Winning Season Means Big Bucks for Vendor

Mar 19, 2014

Mark Mincer & Merchandise

When the final buzzer sounded on Sunday, University of Virginia fans had cause to celebrate, but for Mark Mincer, the victory over Duke meant lots of work ahead. 

The president of a store founded by his grandfather in 1948, Mincer called in family members to prepare for crowds.

Lines formed at Mincer’s on the Corner this week as fans like former UVA administrator George Thompson showed their pride with a purchase.

“I got two really neat T-shirts here.  Love UVA.  Love UVA basketball.  Love Joe Harris.  So this is your year!  This is our year, and we’re excited.”

Store president Mark Mincer is equally happy.  He and other family members gathered early Monday to unpack shipments of T-shirts and more.”  

“We have polos just came in today, hats came in this morning.  We had shirts Sunday afternoon --- right after the game around 4:15, but it was snowing.  There was not a lot of traffic Sunday night, but we were here getting them in, counting them and tagging them, but I think the rush really started Monday morning pretty early -- around  9:30, 10 o’clock.”

He’d been working on orders since January, all contingent on a victory, and when the buzzer sounded, printing began.

“Have you done this before?  Yeah, we’ve done it a lot of times, and it hasn’t quite worked out.  I was 13 years old when we won the first one.  I’ve spent a long time waiting.”

Times have changed since then.

“When we won in ’76, it was really just a local/regional event, and now with the advent of the Internet, cable TV and so many more people know about it, we’re getting orders right and left over the Internet. It’s a much more national event.”

A winning season has also meant big bucks for the university, which reports $3.2 million in ticket sales, plus $250,000 from a TV contract and a cut of every T-shirt sold. UVA hopes for more donations from alumni, and even without a win in the NCAA tournament, Mark Mincer figures sales will be strong all year long.