‘Electoral College’ fashion gear a hot sell
A Maine couple is racking up more numbers related to the election than Vice President Al Gore in the Florida recounts.
This year, John and Marcia Diamond of Bangor, Maine have taken in 10 times more sales than the average year of sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats that read, “Electoral College Athletic Department.” The Diamonds registered the trademark in 1994.
In one day, the merchandising company that came about in 1988 took in 1,000 orders. This is the entire number of orders the couple filled in 1996, an election year.
“This year, (the sales are) all driven by what’s happening in the last week,” Diamond said, referring to the presidential election stalemate between Gore, a Democrat, and Texas Gov. George W. Bush, a Republican.
The business has become so successful, the educators are evaluating whether to trade education for marketing. Marcia is an assistant principal and teacher for the All Saints Catholic School in Bangor, and John is an administrator and former professor at the University of Maine.
The two have installed three new telephone lines, 800-ELECTOR, and hired a dozen employees to run the office out of their guest bedroom.
He expects such robust holiday sales, John said he’s taking an unplanned vacation to handle the business.
But it’s the activity that occurs away from the business that gets the most attention.
The college administrator gathers crowds at airports, when he travels wearing the sweatshirt on business for the university.
“Before, people would either get it, or they didn’t,” he said. Now, he’s mobbed like a rock star. And, he finds that many onlookers – bringing their friends over to witness the spectacle – want to chitchat about the latest with the legal wrangling and political maneuvering.
The couple set up a Web site at http://www.electoralcollegeusa.com.
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