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Spirit wear T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing and items with a school‘s name on it produce tens of thousands of dollars of revenues for booster and parent clubs, although profits usually are small.
Sales for the year total more $60,000 across the Sylvania School District.
On Northview High School’s Wildcat Day, for example, the day when incoming freshmen receive their new school schedules, the parent-run Athletic Booster Club gives them first dibs on embellished jackets, pants, shirts, and accessories that bear Northview colors and embody its school spirit.
Lisa Downing, president of the booster club and chairman of the Spirit Wear Committee at Northview, said that in those first two days of school, the students spent about $14,000 on such clothing.
“They are new to the school and want to make sure they have the gear that goes with it, having the school’s name on it,” she said.
Throughout the year, the booster club opens the Cat Cave, managed by students of the Business Technology program, gaining experience in “sales and management.” Mrs. Downing estimated those sales amounted to $1,000 per quarter.
Although final sales figures were not calculated for this school year, it is estimated that sales for the prior school year totaled $17,000. Mrs. Downing said profits are used to buy equipment and sport uniforms.
The booster clubs throughout the district reported that spirit wear items have “minimal” mark up and proceeds go towards supplies, sports, classroom needs, field trips, and activities. Many use local merchants to produce the apparel, including Wilkinson Sportswear and Michigan Silk Screen.
Southview High School’s Spirit Wear Planning Committee starts designing the next school year’s spirit wear months before a new school year begins.
Laura Guitteau said they look at other sport or style trends popular with the students, and base their designs off those, such as NFL Apparel.
“We designed yoga pants with the word “Cougars” stitched up the leg,” she said, as those pants were popular among female students.
She said student taste is shifting from the collegiate-style clothing -- grey, brown, or black -- to brighter colors. They sell sweatshirts, T-shirts, jackets, pullovers, mittens, hats, and scarves at sporting events and open houses.
Terri Glass, who handles the financial side of the Cougar Clothing, said that markups on clothes depend on the item, but they aim for an overall 10 percent profit. Profit has been lower the past three years because of the tough economic climate, she said. Profits are placed into the Cougar Club funds for “sport team needs.”
She said their biggest sale date is Cougar Kick-Off, freshmen students’ first day.
Last school year, Southview’s booster club sold about $21,000 in spirit wear for the year and Northview about $20,700.
Arbor Hills Junior High School’s booster club sold $5,934 last year, Timberstone Junior High $8,000, and Central Trail Elementary $9,027 and had a $1,034 profit to help children who could not afford the items.
Highland Elementary School’s parent-run club reported $6,585 and Hill View $5,121 last year. Maplewood Elementary‘s club said it had $4,200 in sales, with proceeds helping families in need.
The booster club at Sylvan Elementary School reported the lowest figure, with $1,429 in sales.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.