Kelly to unveil The Shirt
Catherine Owers | Friday, April 19, 2013
Closets and drawers are being thrown open today as students make room, all in anticipation for the unveiling of the 2013 iteration of The Shirt.
Irish coach Brian Kelly will reveal The Shirt for the 2013 football season at approximately 5:45 p.m. as part of The Shirt Unveiling Ceremony, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. today.
The Shirt Committee 2013 president Dan Ogg said a big part of the event is, alongside the Blue-Gold Game, building excitement for the upcoming football season.
“It’s just an exciting thing to get the school excited for football season all over again,” Ogg said.
Ogg said the Unveiling Ceremony will include performances by student groups and appearances by players, and will culminate with the actual unveiling by Kelly.
The committee would like to see students at the unveiling ceremony, with the student discount, as well as fans in the South Bend community and visitors who are on campus for the Blue-Gold Game, Ogg said.
According to The Shirt Project’s website, The Shirt Project began in 1990 as a way to raise funds for the Student Union Board’s activities and to show unity in the student body for the home football game against Michigan on Sept. 15, 1990.
A statement released by The Shirt Project said the unveiling ceremony began as a press conference in 2002. The statement said the event has progressed from simply dressing mannequins in The Shirt, to having students unveil The Shirt, to now including key members of the Notre Dame football program. Recent unveilings have drawn upwards of 5,000 fans, according to the statement.
The committee tries to give the unveiling ceremony as much publicity as possible because The Shirt Project receives a larger portion of the profit from the sales at the unveiling ceremony, Ogg said. He said The Shirt Committee is anticipating increased sales this year in light of the football team’s success last season.
“In terms of pre-sales, as of [Sunday] we had 2,025 units sold online through the bookstore, compared to last year’s pre-sales of 1,195,” Ogg said. “In terms of alumni sales this year, we have sold an additional 4,000 plus units.”
Half the profits of The Shirt sales go to The Shirt Charity fund, which helps students pay medical bills, Ogg said. He said the rest of the profits are used to support student organizations.
Ogg said every year the committee works to create a design that will please the student body, alumni and all other fans.
“Although we have 10,000 students who will wear the Shirt in the stadium, the fact [is] that over 160,000 are sold,” he said. “The majority of the sales go to the general fan base and alumni. So it’s just kind of trying to find that balance between what students will like and what different generations will find appealing, as well.”
Ogg said the committee also strives to keep the Shirt design timeless.
“If you look back at all the shirts over the years, it’s not like it highlights anything specific from that year,” he said. “It’s always a timeless shirt, no matter what the phrasing is, no matter what the images are.”
Ogg said the committee begins discussing shirt designs over winter break, with the committee designers creating numerous designs.
“All of us will mention what we liked, what we didn’t like, and what we’d like to see expanded on,” he said. “So the designers really have to get all our feedback and put their own twist to the Shirt design.”
After the Shirt design is chosen by the committee in late January, Ogg said the month of Feb. is spent getting approvals from players and University officials.
“The final design is completed by late February,” Ogg said. “That’s when we start getting into the heavy marketing and planning the unveiling ceremony.”
Ogg said working on The Shirt committee requires dedication, but the effort is validated by the end result.
“It’s a lot of time, and it’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it when the final project is unveiled.”