Students may have noticed the infusion of Bruins blue and brown into the color scheme of one another’s wardrobes, but few realize the story behind what goes into producing the new gear that has popped up all over campus and beyond.
The Product Line
As of July 1, Bruins merchandise has been a licensed collegiate brand. Mr. David Lovegrove, head of Creative Services, explained that the process of creating such a brand is much more complicated than people might think.
The University registered the Bruins artwork with the license management firm Licensing Resource Group. The license allows other designers and merchants not associated with the University to produce Bruins products after complying with the registration agreement and obtaining approval from Creative Services.
That’s why you can now buy Bruins goodies at the local Walgreens or on websites like campusteamshop.com. Mr. Lovegrove said such a setup allows other businesses to give fans even more options while still raising money for the University through royalties.
The University also holds two agreements with Adidas: one for sports equipment and the other for team apparel, such as the Adidas Bruins polos in the Campus Store.
Bruins gear has taken over a large chunk of the Campus Store. Mrs. Teresa Word, one of the buyers for the Campus Store, works hard to bring what customers want to the store. “I listen to what people want and then try to find it at a reasonable price,” she said.
Mrs. Word always appreciates suggestions for new merchandise. Anyone can email either the Campus Store (email@example.com) or her directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with new ideas.
The Campus Store’s overall profits have grown dramatically following the launch of the Bruins product line. “Sales have increased more than 55 percent since Midnight Madness,” Mrs. Word said.
“You’re not only supporting the athletic program [by displaying the logo],” she said. “You’re supporting part of the philosophy of the school: to learn to be Christ-like and to share the Gospel [through athletics].”
The University’s official online store, shopbjubruins.com, offers a greater variety of Bruins paraphernalia, from gift bags of nuts to pop-up tents. But the Campus Store does carry a few unique items, such as exclusive shirt designs.
Even people outside of Greenville are impressed by the quality of Bruins swag. Dr. Jeff Heath, director of enrollment planning, recounted receiving compliments on his Bruins apparel on a recent trip.
“We went to Florida and wore our Bruin apparel, and many people struck up conversations about BJU and shared their excitement about the University,” he said.
And the unity fostered within the University by the student body’s supporting one team comes out in wearing Bruins clothing. “It makes us like [other colleges] because we actually have a sports team [and] everybody buys stuff that is related to the mascot,” said junior political science major Ben Smith. Mrs. Word agrees, “It’s part of our school now—part of our identification.”