TAMPA — Students will have more to come back to than classes and textbooks in the fall. Lingerie legend Victoria's Secret has purchased the right to use the University of South Florida's logo.
Though there will be no USF bra or panty, the Victoria's Secret Pink Collegiate Collection will feature sweatpants, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and other clothing adorned with the Pink logo and Bull pride.
Starting June 22, the clothes will be available at vspink.com . Though no Victoria's Secret store will carry it locally, the USF Bookstore will carry the line starting in the fall semester.
Jeff Mack, USF assistant vice president for campus business services, said this is another opportunity for USF to expand its national outreach.
"It was sort of a win-win for the university," Mack said.
The partnership, and the Pink line itself, gives Victoria's Secret a chance to reach a newer, younger audience, said Sara Tervo, spokeswoman for Pink.
"What a great idea to combine the two iconic brands," Tervo said.
The Collegiate Collection debuted July 2008. Many factors went into bringing USF on board nearly a year later, she said.
More than 10 million people voted for their schools when Victoria's Secret took nominations for more schools. USF was in the top 30 out of the hundreds of schools nominated. Also, USF's size, its student and alumni population and its willingness to participate also contributed as deciding factors.
"We thought it would be a great addition," Tervo said.
The partnership will also give USF an opportunity to make some money. In times of decreasing state dollars, USF will collect 10 percent in royalties on merchandise sold.
This money, unlike many dollars that come to USF, isn't specifically earmarked. Though it's hard to say what type of impact this money will make, if it makes any at all, the university administrators will be able to spend it any way they want.
"The more merchandise that sells out there, that's more dollars that the university will get," Mack said.
USF stands to lose $36 million from the $305 million provided by state taxes, bringing the number down to about $269 million. This comes on the heels of a $52 million cut in state funds from the last fiscal year, said USF provost Ralph Wilcox.
USF is one of 24 new schools that will be added to the Victoria's Secret Pink Collegiate Collection. The line, geared toward college-age women, already features the University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida A & M and the University of Miami.
USF students are excited their school's brand will be carried by Victoria's Secret.
"We needed it," said Amanda Mock, a senior. She said it will help put USF on the map next to more well-known Florida schools.
Amanda Wintenburg, also a senior, said she thinks it will help the school boost its image across the state.
"I don't know about nationally," she said.
Amy Mariani can be reached at (813) 226-3374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.