UMBC Sells More Than 3,000 Shirts in One Night, Files for 'Retrievers' Trademarks
For those who follow the NCAA Tournament, even those who only pay enough attention to enter a bracket pool in their office, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) win over No. 1 seed University of Virginia was a shock. (Including those of us who had Virginia going the whole way in their own brackets. Oh, well.)
It certainly was a shock to UMBC's bookstore, too. UMBC students, alumni, family and new fans were hounding the school's store for official Retrievers merchandise. After all, everyone loves an underdog. (Is that enough dog puns for one paragraph?)
After the historic win, the UMBC bookstore's online merchandise sales passed its yearly sales figure in just one night. The store's marketing, online sale and course material initiative manager told the Baltimore Sun that she saw 2,000 online orders overnight when she walked in the day after the game.
That number rose to more than 3,000 in one 24-hour period.
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) March 18, 2018
The store has been fielding requests from customers all over the country, many of whom likely have no connection to the school. It's reminiscent of the time Florida Gulf Coast University, a relative unknown in the college basketball world outside of Florida, became the first 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 in 2013, prompting "Dunk City" apparel.
To stay on top of this sudden surge in popularity for the team, UMBC has been working fast to trademark the word "Retrievers."
USA Today reported that the school's athletic department realized last week that it didn't have trademarks for "Retrievers" or "Retriever Nation." The following day, UMBC athletic director Tim Hall gave a California attorney permission to submit trademark applications for "Retrievers," "Retriever Nation" and "16 over 1," celebrating the fact that it was the first time a 16 seed had beaten a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
The filings will cover clothing and footwear, so the school's official bookstore can hope to stop unofficial merchandise vendors from selling Retrievers gear as the demand stays high, despite the team's exit from the tournament in the second round.
The school even issued commemorative T-shirts showing the final score of the game, which is still available to purchase, but other apparel items, like the America East Champs 2018 shirt, are sold out.