LSU Merchandise Flying Off Shelves After Championship

LSU gets a 15 percent royalty on the wholesale price of each item

Jan. 11, 2008

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Dan McNamara didn't wait until time ran out for the Ohio State Buckeyes in the national college football title game before putting in an order for 40,000 T-shirts and 1,200 caps, all bearing LSU's championship logo.

"I made the call at the end of the third quarter," said McNamara, owner of Baton Rouge-based Bayou Apparel, a major wholesaler of LSU clothing. "I took the gamble with the lead."

Almost anything and everything LSU - T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and countless other items carrying the school's logo - have been flying off the shelves since the BCS championship game Monday night. And McNamara can barely keep up with the demand from retailers - besides 24 hours of production a day in his own shop, he's brought in several contractors to help out.

"We can't keep up with one roof," he said.

McNamara said he expects the current rush to slow a bit soon, but pick up again before the start of the 2008 football season when LSU and its fans will have bragging rights.

There's something LSU for sale somewhere to match every taste and bank account, ranging from shirts and caps in the $20 range to a Waterford crystal football paperweight, complete with stand for about $240, and a Mignon Faget sterling tiger chain necklace for $245.

Louisiana State University gets a 15 percent royalty on the wholesale price of each item carrying an LSU mark, said Brian Hommel, director of trademark licensing for the school. Twelve percent goes to the school, while 3 percent goes to the Bowl Championship Series organization.

Alan Wallace, general manager of Tigermania in Baton Rouge, estimated his store sold 10,000 T-shirts within 48 hours of the win. One customer bought 36 championship caps on Tuesday - at $24 a pop.

"They're selling as fast as we can get them out there," Wallace said.

At Tyger Gifts in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, co-owner Grace Bankston said she and her daughter, Susan Bankston, had been too busy restocking and ordering to get a count of how many items had been sold.



She said the most popular items were the Nike locker room caps and T-shirts that were given to the Tigers after the win.

"When everyone sees what the team is wearing, that's what they want," Bankston said.

On Thursday, Tigermania's Wallace was unpacking a slew of new merchandise, including pullover shirts, bumper stickers and glassware. He said he expected about a month of hot sales, but was proceeding with caution on his orders. Tigermania overstocked following the previous LSU championship.

"The locker room caps from 2003, we still have some of those," Wallace said.