Rivalry week: Merchants hope fans pony up to the register
The emotions associated with the BYU-Utah football game haven't translated into the urge to buy more merchandise quite yet.
"As of today, we haven't sold a lot more than normal," said Brady Paulich, manager of the Fanzz store in the Provo Towne Mall. "But a lot of people wait until Thursday to start buying."
The Utah County store stocks more blue and white sweatshirts than red and white, and said while the store has sold more BYU items, the dollar amounts spent by fans is about equal thus far.
"Utah fans tend to spend a lot more money than BYU fans," Paulich said.
That's a sentiment echoed by other retailers, including Matt Goodwin, manager of the Fanzz store in the South Towne Mall.
"That's a fact that Utah fans spend more money than BYU fans," he said. "More Utah fans buy higher priced merchandise like coats."
The rivalry created by the annual football game is especially lucrative to local sporting good stores. They sell more school-related merchandise during football season than they do during any other sporting season, including basketball.
Whether the teams are winning also affects how much money retailers make selling Cougar and Ute paraphernalia.
"Last year I worked in the Provo store and what we did have, nobody wanted," Goodwin said of BYU merchandise. Last year as Utah had one of its best year's in school history and made its way to the Fiesta bowl, store owners sold anything and everything Ute.
"It totally depends on how the teams are doing," Goodwin said. "This year it's pretty even between the schools."
With BYU at 6-4 and Utah at 5-5, there is no clear favorite. No team is winning so much everyone has to be seen wearing its school colors, but then again, neither team is awful either.
"It's already started that people are coming in and stocking up on their sweatshirts and hats," Goodwin said. "This is the best time of year to buy this type of merchandise."
And if you can't make it to the game, Goodwin, a Ute fan who has to work on Saturday, said the game will be playing on the store's television."Sometimes we've had 60 or 70 people in the store watching the game," he said. "Especially when it's a close game."
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