For Panthers, Name of the Game is our place on the south side

Recently on the D-Board, the Panther fans discussed a deal at Boston Store that sold UWM sweatshirts for $20.  It was a one-day sale, but many of the fans (including yours truly) were annoyed to find that the t-shirts carried the academic UWM wordmark logo instead of any athletics logo, even the outdated belt buckle.

The problem is the same as it has always been.  Milwaukee fans have been forced to see stores stock one or two items at best, and never is the item actually something the fan wants to buy.  When you get junk like “Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers” out there, no one is buying it.  When no one buys it, the stores don’t restock the shelves with Panthers stuff.  They just assume that the Panthers don’t have a lot of buying fans and they decide to move past the Milwaukee-themed apparel.

What they don’t realize is that if you stock good stuff, people will buy it.  If they stock crap, we’re going to continue to get stuck in the circle of apparel death.  If only there were a place besides the bookstore that carried good stuff…

Fear no more!  In a trip to Southridge Mall today, I was planning on an awful tag-along trip with The Official Girlfriend of PantherU ™ to such wondrous establishments as Insert Girly Clothing Store Here and Hot Topic.  I made the slip at Maurice’s and made my way across the center of the second floor to Name of the Game.

For those of you who are unaware of Name of the Game, the store is owned by Bucky’s Locker Room, the company not owned by UW that has stores in the Kohl Center and Camp Randall Stadium.  The store has several Milwaukee locations, but the Southridge location just opened in April.  I was surprised not to only find Panther apparel, but GOOD Panther apparel.  While “University of Wisconsin” makes its appearance on a couple of the items, it’s only as a small section, with “MILWAUKEE PANTHERS” the prominent mark on almost all apparel.

In all, the stand in the middle of the store carries one hooded sweatshirt, two ladies shirts (cool ones too), three toddler and baby items, and five unisex t-shirts that are absolutely the cat’s pajamas and carry the Jimmy Lemke stamp of approval.  You guys know how picky I am, so you’ll be sure to find something you like there.

For me, little Frankie Pipito, the newest addition to my family, is going to get himself a couple of the baby stuff like “I’m a Lil’ Panther” and “Future Panther coming through!”

So we finally have a place to call our own.  If you live on the south side of Milwaukee or the suburbs, get over to Southridge and get your hands on some good old fashioned t-shirts.  And be sure to mention that PantherU sent you there.

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3 Responses

  1. Good to hear. Maybe someone should ask that the UWM Bookstore Manager take a fieldtrip (and bring along a notebook and a pen).

    While there is a lot more to like at the UWM Bookstore this year (but STILL no “Milwaukee” wave logo car sticker?? WTF?!! I’ve had to stick with the old belt buckle decal I bought 5 years ago!), I still see the cluster&^%^ of various logos and naming schemes “Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers”, “UWM Panthers”, “Panthers Wisconsin-Milwaukee” (that’s a new one.. ughh).

    It is apparently challenge of the highest order to just make Milwaukee and UWM (athletics or academic) apparel that sticks to either one or the other and doesn’t include all the stupid other mish-mash logos and naming that is the cause of our ongoing identity crisis…. I wish they understood the effect their stupidity has on Milwaukee fans and people looking at the Milwaukee brand.

    Also, on an unrelated note…. but maybe you might know.. Why in the World does ESPN Milwaukee have Whitewater (Whitewater????) on there homepage list of teams (next to Wisconsin and Marquette), but not the FREAKing state university in it’s backyard?

    Do Homer and company not like Milwaukee Basketball or something?

    That is not just wack. It’s wrong.

    • Thanks for the comment A-Town and I hope you become a regular commenter! I think the reason ESPN Milwaukee has Whitewater on their front page on not us is that Lance Leipold is a weekly guest on their radio show and the station carries Whitewater football games on the 540AM station. You’ll notice they don’t have the Badger logo up there either.

      As far as the separation of sports and academic apparel, I hear you there. UW-Milwaukee, UWM and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee all describe the university and should be a part of academic apparel, but they have no business being on the same stuff as the word “Panthers.” They get this up in Madison and I think the Panthers would be smart to lean on the bookstore.

      I also think the Bookstore needs to consider establishing satellite stores at the malls in the area so people can actually find Panther apparel. That’s why this Name of the Game stand is so important. It brings the Panthers to the masses, something we really need.

  2. I didn’t notice UW wasn’t on there.. in any case it’s still wack. ESPN “Milwaukee” doesn;t give any space or attention to… “Milwaukee”? But yeah, we need to get this branding thing figured out pronto.

    If only it were just “University of Milwaukee”, like Cinci, PITT, Miami, etc. Then this prob. would go away. Regardless, with the right education (in the meantime) apparel designers/orderers can understand the fan base gripes and make stuff that we both like and will buy.

    Milwaukee Panthers. UWM. Rocket Science. Which of these three is hardest to understand…?

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