Notre Dame partners with Life is Good
Andrea Vale | Tuesday, October 13, 2015
The Life is Good Company recently announced that it will partner with Notre Dame. Through the partnership, the Hammes Bookstore will start carrying Life is Good apparel and products, and Life is Good will create products that are a hybrid brand between the two institutions.
“This new partnership has introduced a well-known and popular lifestyle brand to students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends that shares many of the same core values as the University,” David Werda, director of the Hammes Bookstore and retail operations, said. “Life is Good apparel has a relaxed fit and comfortable feel, and the graphics evoke a laid-back, young vibe that differentiates itself from many of the other brands that we carry.
“The initial product launch has included men’s and women’s t-shirts and long sleeves, but based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback, we anticipate the product line to not only become part of our core assortment but expand to include fleece as well as gift and novelty items in the future,” he said. “The company [Life is Good] has been very receptive to customer feedback on which products they like best and which they would like to see in upcoming lines.”
“We are proud to carry Life is Good products at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore because of the power of optimism that the brand promotes,” Caitlin Kinser, marketing manager for Notre Dame retail operations, said. “Life is Good uses the catchphrases ‘Go do good,’ and ‘Enjoy the ride.’ Both of these are important messages for Notre Dame students, the first because it supports the Catholic mission of service on which the University is built, and the second because it serves as a reminder to appreciate and savor the opportunities that we are all given as members of the Notre Dame community. Overall, we feel that the Life is Good brand reflects the zest for life that is apparent here on the Notre Dame campus.”
Michael Low, director of licensing at Notre Dame, said the University was introduced to the Life is Good brand last February during an annual trade show, and that Life is Good was a particularly good candidate for co-branding with the University.
“Co-branding needs to be a thoughtful process,” he said, “When allowing another entity to use your trademarks on commercial products, you want some assurance that their brand is strong, well thought of and capable of building friends for the university.”
Low said that launching the campaign has involved a lot of preparation, including presenting the concept of the partnership to the Notre Dame licensing committee and obtaining approval; “agreeing upon common language and terms for the actual license”, and “approving the graphics which would include both the (Life is Good) and (Notre Dame) trademarks.”
“We hope to work in concert to encourage [Life is Good] to have a larger presence on campus,” Low said, “Not just their apparel, but their people and creative staffs. They have a great story to share with out students, and we will encourage them to share with our campus community.”
The University launched the brand partnership Saturday with a number of events in the morning before the football game against the Naval Academy. According to Werda, the events included the following: “an official Life is Good hangout at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore as part of an 8 week, 40 community tour focusing on raising funds for kids in need through the Life is Good Kid’s Foundation. Both Bert and John Jacobs, company co-founders, were in attendance for the weekend where they interacted with campus guests promoting the newly formed partnership and the sale of (Life is Good and Notre Dame) apparel as well as their book, Life is Good: The Book.”
Low said the partnership will allow Life is Good to sell Notre Dame licensed apparel across “multiple distribution channels,” including owned and franchised Life is Good stores.
“Notre Dame can learn a lot from Life is Good,” Low said, “They can certainly learn from us as well. I hope in the coming months that we generate a significant level of sales and that the strength of our brands will raise the bar on positive messaging.”