If you still need to stock up on your Volunteer merchandise ahead of tomorrow’s home opener, there are still plenty of opportunities to add some Tennessee orange to your closet.
“I’m just shopping.. looking for something to get my dad,” Gavin Faucette, UT senior, said. “He’s coming up from Georgia and he doesn’t have much orange.”
Faucette is one of many getting ready for Game Day at Neyland.
“I think people come in because it’s the new season, the first home game and they’re ready to spend some money,” Faucette said.
The days leading up to the first home game of the season mark some of the busiest of the year for Vol Shops.
“The Fridays before home Game Days are huge,” Tommi Grubbs, marketing manager for the Vol Shop, said. “People are getting in the spirit. They’re very excited to be back on campus.”
Fans spend the day Friday loading up on that unique shade of orange.
“Always big sellers are the coaches polos… the game bibs… which are unisex which can be worn by men, women and children. Also the hats… the team gear is always big,” Grubbs said.
Popular this year, Grubbs points out, are customized clear bags that ensure your entry at the gate. Also big sellers are game day accessories that also benefit a great cause.
But a concern this year is the effect a Nike ad controversy will have at the local level, with Nike being UT’s official apparel brand. A percentage of proceeds at the Volshops help fund UT scholarships and other programs.
“Nike is huge. They’re a huge company and though they might have an impact and lose sales, our students are going to hurt because they’re going to lose out on scholarship money that may not come in due to the loss in sales,” Grubbs said.
But for now, sales are staying steady and Vol fans are hoping that come Saturday night, they will be celebrating a Tennessee victory.
“I want to see them win… at least three or four games,” Faucette said. “Maybe if I buy more shirts, they’ll win more games.”
The Vol Shops on campus and University Commons Way open at 9 a.m. Saturday.