Our Shirt founder hopes to see more support for program
As the Our Shirt Campaign enters its third year, those who played a role in starting the program hope to see it grow even more.
The Our Shirt Campaign, a joint project between SG and USF Athletics, started in April 2007 among USF students, faculty and fans at sporting events.
The Our Shirt can be purchased at the USF Bookstore or online. The shirt costs $5 for USF students and $10 for non-students. Students can buy upto two Our Shirts at the student price.
Megan Latchford, enrollment management specialist in Admissions, started the program while she was a student at USF.
“I got to thinking about how the student sections, the alumni groups and the Tampa Bay community could represent our support for the University in a visual way, and so I started thinking there needed to be like a gameday uniform,” Latchford said.
Latchford said she worked with SG and USF Athletics to come up with the shirt design and funding for the program.
SG purchased 13,000 shirts for $43,095 from Image Depot this year. SG Executive Press Secretary Michael LeBlanc said SG is unable to provide the revenue for the 2009 Our Shirt Campaign since the program is still ongoing.
SG purchased 10,000 shirts for $43,900 in 2007 from Helinger Advertising. SG also spent $1,100 for banners and yard sign advertisements for the 2007 Our Shirt Campaign, wrote SG Chief Financial Officer Shane Johnson in an e-mail to the Oracle.
In 2008, SG purchased 13,000 shirts for $49,695 from Helinger Advertising.
From the start of the Our Shirt Campaign in 2007, to the end of last year, SG has made $51,033.97 in revenue. The money funds Our Shirt for the upcoming year, Johnson said.
The USF Bookstore receives $1 dollar from the $10 Our Shirt sales for compensation, said Grace McQueen, general manager at the USF Bookstore.
The bookstore does not receive compensation for $5 student shirt sales, McQueen said.
McQueen said the bookstore made $186 from the $10 2008 Our Shirt sales.
The bookstore still has 2008 Our Shirts available in XL and XXL sizes, McQueen said. The shirts now cost $2.
A committee comprised of alumni, athletics faculty, students and SG representatives designs the shirt each year, Latchford said.
Latchford said last year students were encouraged to submit their designs to the Our Shirt committee.
Latchford said one of her goals is for more students to be aware that they have the ability to design the Our Shirt every year.
SG Marketing and Communications Director Jasmine Fowlkes said students should know that the Our Shirt is an athletic shirt for all athletic events.
“I think it’s really important to emphasize that Our Shirt is not just for football,” Fowlkes said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it being an athletic shirt for football games.”
Latchford said her desire for 2010 is to see more alumni and community support of the program, as well as more student involvement.
“It has to meet the needs of 2010 students,” Latchford said. “As long as they’re supporting each other and the team then my motivation for starting the program would be satisfied.”
Additional reporting by Kelli Polson