SportsBizMiss (Kristi Dosh) put together a list of the college athletic programs which were the most profitable for the 2009-2010 school year. You should definitely check out this link, it’s a very good read, and a lot of work had to go into producing such an exhaustive list.
In terms of how the Cyclones fared, the football program turned a profit of $6,606,483 which was good for 61st on the list. For the Big XII, that came in at 9th*, just ahead of Kansas State (62nd) and well ahead of Baylor (109) and Kansas (116).
ISU sat relatively better in basketball, coming in at 6th* in the Big XII and 97th nationally with a $2,652,336 profit. That looks pretty good to me for a team that finished the year with a losing record.
To put some perspective on the disparity of profits within the Big XII, Texas basketball (the conference’s number one profitable hoops program, unsurprisingly) actually out earned ISU football by about $100,000. Let’s just be glad that ISU isn’t Colorado or Baylor, both of which lost money on the basketball side of things.
We know that Iowa State typically has tickets to sell for football, so there is potential to move up the rankings there in terms of the Big XII rankings if ticket sales pick up. Despite the fact that attendance for basketball is pretty good comparatively in the conference, Hilton could also apparently could fill up a bit more, so there is potential there for increased revenue from ticket sales as well. Of course, media deals reign supreme in bringing in the dough.
Since conference media deals have the biggest impact on a program’s revenue, we should see a lot of shuffling around in the national rankings with new deals for the Big XII and Pac-12. It also will be interesting to see exactly how the new deal affects Iowa State's position within the Big XII itself.
Like I said, be sure to check out the actual post over at businessofcollegesports.com. Excellent work.
*- Don’t forget that the then appropriately-named Big XII actually had 12 teams. What a concept. With the subtraction of Nebraska and Colorado, the numbers change to 7th in the Big XII in football and remains at 6th in basketball.