Loyola athletics announced in a press release Nov. 10 that it would be starting a new apparel campaign for fans called the “Retro Ramblers” collection in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the men’s basketball program.
The new apparel will include old Loyola logos on apparel, pennants and decals, among other items, and is now available for purchase at a kiosk in Gentile Arena or at the bookstore. The department will be partnering with Learfield Licensing Partners for the project, according to the release, which the department has worked with in the past.
Tom Sorboro, senior associate athletic director for external operations, told The Phoenix that the idea came about through alumni requests.
“We have a bunch of former logos — Bo Rambler, the previous wolf and [the] interlocking LU — that haven’t been used on apparel or merchandise in years,” Sorboro said. “We’ve got a lot of feedback from our fans saying ‘I’d love to get some stuff with the old logos,’ so we’re essentially doing a throwback collection.”
Sorboro said the idea was created as a way to help the university and the athletics department bring in money from royalties. Loyola works with Learfield to make sure university trademarks such as the shield, the word “Rambler” and the wolf aren’t being misused. When merchandise with those logos is sold, the university and athletics bring in money from royalties.
Sorboro said the project came to fruition as a way to make more from licensing, and the fans determined how that would happen.
“A couple things can really impact your ability to increase royalty revenue. The first one is team success. If you win the NCAA tournament … everybody [will want] to get some of your gear,” Sorboro said. “Another way would be to introduce something new. So either completely rebranding and introducing a brand new mark, or bringing back something that was popular and maybe hasn’t been in circulation. Based on the feedback we got from our fans, that’s the direction that we’ve gone.”
The collection will come in from multiple brands, including ‘47 Brand. Sorboro said the fact that bigger companies are carrying Loyola’s logos will benefit the department because of the exposure.
“This is the initial release with just a couple of the logos. There’s maybe five or six different logos that will be available,” Sorboro said. “This first batch is coming in from ‘47 Brand … [and] the fact that we’re able to get some of these companies to be able to carry our product line is exciting because it’s a nationally-known retro brand. Hopefully the combination of the logos and the quality of the merchandise will help drive some sales.”