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Retailers cash in on football teams’ success


Off Campus Apparel and Novelties is evenly divided with University of Iowa Hawkeye and Iowa State University Cyclone merchandise, but the store is profiting from both sides of the store thanks to bowl appearances by the schools’ football teams.

“Football has been really good for us, especially for Orange Bowl merchandise,” said Jenny Joanning, assistant manager.

Joanning said sales of apparel for both teams have been strong during the football season, though Hawkeye merchandise currently is outselling Cyclone items. The store’s major suppliers, Gear and Champion, rushed to manufacture Orange Bowl attire the day after Iowa accepted the invitation to Miami, and by the end of the following day, Off Campus had received and sold all its Orange Bowl apparel.

To meet customer demand, the store placed additional orders for Orange Bowl clothing. Joanning said one particular Orange Bowl T-shirt that sells for $20.95 is its best-selling item. Off campus ordered more than 800 of them during the last few weeks.

“They’re hard to keep in stock,” she said. “Every time we get a shipment, we sell out.”

The store ordered substantially fewer Cyclone items, about 140 Humanitarian Bowl T-shirts. Still, Joanning said, sales are steady.

“It’s not near the excitement of the Orange Bowl,” she said. “But we like to have those items for Cyclone fans.”

Krause Gentle Corp., owner of Kum & Go convenience stores, profited from the pre-game sales of the official Orange Bowl patches available at its 38 Des Moines-area locations. Matthew Meyer, director of public relations, said the stores ordered 4,000 patches and sold 3,000 of them at $10 apiece a week before the game. He said the company expected to sell the remaining 1,000 patches before New Year’s Day.

“Sales are very good,” he said. “There are a lot of Hawkeye fans out there.”

Meyer said Kum & Go is the only convenience store in the area authorized to sell the patches. He said sales are exceptionally good at its West Des Moines stores. “People are looking all over the state for them,” he said.

Fans who want to replay the Hawkeyes’ 2002 football season can do so thanks to a new multimedia DVD created by Ames-based Atlas Technologies. The DVD, called Instant Replay, chronicles the Hawkeyes’ undefeated Big Ten season and features five hours of game audio and video, player and team statistics, interviews, profiles and behind-the-scenes footage. Additional footage includes highlights of the Orange Bowl, as well as the team’s banquet and a feature on Hawkeye quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks.

Michael Reese, owner of Atlas Technologies, said the DVD, which sells online through Atlas’ Web site for $21.95 and will be available at the Hawk Shop in Iowa City, will be available six to eight weeks following the Orange Bowl. The company uses material it received through the university’s athletic department.

“Pre-orders are going really well now that people are finding us on the Web,” Reese said last week. “A lot of people now have DVD players, and with the success of this year’s Hawkeye team, we’re lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”

Reese said he anticipated selling as many as 10,000 copies of the DVD if the Hawkeyes won the Orange Bowl. Atlas Technologies also is creating Instant Replay products for the University of Northern Iowa’s football and volleyball teams and Drake University’s basketball teams. It has not produced a DVD for the Cyclones’ football team, though Reese is hopeful that will change.

“We’re hoping once Iowa State officials see the final Hawkeye product, they’ll get on board with us,” Reese said.  

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