How profitable is college football in the US? The University of Texas had revenues of almost $110 million in 2012-13 and expenses of only $27 million as you can see in the cascade chart below. The program provided $82 million in profit to fund other athletic programs and give back to the university. Single game and season ticket sales were the largest contributor to revenue. UT has its own TV network, which accounts for some of the $26 million it received in royalties. This incremental revenue made it more profitable than football programs at other large public universities. Staff salaries were the biggest expense category. Game-related expenses included over $1 million for spirit groups (bands, cheerleaders, mascots, and dancers). The players received $3.8 million in aid.
The cascade chart shows the breakdown of revenue in the first part of the chart and the draw down of expenses to end up with the $82 million profit. There are many other ways to graphically show revenue and expenses, including 100% stacked bar and pie charts. I like the cascade because it shows the build-up of revenue and how it is reduced by the expenses to come up with the profit. This approach works well if you can summarize revenue and expenses into 6-10 major categories. Here’s the chart in SlideShare to download and edit with Mekko Graphics:
You can find these numbers for other programs at www.businessofcollegesports.com.