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Goldy's Secret

From the StarTribune

Goldy to Victoria's Secret: Take off

June 25, 2008

Don't expect to see Goldy Gopher on Victoria's Secret merchandise anytime soon.

University of Minnesota officials have notified its licensing agency that they do not want their mascot associated with Victoria's Secret PINK Collegiate Collection.

"We are not making a judgment in regards to Victoria's Secret,"
said University spokesman Dan Wolter. "We just don't feel it is in our institution's best interest right now."

Wolter said there was not enough discussion about how the company's image could affect the University's reputation and that upon review, "it was simply determined we should opt out of it."

The university was listed as one of 33 schools part of the company's apparel line in a news release sent out last week by Victoria's Secret.

According to Wolter, the University has used the Collegiate Licensing Company as its middle man for the past two years and did not deal directly with Victoria's Secret.

"It's not about the products Victoria's Secret is selling," Wolter said.

Wolter said the University did not receive overwhelming negative feedback, but a "few key people" took issue with the agreement.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the following institutions (* = in our self-declared peer group) have signed up:

University of Alabama

Arizona State University

University of Arkansas
Auburn University

UC Berkeley*

Boston College

Clemson University

University of Colorado

Florida State University

University of Florida*

University of Georgia

Harvard

University of Illinois*

University of Kansas

University of Kentucky

UCLA*

LSU

University of Maryland

University of Miami

University of Michigan*

University of Nebraska

University of North Carolina

University of Oklahoma

University of Oregon

Penn State University*

USC

University of South Carolina

University of Tennessee

Texas A&M

University of Texas*

University of Washington*

University of Wisconsin*

Apparently these institutions are not worried about damaging their reputation by licensing agreements with VS, Mr. Wolter. Why, exactly, are we? Years ago there was a book written about Gopher Prairie. Are we going back to the good old days here?

Keen-eyed folks will note that the only one of our peer group who has not signed up with Victoria is tOSU. Ironically this is because someone on the Board of Regents at tOSU has a financial connection to VS and thus tOSU did not license VS because of an apparent conflict of interest.

My guess is that, as with the Brew's crew t-shirt flap, the U will roll over once the publicity has died down.

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