Licensing Takes a Back Seat to Charity

I wrote in a post last month about the huge effort that goes into preprinting winning team t-shirts prior to major sports events, and UT’s preproduction of thousands of tees for the BCS bowl championship . The original plan was to destroy all of the “faux” victory shirts if the Longhorns lost, which alas, was the case. I’m still smarting over that one.

Facsimile of 2010 BCS T-shirt

NOT the UT T-shirt

Licensing departments diligently protect their brands, and destroy the merchandise or prohibit resale in the US. Fortunately, the University of Texas Department of Trademark and Licensing approved the donation of 13,000 T-shirts and a thousand caps to the earthquake victims in Haiti. It’s nice to see licensing take a back seat to charity.

“With the terrible tragedy and loss the Haitian people have suffered and are still experiencing, we do realize this donation may not be a very high priority for them,” said George H. Mitchell, the University Co-op president. “However, we all need clothing and this is a small contribution we can make to assist in their recovery.” It was a more than a good faith gesture, because it represented $300,000 in retail merchandise.

Attention, NFL Licensing Deparatment: Let’s hear about your plan to give Haiti of all your losing team “Superbowl Winner” t-shirts after Sunday’s game!  The only question is, who’s it gonna be? Do you think the Colts or the Saints will win the Superbowl?