Andrew Alea | Tuesday, January 24, 2012
It’s great to see the annual debate about the The Shirt has already begun. With that in mind, as President of The Shirt Project, it is my responsibility to shed some insight concerning The Shirt Project and how it operates.
The Shirt began as a student-led initiative to unify the stadium, and a subsequent Shirt was created to support a student with dire medical needs. That year 30,000 shirts were sold and it set the precedent for future Shirts.
22 Shirts later, The Shirt 2011 sold 162,000 shirts and set a record for quantity of shirts sold in one year. The Shirt Project today remains true to its initial mission of being created by students, for students and supported by thousands of Notre Dame fans around the world.
As the largest student-run fundraiser at Notre Dame, The Shirt Project must always account for its financial obligations to our fellow students. In sum, The Shirt Project profits help defray medical bills for students who suffer from extraordinary medical conditions and fund student clubs, organizations and residence halls to support their activities. In addition, money generated from The Shirt Project also supports the Rector Fund (which helps students in financial need purchase football tickets, participate in JPW and service learning trips, buy textbooks, etc.). Finally, The Shirt Project contributes financial resources to establish memorial awards in the names of students who have passed away while at Notre Dame.
In the past, The Shirt Project has tried consistency in colors, but there was a significant shortfall in sales. From 2002-2004, The Shirt Project made shirts that were variations of green. In 2002, 130,000 shirts were sold. In 2003, 122,000 shirts were sold. Finally, in 2004, 52,000 shirts were sold. The Shirt Project each year strives to find a balance with a Notre Dame color and a unique design that makes Notre Dame fans proud to wear it. One of the ways we accomplish our goals is by changing the color each year.
More than anyone, I would love to see Notre Dame Stadium all in one color. As a former junior manager for the football team and current student manager for the women’s rowing team, I can attest that the lack of color in Notre Dame Stadium is a challenge. I also recognize that the same color provides an intimidation factor to opposing teams. It is my goal as President of The Shirt 2012 to hopefully see Notre Dame Stadium unified under the same color as The Shirt. My committee is committed to creating innovative methods to spread the word about The Shirt for the 2012 football season.
For more information, please visit our website,
theshirt.nd.edu, or follow us on Twitter @theshirtND.