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
University of Colorado
Florida State University
University of Florida*
University of Georgia
University of Illinois*
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
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*
University of South Carolina
University of Tennessee
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.