Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Kentucky's "Perfect Season" Marketing Blitz Didn't Work Out

Illustration for article titled Kentucky's "Perfect Season" Marketing Blitz Didn't Work Out

The thing with talking about (let alone selling merchandise hyping) a 40-0 season is that perfect seasons very rarely work out. It's exceedingly more likely that you'll lose, then everyone will point out the fact that you sold t-shirts, and you'll become a punchline. Like those shirts over there!


When UK lost to Michigan State on Tuesday, it rendered the university's "pursuit of perfection" shirts worthless, except as curios. But a funny thing happened for a separate, fan-created shirt operation: opposing fans want them really badly.

The Dagger spoke to David Son, who along with a group of Kentucky fans, have been selling 40-0 t-shirts over the last month to fund a trip to Dallas for the Final Four. Son said they sold a few hundred shirts, but once Kentucky lost, business exploded.

"It's absolutely mind-boggling. We're selling more T-shirts than we were before.

"I think they're Louisville fans, I think they're Michigan State fans, I think they're North Carolina fans. People love to hate the evil empire. If you're not a UK fan and you're not from the state of Kentucky, you hate Kentucky. And if you're a Kentucky fan, you love being hated."

Shut up, Kentucky.

So, obviously, next year we will see fans of every even remotely good team selling perfect season shirts, then finally turning a profit when they lose. Because college sports aren't about pride. They're about schadenfreude.

[The Dagger]