The Shirt sees unprecedented sales
Ben Horvath | Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Don’t expect to be able to buy this year’s The Shirt prior to the National Championship Game, as it is no longer in stock in the Hammes Bookstore and extras will not be ordered.
The 2012 The Shirt was the fastest selling, most profitable Shirt in history, according to The Shirt Project president Andrew Alea.
“This was both a blessing and a curse,” Alea said. “It sold out so quickly that we didn’t have enough time to order more Shirts.”
Alea said this year’s The Shirt was sold out the weekend after the Stanford game, the third home game of the season.
The bookstore is liable for any excess inventory, and therefore decided to not re-order any Shirts following the Stanford weekend, he said.
“The main obstacle for the bookstore is advanced notice in ordering,” Alea said. “It takes just a few weeks to order a couple thousand Shirts, but when you’re ordering 30,000 Shirts it could take a month or a month-and-a-half.”
2013 Shirt Project president Daniel Ogg said measures can be taken to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future, such as re-negotiating with the bookstore and selling more Shirts through the student shop at the LaFortune Student Center and online.
“Those are all things we are definitely going to look at going forward,” Ogg said.
Alea said The Shirt Project is responsible for the manufacturing of the first 50,000 Shirts, while the bookstore is responsible for ordering more.
“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the bookstore,” Alea said. “If that means being conservative with orders, we’ll do what it takes.”
The final numbers are not yet in, but Alea said The Shirt Project is expected to have sold more 155,000 shirts and made just under $1 million.
These funds are distributed to the Rector Fund, given to students with serious medical conditions and are responsible for funding all student clubs on campus.
“People don’t realize when they’re buying The Shirt that they aren’t only supporting the spirit and unity at football games, but also students in dire medical conditions and important student interests,” Alea said. “Money is raised by Notre Dame students and all completely for Notre Dame students.”
Alea said other schools across the country, including the University of Arizona, Oklahoma University and the University of Alabama are trying to copy a similar model of The Shirt Project.
“I received a phone call from an Alabama student the other day asking how we do what we do,” Alea said.
In addition to the traditional short-sleeved shirt, 2,500 long-sleeve versions of The Shirt were sold, which is something both Alea and Ogg hope to continue next year.
While this year’s long-sleeved Shirts were only sold in LaFortune, Alea said he hopes in the future they can be sold at the bookstore as well.
The socially conscious company Alta Gracia manufactured the Shirt this year for the first time, but contracts are made for one-year deals, so this is subject to change next year, Alea said.
Ogg said he expects the success of this year’s team to largely impact next year’s sales and call for a larger initial order of The Shirt.
“I think this puts us in a good position for sales and the design of next year’s Shirt as well,” Ogg said.
Contact Ben Horvath at firstname.lastname@example.org