For UH, Rainbow Warriors' big win means big money

UH Windfall from NCAA Tournament

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors' upset win over Cal in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament was a feel-good moment.

It was also a windfall for the school.

Thanks to the win, UH Manoa Athletics Director David Matlin said, the school will get $130,000 to $140,000 annually for the next six years.

The school was rewarded by the NCAA for that first round win, and will contractually split its share with the Big West Conference.

Here's a look at the annual payout:

  • 2017: $132,500
  • 2018: $135,000
  • 2019: $137,500
  • 2020: $140,000
  • 2021: $142,500
  • 2022: $145,000

The money won't be spent entirely on men's basketball, though a significant amount will be.

"You have to invest in the program," Matlin said. "There are many needs that we have. When we do our budget we incorporate it into revenues then look at how we can invest it best."

Perhaps an even bigger gain is one that hasn't yet been quantified: That is, the exposure of pulling off an upset on national television.

"I think we'll get more applications to the University of Hawaii because of this. We'll get more tourists because people are watching and Hawaii is an aspirational thing," Matlin said.

And before you go underestimating the value of the win for tourism, consider how the Hawaii Tourism Authority boasts about the value of the Pro Bowl in marketing the islands.

"We sold out of our merchandise the first day of the NCAA's. They ran out of our stuff first," Matlin said. "They had to re-order for the next day. And not everyone else sold out."

As for the regular season, the 'Bows elevated performance led to an increase of roughly $200,000 in revenues over the previous year.

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