ISU football victories mean big business

Cyclone fans flood local merchandise shops

AMES - Big wins from the Iowa State University football team are translating to big business for local shops.

The Cyclones got their second win against a top five team this year this past weekend - and it puts them at number 14 in the Associated Press poll. That is the highest ranking in school history.

After those big wins, Iowa State football fans are flocking to stores to grab more ISU clothing and merchandise, showing how valuable a winning team really is.

With the phone ringing off the hook, and customers filling the store, ISU gear at Cy's Locker Room in Ames is flying off the shelves. Fans, like Rick Sesker and his wife, say their Cyclones have been crushing the competition lately. And with the team now ranked 14th in the AP poll, they want the latest merchandise.

"She said pull in there, let's get you some new cyclone stuff for our anniversary and we've got piles of it at home, but it doesn't hurt to have more," Sesker said.

Shoppers already wearing their cardinal and gold are not thinking twice about getting more gear.

"You like to help support the team, get the new gear out, and just rejuvenate my wardrobe," said ISU fan Ann Rowlands. "This is just wonderful watching Iowa State do so well."

Employees say they have seen business boom the past couple weeks -- potentially more than ever before.

"We have seen a lot more sales, everyone is all hyped for the games, the football games, the fans are very excited, especially after this past Saturday," said Leanne Moats, a sales associate at Cy's Locker Room. "It's probably the biggest thing that has happened."

ISU head football coach Matt Campbell says the real value for him and his team is knowing their efforts to reshape the program are working.

"Part of that vision is at least becoming reality, of where we're taking Iowa State football, what this can mean, and where we're going," Campbell said in a press conference Monday.

Back at Cy's Locker Room, fans are noticing the difference. And with a change to give back with every purchase, because some of the revenue goes toward the ISU athletic department, they are ready to do their part.

"Whatever it takes to support the team, if the money goes to them, everything that says Iowa State on it, that's good for them," Sesker said.

"We will still support the team no matter where they win or lose, but it's been wonderful having them win," Rowlands said.

Now with some new gear, Iowa State fans are ready to cheer to cyclones to another victory this weekend over West Virginia.

Local 5 is still working to learn how ISU's winning football season will bring in money to the university. Officials did not immediately respond to Local 5 on Monday.

Iowa State University's athletic department does not only get football's revenue, but other sports too. ISU is one of the lowest spenders in the Big 12 Conference. It brought in about $78 million during the 2015 season. It turned a small profit of around $78,000 that year as well.


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