WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The winning Wichita State University (WSU) men’s basketball team is having a positive impact on local sports stores.
“Shock, shock and awe!” said WSU student Aaron Evans.
It seems Wichita State hoops is no longer an underdog, and it’s likely the team won’t be dubbed a Cinderella story this year, either.
“I think we are one of the best teams in the nation this year. I like the respect we are getting this year. We are real contenders,” said WSU student Taylor Cook.
“The team is for real. They are gritty team,” said Tad’s Locker Room Owner Tad Snarenberger. “All the talk has been done and now they’re showing up and really showing how they can play.”
On Monday, the Associated Press released its newest college basketball poll. Wichita State (8-1) moved from the No. 6 spot to the No. 3 position. The ranking is a season-high and marks the first time since March 2014 that the Shockers have cracked the top-5 in the national rankings.
The Shockers winning season has already had a major impact on Wichita sports stores.
“It’s pretty cool. I have seen our merchandise grow as far as different things in the past 5 years that we never would have seen had they not taken the steps they had done and grown like they had,” Snarenberger said.
Tad’s Locker Room offers just about anything with the Wichita State logo a fan could dream of. There’s WSU garden gnomes, license plates, basketballs, socks, even bird houses. It’s a similar situation across town at the University Bookstore.
“We have Christmas ornaments that are custom to Wichita State. We have some unique lines as far as bottle openers and unique gifts. We have Shocker pub-table sets,” said University Bookstore Director Andi Stipp.
The University Bookstore also offers WSU skateboards and sunglasses. Officials told KSN when the basketball team wins the stores often win too.
“We ride on the coat tails of athletics. If they are doing well, we are doing well and we are excited to be right alongside them along the way,” Stipp said.
Store officials add if fans are looking to buy WSU merchandise for the holidays it’s best to purchase the items as soon as they become available.
“Shop early because a lot of the merchandise will come in and it will go,” said Snarenberger.