ESTERO, FL.--The FGCU Eagles are flying again.
The Sweet 16 men's basketball team kicked off its season tonight and WINK News is learning the team's success last year is now putting local businesses on the map.
It was a Cinderella story heard around the world.
A school and a team that caught almost everyone by surprise.
As soon as the FGCU men's basketball team swooped in to the Sweet 16, nearly every store across Southwest Florida was swamped with fans begging to get their hands on anything Dunk City.
"We were taking pre-orders, making sure people stayed happy, and everybody wanted FGCU stuff," said Jeremiah Mello with JP Sports.
JP Sports in Estero is benefiting from FGCU's success because they continue to sell shirts, towel and even guitars decked out in green and blue.
"They will be from all over the country and they will be like yeah I saw them. We actually had people in the other day from Wisconsin we watched them, they are fun to watch," said Mello.
Dunk City has done wonders for the school's image. In the first quarter of 2012, FGCU merchandise sales were at a little more than $70,000.
But a year later, in the first quarter of 2013, those sales skyrocketed to$290,000 and more than doubled that in the second quarter of this year.
"As far as the season tickets for the year, it is a huge improvement, the men are up over 600%," said FGCU ticket manager Chad Lutkenhaus.