners. This was the game that opened the doors for Clemson to have the opportunity to compete in the national championship for the first time since 1981. In 2016 we were 5 points short from a championship, but with a 35-31 win from a last second touchdown against Alabama, we finally brought another one home in 2017.
Off-the-field success comes inevitably with championship coverage. The exposure that occurs alongside an appearance in a national bowl game is immeasurable. 10.7 million people viewed the Capital One Orange Bowl last year, a little under half of the viewership from the national championship game, which was 23.7 million. This year, 26 million people watched the unprecedented rematch between the Tide and the Tigers.
Ratings for the Tigers have only increased. This year’s Fiesta Bowl brought in 11.0 million viewers, an increase of 11 percent from 2015’s Fiesta Bowl game.
Viewership in a bowl game is the doormat for publicity for a university. The number of times quarterback Deshaun Watson’s name was mentioned within the span of the four hours this year’s Fiesta Bowl game was being broadcasted doesn’t make NFL teams think about him any less. Two years ago, nobody knew who receiver, Hunter Renfrow, was outside of the Clemson football program. After scoring two touchdowns during Monday night’s game, he’s now the talk of the town. Hours after the big game, he was featured in Sport’s Illustrated, giving him significant coverage and compelling talk about the NFL.
This is not just an event for the athletes, but for the mathletes as well. The university reported a record number of applicants after national championship exposure, “Clemson University received a record number of applications for admission this fall, with nearly 23,507 students vying for 4,000 seats in the freshman class…”
This year the University expects a significant increase once again, since the Tigers made yet another national championship appearance.
Hopefully you stocked up on your orange and purple before the big game, because merchandise flies off the shelf, just as Hunter Renfrow flies into the in zone. The amount of Clemson gear made and sold increased significantly after last year’s trip to the National Championship.
Last year, Dick’s Sporting Goods all throughout upstate South Carolina promised to extend their hours (if Clemson won) immediately following the Championship game to provide eager customers with the chance to buy Championship gear. This year, only nine and a half hours after Deshaun Watson threw the winning touchdown pass, reported Clemson sales increasing by over 50% more than Alabama sales, selling more than Alabama did after their national championship title last year. The website stated that, “similar to when the Cubs won the World Series, Fanatics is partnering with Uber again today to ensure Tigers fans in Clemson and Greenville are able to get their Championship gear ASAP. Hometown fans will have the chance to have official championship gear delivered straight to their door today through an innovative partnership between Uber and Fanatics.”
Orange and purple just became the new black.

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