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Published December 22, 1995
Sprouting from Northwestern's unlikely rags-to-riches story this season are several examples of increased interest in Northwestern licensed merchandise. Sports Illustrated is "scrambling" to add NU items to its Insider Authentics catalog. Bob O'Keefe, SI Dir of Consumer Marketing Development, said the catalog carries only 25 schools, and for '95, "Northwestern wasn't even a consideration." But he notes, "We've already added them for '96." Reebok, which provides the program with shoes, is saluting their season with a spot featuring coach Gary Barnett and members of the '48 team, the last NU team to appear in a bowl game. Barnett will also do two radio spots for Burger King. Other NU items hitting the shelves: pasta shaped in the NU logo; and caps and sweaters for dogs and cats (Stuart Elliott, N.Y. TIMES, 12/22). In the current SI, the program's turnaround is profiled. Barnett in part credits adding black to the team's uniforms for attracting some players. DB Hudhaifa Ismaeli: "The number 1 reason I came here was academics. The second was the uniforms" (SI, 12/25-1/1).