USF turns ‘Pink’

USF will trade in signature green and gold for a new “PINK” hue, as it’s one of 24 new schools added to the Victoria’s Secret PINK Collegiate Collection “Class of 2009.”

The PINK Collection, which debuted in 2004, is a clothing line that targets college-age women that includes loungewear, swimwear, sleepwear, underwear, sweats, bags and flip flops.

The PINK Collegiate Collection was launched in 2008 and began incorporating university logos into PINK designs. This was a win-win situation for PINK, universities and fans, said Victoria’s Secret representatives.

Victoria’s Secret featured a “Nominate Your School” program on its Web site, where more than 10 million votes were tallied for hundreds of colleges around the country.

USF received tens of thousands of votes and ranked in the top 24.

Students voted at to nominate their universities. The brand then contacted the schools with the most votes.

Jeff Mack, assistant vice president for campus business services, said USF’s licensing program is managed by a collegiate licensing company in Atlanta, which negotiated with Victoria’s Secret on behalf of USF.

The licensing agreement will bring royalty dollars to the University as well as national brand recognition, he said.

“Anytime we can expand our national exposure it is positive for the University,” Mack said. “Victoria’s Secret using our logo was very attractive to us.”

USF-branded items were made available online June 22, and will be sold in the USF Bookstore sometime after Aug. 1, Mack said.

The items will not be carried in local Victoria’s Secret stores, but may expand to such locations. Mack said if the line becomes popular among USF students, the University will work closely with Victoria’s Secret to fill the demand.

“The more students buy, the deeper the line will go,” he said.

Caroline Polanco, a freshman, said the partnership between USF and PINK would put a spotlight on the University.

“It would bring more business to both brands, and I would definitely wear it,” she said.

Only three USF-branded items are available at – lounge pants, a hoodie and a T-shirt.

Over the next few months, USF will be working with Victoria’s Secret to expand the line and add new products, Mack said.

Veteran PINK universities, such as Florida State University, now offer several styles of
hoodies, lounge pants, T-shirts, shorts, dresses, flip flops and sleepwear.

USF’s large number of votes seemed to be inspired by school spirit, and several Facebook fan pages were used by USF students to encourage others to vote as the deadline approached.

“I am excited,” said Bonnie Ewers, a senior majoring in elementary education. “I don’t usually wear anything from the PINK collection, but I definitely would if it had the Bulls logo.”