A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste

by Kieran Healy on June 23, 2008

Chris Uggen, of the University of Minnesota, reports from the frontiers of collegiate apparel licensing agreements:

Victoria’s secret recently announced that minnversity-themed t-shirts, hoodies, and underwear will be sold as part of the company’s PINK collegiate collection. … however, the Minnesota Daily reveals that Goldy Gopher [the UMN mascot] will not be participating in the new loungewear line … Spokesgophers made clear that the clothing line is “not in step with the University’s values and focus” and that the Minnversity only “approves tasteful trademark requests.” … Though I wouldn’t want my university to be involved in anything distasteful, I know we can always use new revenue streams. Personally, I only purchase products that are in keeping with the Minnversity’s values and focus, such as my officially-licensed golden gopher “talking beer opener.”



joel turnipseed 06.23.08 at 10:03 pm

Maybe the lascivious squirrel at Sally’s Saloon will get the cut for the U of MN?

The Big (Eleven) Ten is a pretty harmless Mascot group for this line, though: I can see some REAL problems with, say, a Pac-10 version: OSU anyone?


minneapolitan 06.23.08 at 10:22 pm

I dunno joel, apparently they got USC onboard — it’s like an infinite regression of bad taste and trademark confusion.


Antti Nannimus 06.24.08 at 12:49 am


Oh thank you, thank you! I finally have a legitimate reason to order the VS catalog for myself.

Rah, rah, rah,

Have a great day,


bitchphd 06.24.08 at 2:24 am

Good for the U Minn, I say.


Delicious Pundit 06.24.08 at 3:58 am

The football team went 1-11 last year. That seems pretty distasteful to me.


noen 06.24.08 at 5:44 am

I thought the hoodies looked tasteful to me. BTW, the talking beer bottle opener does not have Goldy Gopher on it, just the letter M. Now, if you use that to open a bottle of Hamm’s beer you know you’re in heaven.


bad Jim 06.24.08 at 9:01 am

Oh, whatever. On my first visit to London my lady friend was delighted to buy me an Underground map t-shirt and herself a “Mind the Gap” thong. There are things men, or perhaps some men, aren’t meant to understand.


DB 06.24.08 at 11:58 am

That bottle opener would look great in a push up brassiere, I think.


The weakest link 06.25.08 at 9:52 am

Victoria’s Secret is not in line with UMinn values, but this is?



Jenny 06.28.08 at 9:15 pm

Ugh–I wish apparel manufacturers would get over the “writing on the butt” powder puff thing. Stuff like this makes me feel old and cranky. Suffice to say, I will not be wearing these to any Gopher games.

Actually, given the nightmare that was last season, I may skip out on the season tickets this year anyhow…

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