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Tradition’ shirt sales break all-time record

Patrick Cassidy | Wednesday, November 15, 2006

As the Irish ascend in the BCS rankings, a Notre Dame football tradition is finding success as well. As of Tuesday, more than 155,000 units of The Shirt had been purchased – its highest total ever.

The historic 2002 “Return to Glory” Shirt sold nearly 135,000 units.

Well over $500,000 has been earned for The Shirt Charity Fund, putting the total earned since it was founded in 1990 more than $4 million.

“The popularity of the shirt is reflective of the excitement surrounding the

football program and their success,” Sally Wiatrowski, director of retails operations at the Hammes Bookstore, said. “This is the best-selling shirt since its inception”

Rich Fox, president of The Shirt Project 2006, said he was “extremely happy about the nearly 50 percent increase over the last year,” and was pleased to be able to play a role in making a new record in Notre Dame history.

The unprecedented sales have not made the organizers complacent, however, as they anticipate even higher sales as the season comes to a close.

“We will never be satisfied. The more shirts we sell, the more money that goes back to the Notre Dame students,” said Julie Campbell, vice president of The Shirt Project. “We are still looking forward to what the rest of the season has to offer for our sales.”

Wiatrowski is especially looking forward to the last home game of the year this Saturday against Army – estimating that 175,000 units could be reached as a season total.

This year’s version of The Shirt was designed by current Stanford senior Ryan Ricketts, who said he is “honored to be a part of this extremely successful project.”

The success of the project is even more gratifying, Ricketts explained, because of its goal to give back to University students in need.

“I’m even more proud of the Notre Dame community,” he said, “for supporting such a large charity-driven endeavor.”

According to Fox, current Dillon sophomore Brad Lenoir will head The Shirt Project 2007.

“The success of this year’s The Shirt stems from the direction it was given by its leadership,” Lenoir said. “We hope to further the progress made [by taking] The Shirt national, as well as creating another unifying and exciting Shirt.”