I am looking to develop a merchandising strategy for a University Athletics team. Currently there is a limited selection of merchandise available, however I am looking for a method to build interest in the items already there, not develop a new product line. The challenge is the University’s teams are not very good, and as such, the attendance and participation at the games by student is still fairly small. Any thoughts… ?
Jay’s Answer: If you want an edgy approach: have contests to modify the apparel to convey the feeling of the team by the students.
Have an anonymous student daily find someone wearing the team’s clothing, take a picture of them (for the school paper), and give them a gift certificate (for food, iTunes, etc.). This ongoing contest might stimulate new purchases if the promotion got some school-wide coverage.
Sell to alumni. They might remember the “glory days” of the teams. Offer them as part of a package for reunions.
Give them as gifts to prospective freshmen, or have a special area that tours take prospects to to get their college shirt.