With sales nearing 63,000, Hokie Effect is well on its way to selling its goal of 90,000 maroon and orange shirts.

And Thursday's home football game vs. the University of North Carolina is designated Orange Effect game.

“Sales really depend on three key things: our marketing, shirt designs and excitement about the product,” said Kelsey Heiter from Williamsburg, Va., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Heiter is the director of Hokie Effect. “Last year sales were in the high 80,000, and our goal this year is at least 90,000.”

Hokie Effect, established by the Student Government Association in 2003, is a program run by students to increase school spirit and pride on football game days. Each fall, two home games days are chosen as the Maroon Effect and Orange Effect. 

The Maroon Effect game was Oct. 1 against Clemson University.

“I think the best part about the Hokie Effect program is bringing Virginia Tech fans together through a tradition that everyone knows and loves: football,” Heiter said

Each new football season brings unique designs for each shirt. The process for the 2011 shirts began October 2010. Slogan ideas were generated by students and narrowed down to the top eight by the Hokie Effect directors. Undergraduate students voted for their two favorites. The winners are as follows:

  • Maroon Effect theme is “Defining home field advantage since 1892,” highlighting the first year for Virginia Tech football, with a detailed image of Lane Stadium looking from the south end zone.
  • Orange Effect theme is “Lane Stadium: Living in your world, playing in ours,” with a graphic of the world in the shape of a football.

The Hokie Effect directors then began looking at different vendors and sent out requests for proposals to suppliers. Between January and March the directors chose Graphic Cow Co., a T-shirt company based in South Carolina, and finalized the design. Heiter said this part of the process took about three months to perfect.

Virginia Tech Services Inc., an independent non-profit corporation, is the exclusive retailer for the shirts. On April 21, the Hokie Effect shirts went on sale at the University Bookstore on campus and the Volume II Bookstore off campus. Virginia Tech fans can also buy the shirts online at the bookstore and hokieshops, or in person at Dietrick Convenience Store in Dietrick Hall and the stadium and coliseum Hokie Shops. Anything bought from these venues directly supports Virginia Tech and goes into scholarships and student-related services. “Proceeds [of the shirts] go to SGA which in turn, we put right back into the student body with forums and events throughout the year,” Heiter said.

“Hokie Effect could not be run without Mr. Don Williams,” Heiter said. Donald J. Williams, executive director of Virginia Tech Services Inc. and the University Bookstore, helps with everything from the initial request for proposal to inventory reports at the end of the process. “Mr. Williams makes sure that we understand everything there is to know about Hokie Effect sales.” Virginia Tech Services Inc. has been helping with Hokie Effect since 2006. Williams said he is proud of the partnership with SGA and hopes to continue working with them in the future.

The short-sleeved Maroon Effect shirts are on sale for $5.99 and the long-sleeved Orange Effect shirts are $10.99 separately, or $12.99 for both.

“The bond that the colors represent is something so unique to [Virginia] Tech,” Heiter said. “SGA is honored to show our support through T-shirt sales.”



Written by Lauren Marshall from Marshall, Va., a senior majoring in communication and human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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