Urban Meyer: The Costs and Benefits for OSU and Ohio

On Monday, Urban Meyer came out of his one-year coaching retirement to take the reins at Ohio State University. For his reputation and the school’s storied football program, Meyer will be paid $24 million over the next six years.

Meyer will average $4 million a year in the course of his contract, surpassing Ohio State’s previous coach Jim Tressel in his final year at $3.8 million and this year’s one-and-done coach, Luke Fickell’s paltry $1.2 million salary. Meyer is also eligible for bonuses the longer he sticks with the contract, starting with a $450,000 bonus in 2014, then $750,000 (2016), and $1.2 million (2018) should he stick around that long.

While Meyer will be cashing in with his new job, so will local Ohio State businesses and retailers.

According to the Dayton Business Journal, business is good for local bars and restaurants across the state of Ohio with Buckeye fans, depending of course on the team’s wins and losses. Meyer’s home town of Ashtabula (195 miles from the Columbus campus) should also see a spike in business with a return of the town’s golden boy, but how will other businesses do?

Dayton-area businesses are ready to see a pickup in sales.

One retailer, the Dayton¬†Cardboard Heroes store, expects a rise in OSU merchandise sales, which have been off this year. Meyer merchandise has already been ordered. While Meyer doesn’t wear the iconic vest (selling for approximately $70) there’s plenty of other gear to purchase, as he’s been known to wear golf shirts and casual zip-up jackets.

In addition to Cardboard Heroes, store managers at Dayton’s other local sports store, Hibbett Sports, have said OSU-wear counts for almost 40 percent of total sales at each store. With holiday shopping in full swing, sales could rise.

Along with wearing school colors and gear, fans also spend money at the Dayton-area bars where they watch OSU games.

At Centerville’s Chammps, OSU fans usually fill 12 tables on game days, according to bar manager, Adam Harkless. Not a bad number considering the bar is affiliated with the Nebraska Cornhusker football team. The nearby Buffalo Wild Wings also draws a good college crowd on Saturdays.

In addition to the Dayton, Ashtabula, and Columbus, Meyer’s Ohio tentacles also reach to Cincinnati (he’s a University of Cincinnati grad) and Bowling Green State University (ex-football coach 2001-2002). Both of these areas should welcome Meyer back to the state. Though they have their own football teams, in Ohio, OSU reigns supreme.

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