Texas tacks on latest national ranking with Longhorn gear

Bobby Blanchard

Longhorn fans nationwide are proudly purchasing and wearing Longhorn gear, according to rankings by the Collegiate Licensing Company that put UT-Austin as the top seller of licensed college merchandise in the country.

This marks the seventh consecutive year UT has taken the top spot on the company’s annual list. According to its website, colleges brought in $4.6 billion in revenue in 2011 from licensed merchandise.

Craig Westemeier, UT associate athletics director of trademark and licensing, said he was not surprised due to the University’s history of placing at the top of this list.

“There are some great schools out there, but we have a very strong brand and a very strong program,” Westemeier said. “We have a lot of great fans that help build that program.”

Westemeier said UT’s Longhorn brand and design help contribute to the University’s popularity.

“I think we have a very unique color and a logo that you do not see everywhere else,” Westemeier said. “In the collegiate realm, it is a nice, clean logo.”

He said the ranking demonstrates UT’s nationwide reach.

“When you have such a large alumni base, that is where it starts,” Westemeier said. “Our alums go on and do great things, and they move all across the country. That is part of the success that drives our licensing program.”

Kim Drummond, spokesperson for Texas-based custom license plate company My Plates, said the UT license plate is the company’s most popular collegiate plate of the 40 it offers. Drummond said that to date, My Plates has sold more than 3,000 UT plates, with Aggie plates coming in as second-most popular.

“We, as a Texas-based company, certainly understand the loyal following the University has,” Drummond said. “We are not as familiar with the national standings. That is not something I could have predicted before it came out, but you cannot live in Austin and not see the Longhorn logo.”

Drummond said in today’s world, anything can be turned into licensed college merchandise. From license plates, laptop cases, shirts, clothes and even key rings. The logo can be seen everywhere.

“The University can print the Longhorn colors and logo on just about anything they like,” Drummond said. “Every Texas shirt, every hat and every license plate expresses support of the school.”

Printed on September 5, 2012 as: "Longhorn gear sales top charts yet again"