Erie, Pennsylvania

When looking to get into the collegiate wear market, there are a few more variables at stake for distributors that might not necessarily exist with other sectors. When one of her distributor customers got the license for three universities, Kippie Helzel, vice president of sales for Erie, Pennsylvania-based CPS/Keystone, had to sign on more than one dotted line to secure the order. University logos are guarded closely, and there are defined rules regarding how they can and cannot be used—apparel and hard goods alike. "They had to send us a lengthy document to sign … to acknowledge the license was proprietary, that we couldn't make changes to the logo," she explained.

Let’s revisit, if you will, one of the most special and overwhelming times in a young person’s life: the tour de universities. Running around the country through various hallowed halls of learning is enough of a whirlwind, to be sure, but the most daunting part of it all has to be the variables involved. You might be able to briefly try each school on for size, but you won’t know if it truly fits until it’s been bought and paid for (first-semester transfers can testify to this).

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