The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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New life for old logos

Professor’s business spotlights former sports teams on retro tees

In 1961, the Portland Buckaroos won the Lester Cup Championshipin the Western Hockey League. The Charleston Rockets won the firsttitle in the Continental Football League in 1965. In 1988, the LasVegas Silver Streaks won the championship of the World BasketballLeague.

These teams and their leagues went belly-up soon after theirbeginnings. Chris Anderson, a corporate communications professorand 1988 alumnus knows the teams are gone but doesn’t wantthem to be forgotten.

“Classic Sports Logos,” a Web site started byAnderson, began in 1999 as a unique way to bring back memories ofthe sports franchises of yesteryear through a plethora of colorfulT-shirts.

“I have been drawing old sports logos since the fourth orfifth grade,” Anderson said, “and this is a perfectcreative outlet for that type of thing.”

As one of the company’s advertisements states, “Theteams are gone, but the memories live on.”

Along with his business partner, 1987 SMU grad Erik Herskind,Anderson has built Classic Sports Logos from the ground up,beginning with a series of ideas in 1997.

“I was working for Footaction at the time,” he said,”and I began testing out how the shirts would sell oneBay.”

Through his research, Anderson discovered a positive response tothe sale of retro logos.

“I then combined my work in the dot-com industry with theretail experience [at Footaction] to create Classic SportsLogos.

“Over the years, I had collected different logos throughmedia guides, programs and ticket stubs, so there was not too muchresearch to be done.”

One of the obstacles that had to be overcome, however, was thefact that some of the teams were still active, and thus owned therights to the logo.

“We hired attorneys to help out with public domain rightsand what not, but legal costs and trademark searches can be amess,” he said.

Anderson’s next step was to get an artist to recreate theimage on a computer, which would finally be printed onto theT-shirt

While offering logos from teams such as the Erie Blades, TorontoToros, and Rapid City Thrillers, the customer base has grown alongwith the company.

“At first,” Anderson said, “we saw a lot ofguys between the ages of 30 and 50 who had some sort of connectionor direct link to a particular team.

“But the recent retro trend has seen a lot more collegestudents wanting to buy the shirts. They like to wear the colorsand team names around campus.”

As Classic Sports Logos was still trying to get its feet off theground, media attention from the Dallas Morning News and Slammagazine alerted potential customers of the unique opportunity torepresent the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Houston Gamblers or LosAngeles Sharks.

But it was a November 2002 article in Maxim magazine that pushedthe company to the next level.

“We went from selling maybe 10 shirts a day to gettinghundreds of orders pouring in each morning following thearticle,” Anderson said.

Maxim also listed an added perk to wearing the shirts:”Guaranteed to hide man-breasts.”

And last year, the company was crowned with the DallasObserver’s “Best Way to Kick it Old School”award.

The only real downfall that Anderson has experienced is thedifficulty associated with time management — he is, afterall, a college professor by day.

“In order to do a good job as a teacher, you must immerseyourself in it. I mean, it can take three to five hours to preparefor a 50-minute lecture,” he said. “I’m lucky ifI can get over here [to the Classic Sports Logos warehouse] for acouple hours after work.”

Though the balance between teaching and owning a business can beexhausting, Anderson remains optimistic when looking toward thefuture.

“We are starting to sell some shirts at Urban Outfitters,and it would be nice to someday have a full-blown business withdirect mail and catalogs and stuff.”

So when you begin to notice your classmates and co-workerscruising the Hilltop in the get-up of the Jacksonville Sharks,Michigan Stags or the Amarillo Wranglers, it is time to pay a visitto

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