Creighton gear a hot seller while team soars

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

OMAHA, Neb. -- T-shirts, sweat shirts and other apparel sporting Creighton blue and white are selling big with the Bluejays' men's basketball team undefeated and ranked in the polls.

"We've had to reorder three times in 3 1/2 weeks," said Micki Venclauskas, manager of the Fanshop at Crossroads Mall. "People are coming in and buying everything they can with Creighton on it."

Scott Strunc at Husker Hounds is hawking Creighton wear as sales of Nebraska shirts and novelties go soft in wake of the Cornhuskers' worst football season in 41 years.

"I'm shocked with the response we've seen," Strunc told the Omaha World-Herald. "I can't keep stock in our stores. We've already reordered four times."

Strunc said he plans to expand his Creighton line of goods in the new year. Venclauskas said fans want more than just T-shirts and sweat shirts.

"People really want novelties -- key chains, flags, those sorts of things," she said.

Creighton (10-0) is one of only six undefeated teams left in Division I basketball. Dana Altman's Bluejays improved from No. 18 to No. 15 in this week's AP Top 25 poll and next play at No. 19 Xavier on Tuesday.

"The success Dana and the team are having has a lot of people interested in us," said Mike West, Creighton's new director of athletic marketing.

The men's soccer team also stirred some interest in recent weeks by advancing to the Final Four in the NCAA Division I tournament.

West, who took his new job four months ago, wants to make sure Creighton takes full advantage of that interest.

West heard from fans that it was difficult to find places to buy Creighton apparel other than the school's bookstore on campus. To influence more businesses to sell Creighton apparel, West offered free advertising spots on its basketball radio broadcasts.

"We're calling this Operation Dress Blue," West said. "We want people to know where they can get our stuff."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: