From the moment the first photo of the Owls special bowl game helmet design hit the social media frequencies in December, it was apparent that Rice had struck a chord with fans.
How much so became evident after one helmet was offered for auction online at RiceOwls.com prior to the Armed Forces Bowl. The winning bid was for $1,585 and when the final numbers for all auctions conducted over the holidays by all the schools whose websites are hosted by CBS Interactive, the Rice Armed Forces Bowl helmet was the third most popular auction item offered by a school.
A pair of items related to the Army-Navy game offered by Navy topped the list. An Army-Navy Rivalry Helmet went for $3,026 while and Army-Navy jersey package went for $1,860.
Among the items trailing the Rice helmet, there was both a helmet ($ 1,360) and jersey ($800) offered by Army prior to the Army-Navy game.
Nearly 60 items were offered by schools during December for auction.
The auction wasn't the only online area that saw an impressive upturn thanks to the Owls appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl.
The Owls' online store registered the second highest sales month in history, topped only by the sales in December of 2006 when Rice earned its first bowl berth in 45 years.