New Program Empowers Yellow Jacket Fans on Quest for More Fan Gear

'I Want My GT' Initiative Targets Retailer Participation

For Georgia Tech fans, finding licensed gear can sometimes be compared to digging for buried treasure. Occasionally they may find 'gold,' but more often than not, they encounter shelves brimming with items from professional and competitor teams with not a Georgia Tech item in sight.

A new program initiated by Georgia Tech's Communications and Marketing Department is working to change that experience. 'I Want My GT' is a consumer activation program designed to empower fans to encourage retailers to carry more Georgia Tech merchandise.

Retailers often say that they don't stock Georgia Tech merchandise because there is no demand. The new program outfits Yellow Jacket fans with 'I Want My GT' cards to put in the hands of retailers, encouraging them to sell Georgia Tech products. Specifically, the message on the card states, "Dear Retailer, I'm one of thousands of Yellow Jacket fans, and I want my GT! You can help us show our school pride by carrying Georgia Tech merchandise and we'll help you become an official Buzz Stop."

A Web site, www.iwantmygt.com, will support the program listing official Buzz Stops and other information to support merchandisers and fans.

"Georgia Tech not only has a smaller alumni base than other universities, we must also compete with shelf space from a host of other colleges as well as professional teams based in Atlanta," says Aimee Anderson, manager of Tech's licensing program. "Although we may be outnumbered, we want to make sure that our dedicated fans' voices are heard and that they have access to Yellow Jacket gear."

'I Want My GT' is a winning proposition for both the Institute and Georgia Tech students. Proceeds from licensing fees are designated for scholarship programs. The more licensed products that are sold, the more funds that can be provided to fund scholarships.

"Having more Georgia Tech products in the marketplace helps showcase our brand," says Katherine Bows, Georgia Tech's director of marketing communications.

Currently, Georgia Tech has more than 400 licensees with revenues from royalties totaling $787,754 in FY 2007-08. While some programs have seen a decline in licensing revenues, Georgia Tech continues to buck these trends with revenues increasing approximately 2.3 percent during the past year.

The program was officially launched during the Georgia Tech-Miami game, where each fan received an 'I Want My GT' card and promos of the program showcased throughout the game. For more information on the initiative, visit the 'I Want My GT' Web site.