SBD/April 14, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Arizona State Hopes Rebranding Will Jump-Start Merchandise Sales

ASU officials expect merchandise revenue to double after rebranding

Arizona State Univ. and its licensed merchandise retailers are "hoping the school's new look on the sports fields will jump-start flagging sales of its logo products," according to Max Jarman of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. ASU Assistant AD Steve Hank is "optimistic the new image, including edgy black uniforms, will result in merchandise sales and licensing revenue that doubles in the next few years." ASU logo products "currently generate about $1 million per year, and Hank sees that growing to $2 million a year by 2014." But he said that "revenue was not the primary reason for the new image." Hank: "It's more about creating an image and a brand that reflects the image we want to project." Tempe-based Cactus Sports opened an "hour early Wednesday, the first day the new merchandise was available, and people were already lined up." At Sparky's Stadium Shop at Sun Devil Stadium, student employee Stacie Fraser said that products featuring the new look "were selling briskly." Jarman reports in exchange for "helping ASU rebrand itself, Nike has been granted the exclusive rights to use the new logo, lettering and color palette on its apparel for the next year." Other apparel makers such as Under Armour, Champion and New Era "will continue to produce products featuring Sparky and the familiar 'AS' insignia" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/14). 

FASHION MODEL: In Oregon, George Schroeder wrote it turns out the Univ. of Oregon is "fashion forward." Both Washington State Univ.'s and ASU's uniform changes "look suspiciously like" Oregon. And at Oklahoma State Univ., which also is planning to reveal new uniforms, a source said, "We're going to be the Oregon of the Midwest." Schroeder noted "all of these schools, and several others making similar changes, wear Nike." ASU officials "project their merchandising revenue to double" (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 4/13). Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Matt Fortuna reports the Penn State Univ. football team's "old-school jerseys will sport a retro look this fall, as the Nittany Lions will lose the colored trim on their necks and sleeves." The new jerseys, produced by Nike, "will resemble Penn State's uniforms from the 1970s" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 4/14).

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