Clarke County

Local businesses say UGA win bringing in major dollars

ATHENS, Ga. — With the Georgia Bulldogs winning big in Indianapolis Monday night, local businesses say they’re seeing a trickledown effect as their sales rise.

Throughout the whole post-season, business owners in Athens say they have seen major dollars roll in thanks to the Dawgs.

With a victory parade coming thorough Athens on Saturday, store owners told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln that they are preparing for the large crowds they know they’ll see.

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“We really represent the Bulldogs, and it’s not a moment we don’t sing that song,” business owner William Hardy said.

Hardy has been serving Bulldog fans for 14 years at his family-owned business, Dawg Gone Good BBQ.

From shutdowns to social distancing to mandates, Hardy says he’s very lucky to have survived the pandemic.

“All glory to God, honestly speaking,” he said.

After the difficulties brought on by the last two years, an increase from a winning season like this one is much needed.

He says that operating in a college town, however, has its challenges. Hardy says he’s seen business ebb and flow during sports seasons.

“We get a lot of traffic during game day,” he said.

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With UGA pulling off the national championship win, business owners across Athens are expected a big boom.

According to the NCAA, nearly 50 million people attend college football games each year. The SEC averages that more than 75,000 fans attend each game.

Analysts say that business owners can see earnings spike by 200%. And if a team gets a championship win? Those numbers can skyrocket even higher.

According to Omniture, an analytics company, teams just qualifying for the postseason can lift merchandise sales by 24%.

“I think it’s a good thing; he Braves winning now, the Bulldogs winning, the Hawks had a great run last year, so things are just changing here,” Hardy said.

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Hardy has seen the parallels between UGA’s success and increased business firsthand. He says that during just one game in the middle of UGA’s undefeated season last year, he saw nearly 800 customers.

He also says he’s looking forward to next year and preparing for the increase in fans he’s sure being the reigning champs will bring.

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