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The Shirt sales rise above expectations

Mary Migliozzi | Friday, September 26, 2003

Already three games into the football season, sales of this year’s The Shirt remain steady and continue to exceed expectations, according to Dave Brenner, president of The Shirt 2003.

“People are still buying The Shirt. We’re ahead of pace for last year. … Sales have far exceeded anyone’s expectations,” he said.

Hedge Harridge, the event and community relations manager at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, said The Shirt is selling better than ever this year.

“The sales have been unbelievable compared to previous years,” she said.

The special student sale that the bookstore held before the first football weekend was not necessary last weekend because the majority of students already have The Shirt, but fans continued to buy it from the bookstore as well as various concession stands.

“It was great to see students on megaphones and students actively promoting The Shirt,” Brenner said.

The money generated from sales of The Shirt goes to student clubs and organizations, as well as to Rector Funds and The Shirt charity fund, which has been used in the past to assist students in difficult medical situations.

In 1996, funds were used to help a paralyzed rugby player recover from his injuries. It was also used to help swimmers injured in a bus accident in 1993. In fact, the fundraising of The Shirt initially began to cover a student’s medical expenses in 1990.

Rector Funds help students afford “college necessities” such as football games and dances, Brenner said. They have even been used to fly parents to South Bend from out of town.

“It’s the odds and ends that make a Notre Dame experience something special,” Brenner said. “We would really like to see more students benefit from it. They would just need to talk to their rector.”

Harridge said she believes that the good causes for which the money is used is a big part of The Shirt’s success.

“The students at Notre Dame tend to really stand behind a cause,” she said. “That’s the history of The Shirt.”

Brenner said that whether or not the football team’s performance has been affecting sales of The Shirt has yet to be determined.

“The fans should realize the team needs our support, and we need to step it up in terms of energy and unity,” he said.