Old Dominion took a step to improve its ties within the community Friday with an interesting partnership, announcing over Twitter they will be partnering with a few local branches of the chain restaurant Cracker Barrel.
The deal with the eateries stands out as an unorthodox connection between the university and Cracker Barrel (Nothing represents Saturday like college football… and rocking chairs?) But, the agreement brings on an interesting question for merchandising: What venue or place would be the best for each team to sell their gear in the rest of Conference USA?
In possession a smaller TV deal and a presumed need for a bit more revenue from other areas, we put on our thinking caps to give each team an idea of the best place for them to sell their gear:
The gear is placed with care in the nursing home gift shop, with plenty of hoodies and light jackets to keep retired snowbirds warm for the south Florida "winter".
If we want to go with as local a tie-in as possible, we could always have the Panthers' gear sold in the front lobby of another well-known chain; Hooters. Because when you think FIU football, you of course think "we're just here for the ambiance."
Fans are anxiously waiting for Blazer gear to be fully reinstated with the football team in 2017. In order to lean on B'Ham's best local tie-in and make sure fans are fully amped for #TheReturn, unlimited free UAB swag for anyone willing to mainline Royal Cup Coffee until their first game.
Marshall has a rich mining tradition, but there are two miners already in the conference; they'll take their show to Swann Ridge Bison Farm and give their herd a place to roam. Bonus: you can get your gear at a discount if you're willing to retrieve it off the bison.
Those ODU schmucks have to pay for that new LED logo on the stadium somehow, so they stole the Blue Raiders' thunder; Cracker Barrel originated and is headquartered 45 minutes from Murfreesboro. So to retaliate, all MTSU gear will be available at a discount at Foreman Field for the 2016 season.
It makes sense that the Hilltoppers would operate from the highest point in Kentucky, on Black Mountain. With Big Red as the best mascot Sherpa in the business, profit should summit for the reigning conference champs. Walk away if he offers "nom nom and chill," though.
The Monarchs already have their deal with the Cracker Barrel, but would be missing an opportunity to join the community fully by selling march at the Naval Station in town. Navy colors are similar their neighboring FBS team anyway, so ODU gear may become military approved in time (it's worth a shot.)
Their deal is easily explained by the accompanying slogan: "Charlotte football and Waffle House: It doesn't matter if it's good or not, it only matters that it exists."
The Miners will have UTEP-branded hiking gear in all Academy Sports stores. Fans can use said hiking gear to climb up the Sun Bowl mountains and watch the game/get a hand job; that way you're guaranteed at least something enjoyable happens during the game.
The Roadrunners will start having their gear sold at all Taco Cabana locations; this is a perfect pairing, because both fall under the description of "it's really not that bad if you're drunk enough."
While Little Owly is trying to get his hustle on with his new mixtape "wrong side of the g5 tracks", he is more than happy to peddle shirts (with the purchase of every tape, of course.)
Sticking with the local flavor for the.... backwoods-iest team. Fans will get a Yeti cooler full of La Tech gear if they can serve one game as a translator for the Duck Dynasty guys.
With Mississippi State and Ole Miss wrapping up much of the state’s attention, the Golden Eagles take a risky move by putting a big ol' raft on the south part of the Mississippi River, complete with a Tom Sawyer impersonator working the counter.
Fans will have the special opportunity to re-enact North Texas legend Mean Joe Greene’s Coke commercial, but in honor of UNT's odd recent history, it has to be a New Coke.
Got a better idea for where teams should peddle their gear? Leave it in the comments below: