About 80% of the athletic departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision lose money and attendance figures are falling, including student attendance. As a result of the recent Supreme Court decision, more gambling on college games is coming. Could this be used by colleges to help draw more students, including international students, to sporting events? This could help many athletic departments financially in a major way, both immediately and in the long term.
There are about one million foreign students going to college in the United States.
Whether you’re pro-gambling or not, it is going to happen thanks to the Supreme Court so athletic departments should make it is as positive (i.e., profitable) as possible, both for the institution and for the individual.
Embracing legalized sports betting could possibly get students more involved in athletics, as result feel more a part of the campus community, and possibly increase attendance. College sports is a great way to unite a campus, community, and a country.
After all, the NCAA and college sports already benefit tremendously from gambling.
Over 90% of the NCAA’s budget comes from the television rights for March Madness. Over $10 billion is gambled yearly on The Dance. Does anyone truly believe that as many would watch the games is there was no money at stake? The more who bet, the more who watch, the more the NCAA makes from selling the television rights for the basketball tournament.
It is that plain and simple.
Athletic departments are already courting students of all backgrounds and nationalities. Football games at the University of Illinois are broadcast in Mandarin. There are plenty of college players from abroad, with American schools preparing many to represent their home country in the Olympics. By embracing legalized sports gambling, universities and athletic departments are adding one more selling point as they try and retain students who have stopped attending and recruit new students to sporting events.
College athletic departments in the United States have two choices with this highly desirable demographic. Turn them into loyal fans and future donors by embracing and adapting to new technologies and conveniences and courting them to become involved and attend athletic events. Or they can continue to operate as is and risk losing interest, support and potential revenue that could have been spent at home sporting events as well as the opportunity to cultivate and develop potential future donors.