College Swag: Where Does Your School Come In?

College Swag: Where Does Your School Come In?
  • Opening Intro -

    Sports apparel is big business. Professional sports teams have known this for decades, but colleges are not far behind.

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These days, you will see men, women and children wearing jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, pants and other paraphernalia related to their favorite schools. Colleges and universities license their merchandise and make money from each sale.

Apparel Licensing

Indeed, according to the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the retail marketplace for college licensed merchandise came in at about $4.59 billion in 2013. Colleges and universities get royalties, using those funds to support a variety of programs on campus and in their local communities.

Do you think you know which school cleaned up the most in 2013? If you answered the University of Texas at Austin, then you hit the mark. Yes, for the ninth consecutive year the Texas Longhorns were ranked number one in fiscal year-end rankings.

Coming in second through fifth place were Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and Georgia. The top 10 was rounded out by Florida, LSU, Florida State, Texas A&M and North Carolina. SEC schools claimed five of the 10 top spots with most of the rest of the programs also doing quite well.

UConn, Florida State Move Up

The CLC noted that the University of Connecticut had a particularly good year as it won men’s and women’s basketball national championships. UConn went from the 53rd position to the 47th position (among the top 75 universities) in one year.

Florida State University also moved up, traveling from the 21st to the 8th position on the strength of winning football’s bowl championship series. The Seminoles are back and the purchased swag affirms it.

Not all 75 listed universities are household names or at least have the popularity that some may think go with the schools. Montana, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State, James Madison, Montana State and Boston University made the CLC’s list. Typically, universities that have both major football and basketball programs did quite well, with basketball-only programs such as Georgetown coming in at number 60. Georgetown does have a football team, but they play at the Division III level.

Nike, EA Sports Shine

The top apparel licensee was once again Nike. Nike has been on top of the industry since 1999 except for two years. EA Sports continues as the top-ranked non-apparel licensee. Non-apparel is composed of categories such as school supplies, paper products, games as well as health and beauty products.

On the apparel side Nike was followed by Knights Apparel, Gear for Sports, Adidas and Top of the World. For non-apparel, EA Sports was followed by Wilson Sporting Goods, Rawlings Sporting Goods, the Tervis Tumbler Company and Commemorative Brands doing business as Balfour.

Millions of Fans Reached

How many fans are reached with college apparel? The CLC claims more than 190 million fans have purchased licensed merchandise. That merchandise is available on campus, at retail outlets as well as online through various shops. So, put on some swag and get ready to cheer on the old team as the gridiron season begins. Chances are you will be joined by thousands of other fans who are similarly dressed and are screaming their lungs out.

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Categories: Campus News, Featured