Francisco Sanchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
I may not be the biggest basketball fan.
Still I, like so many Americans, spent some time Sunday night predicting the outcomes of one of our country’s great traditions – the NCAA Basketball Tournament. You may well have been doing the same thing; the NCAA Tournament bracket is a ubiquitous image, appearing on countless office walls and bedroom doors all over the country.
Now I may not regularly cheer for basketball, but I’m a huge fan of exports. And what you may not have realized when you filled out your bracket is that you were, in fact, supporting American exports.
It’s true: The television licensing for the tournament, the apparel licensing for universities, and the education industry itself are all American export industries, supporting thousands of American jobs.
As the NCAA Basketball Tournament is a great American tradition, exports are also a great tradition for us at the International Trade Administration. So over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing some information with you that shows how this celebrated American custom ties into American exports, thereby supporting the American economy.
Before we kick that off, we have our own fun office competition to share with all of you:
As you may know, we have Export Assistance Centers (EACs) all over the country to help U.S. businesses compete globally. Well, we asked the four offices closest to the four #1 seeds in the tournament to fill out a bracket on Selection Sunday to post on our blog. I’m submitting mine for competition as well. So here are the participating offices representing the top seeds and their brackets:
- Representing Louisville: the Louisville EAC
(Final Four: Louisville, New Mexico, Georgetown, Indiana)
- Representing Gonzaga: the Spokane EAC
(Final Four: Louisville, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Indiana)
- Representing Indiana: the Indianapolis EAC
(Final Four: Louisville, Ohio State, Florida, Indiana)
- Representing Kansas: the Kansas City EAC
(Final Four: Albany, Arizona, Akron, Bucknell)
- Under Secretary Sanchez Bracket
(Final Four: Louisville, Ohio State, Kansas, Indiana)
How does your bracket stack up to each of ours? How are you going to be supporting exports during this year’s tournament? Let us know here or get involved in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to support your team and American exports as we crown national champions in men’s and women’s college basketball this year.
Be sure to check back on the blog as we highlight just how much of an impact American pastimes like March Madness contribute to American exports. No matter who wins, the U.S. is always the champ when we support exports.