COLUMBIA — At the Tiger Spirit store on Ninth Street, a side wall holds a row of SEC shirts with just one style — black with a Tiger and a small logo of the Southeastern Conference.
Mizzou merchandise branded with the SEC logo is available in stores and online even before the university formally joins the SEC on July 1. The University Bookstore and Tiger Spirit were selling limited types of the new T-shirts.
MU is following in Texas A&M's lead by selling SEC merchandise early, said Linda Gilbert, MU trademark administrator.
MU has worked with the SEC in conjunction with The Collegiate Licensing Co., which manages the SEC Conference Licensing Program, Gilbert said.
Though licensees have just started on artwork and designs, products are beginning to come out. There are many more products to come, Gilbert said. "It’ll be like a snowball effect.”
Revenue from the new SEC merchandise cannot yet be determined because MU operates on a fiscal year that ends in late June. Since MU joins the SEC on July 1, it will be another year before revenue can be estimated, Gilbert said.
"We think this is going to increase our revenues. We've got all these new schools and we're excited to be able to partner with them on all these products," Gilbert said. "This is a whole new ballgame."
Before licensing was finalized, customers were asking about SEC merchandise on a regular basis, said Elizabeth Nicodemus, senior sales supervisor at the Tiger Spirit store.
The store is not planning on carrying a lot of SEC merchandise, Nicodemus said, thinking it’s a novelty that will wear off. They do plan on adding at least one more shirt in another style.
At the University Bookstore on Thursday, a single rack of SEC shirts was set up between two tables of multicolored Mizzou shirts. The SEC shirts were available in either black or gold for $14.99.
Justin Seabaugh, 19, bought a black SEC shirt with a gold logo because he wants to have the most up-to-date merchandise.
"I think it's going to be pretty exciting to have some new teams to play," Seabaugh said. "I'm ready to move on from the Big 12."
Seabaugh plans on wearing his new shirt to the Kansas game on Feb. 4.
"Goodbye Kansas," he said.