While the name implies beer, much of the revenue from Green Beer Day stems from T-shirt sales.
Miami University Greek organizations, club sports teams, students and uptown vendors are all in the business of making a buck from an array of T-shirts designed for the annual student event.
While advertising traditionally spread around campus via fliers and word of mouth, Facebook.com has become a large marketplace for T-shirts sales. Groups such as “The Best Green Beer Day Shirts,” “Green Beer Day Shirts ’09!!,” “Green Beer Day Designs for 2009” and “Pike Green Beer Day Shirts” are just a few among many advertising on the Web site.
Senior Patrick McKenna, creator of the ‘The Best Green Beer Day Shirts’ group, said this is the second year he and friends have sold T-shirts through Facebook.
“Last year, me and my roommates split it 50-50, but this year I’m doing it solo,” McKenna said. “One of my roommates does graphic work and advertisements, and (I’m giving) him as many T-shirts as he wants.”
“The Best Green Beer Day Shirts” has four designs this year, and McKenna said he has sold 112 shirts as of Feb. 17. One shirt features an argyle pattern, another refers to the September blackout and the final two designs play off “Old School” and “The Dark Night,” according to McKenna.
“We were going for the classier look,” McKenna said. “Those people who wear (the blackout shirts) stand out a little more, and the other two are off of movies that a lot of college students enjoy.”
McKenna said he is selling the T-shirts for $10.
“We sold 140 shirts last year, made a little under $500, so it’d be great to hit that again, but I’ve got to take what I can get,” McKenna said.
Juniors Sydnie Brabenec and Mark Petro are also selling four shirt designs.
“I work for University Tees, so we have sales, and it’s a great way to make money to pay for spring break,” Brabenec said.
The two said they plan to make $500 to $600 by selling each shirt for $12.
Brabenec said one design is based on the Ed Hardy skull and crossbones, another refers to Wedding Crasher’s Rule No. 76: Play Like a Champion, with beer pong cups on the back, another has a beer label reading “Green Beer Day” and the fourth is about the September 2008 blackout.
“We came up with the ideas and had a professional do the designs,” Brabenec said. “We tried to be a little bit lower (in cost). Some groups are now $10, but for the shirts and the quality $12 is a really reasonable price.”
Brabenec and Petro said they plan on selling T-shirts next year as well but want to start earlier than this year’s mid-January start.
Lexi Bigg, president of the club water ski team, created the group “Green Beer Day Shirts ’09!!” to advertise three designs the team put together.
According to Bigg, this is the team’s first year selling T-shirts, but they plan to make the sale an annual opportunity to raise money for a new boat and equipment.
“Every time we ever get money, half goes to the boat, and half goes to equipment,” Bigg said. “Based on how much we save for the boat, (Miami) is more lenient about giving us money that year towards the boat.”
Bigg said the group’s shirts sell for $12 or $15 depending on the design, but customers have the option of purchasing two of the $12 T-shirts for $20 or two of the $15 T-shirts for $25.
Bigg said they expect to make approximately $4,000 without including the deductible paid for the T-shirts. Bigg said 350 people ordered shirts as of Feb. 17.
Bigg said the team has not decided which company to use to print the shirts because of the varied estimates they received.
“There are so many hidden fees (with the T-shirt companies), if we make a profit at all, it’s better than nothing,” Bigg said.
Junior Dave Ervolina, fundraising chair for Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) fraternity, said the profits for his fraternity’s sales will go to a charity or to help make improvements on the house.
According to Ervolina, Pike came up with several designs they thought the Miami student body would like.
“We ended up voting on one design to make it easier on us,” Ervolina said. “The one we ended up producing got the majority vote from everybody.”
The fraternity has been selling shirts for a few years and plans to continue the tradition, according to Ervolina.
“Every year it gets harder and harder to come up with a design, so hopefully a lot of people pick this one,” Ervolina said.
The $12 shirt reads “The Beer Necessities,” and features Baloo from The Jungle Book.
“We thought many people would relate to their childhood, and it would sell pretty well,” Ervolina said.
Ervolina said Pike pre-ordered a couple hundred shirts.
According to Ervolina, the shirts include five different colors in the design.
“Each color means more money for it to be produced, so we’re giving a little bit extra than most shirts out there right now,” Ervolina said.
Ervolina said a former brother of Pike owns a T-shirt design company, allowing the fraternity to receive a good deal.
According to Ervolina, if the group has any remaining shirts after the initial reservations are sold, they will be selling them on Green Beer Day.
In addition to the student Facebook groups, Brick Street Bar, 45 East Bar & Grill and Skipper’s Pub will be selling shirts.
“We’ll be selling shirts at (Brick Street and 45 East),” said Will Weisman, owner of Brick Street and 45 East. “We’re finalizing the design, (but they will) be between $10 and 12.”
Similarly, Skipper’s will be selling one T-shirt design that is in the works for Green Beer Day, according to co-owner Andrew Amarantos.
“It’s an original, not one of these make believe Green Beer shirts,” said Amarantos.
The shirt will be priced between $12 and $15.