Eye on Education

Why Fewer People are Buying Ohio State T-Shirts

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

See that swoosh? Nike is Ohio State's largest licensed apparel maker.

Ohio State is still paying for the tattoos-for-memorabilia scandal that ousted football coach Jim Tressel.

Royalty revenue from sales of T-shirts, jerseys, and other merchandise fell by $500,000 to $8.9 million over the past year, in part because of the scandal, Columbus Business First reports.

Of course, the football team’s losing record was probably also a factor.

That $8.9 million total includes more than $1 million from Nike, Ohio State’s largest licensed apparel manufacturer, according to Business First.

The $500,000 decline is in addition to the Ohio State Lantern’s $8 million estimate of the cost of the scandal and associated university actions.

But there’s a silver lining: Ohio State is trademarking the name of new football coach Urban Meyer, the Other Paper reports, and going after those who impinge on the trademark:

“It’s not uncommon in the celebrity world to trademark a name and certainly, football coaches are celebrities at this point,” said Rick VanBrimmer, OSU’s assistant vice president for university advancement, who heads trademarks and licensing…

“You’ve got to remember, most of this is related to the commercialization of a trademark and taking it and putting it on a product and selling it,” VanBrimmer said. “If you really want, you can name your dog or cat or kids Urban Meyer, but use his name in a way that is commercial and that’s trouble.”


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »