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SBD/January 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
ESPN's OTL Discusses The Intense Criticism Of Cowboys' Apparel Production
Published January 9, 2012
TRYING TO GET BUSINESS: ESPN.com’s Fainaru-Wada & Gubar wrote after earlier creating an ancillary company called Silver Star Merchandising, the Cowboys in May “struck a 10-year deal with USC to become the primary licensee of Trojans apparel.” The NFL team now “has its sights set on signing a handful of top-flight college programs.” Priakos said, “I think that we will definitely sign new schools in the future. … I think that this model kind of maxes out around 10.” Priakos has “been in talks with Ohio State for more than a year, trying to convince the Buckeyes to sign on, but those efforts have been muddied by student protests and media attention on the Cowboys' practices.” Ohio State Students Against Sweatshops said a deal with the Cowboys would be "a huge step backwards in the university's efforts to end sweatshop abuse in our college gear supply chain." From “labor rights organizations to representatives of other major brands, from licensing directors at big-time colleges to academics who have studied this issue for years, the message was the same: Violations are everywhere, it's the reality of the business, and no one has denied that for years.” Penn State Assistant Professor Mark Anner, who is the coordinator of the school's Project for Global Workers' Rights, said, “I feel like we're going back in time 15, 20 years. I've been researching, examining, looking at this industry for close to 20 years now, and I would have to say that's impossible. I've looked at auditing reports where I've seen, perhaps on average, 18 violations per factory. So problems, violations are extremely common” (ESPN.com, 1/7).