Georgia Southern University officials ended GSUProblems’ spring t-shirt campaign early due to a trademark issue with the name “Georgia Southern.”
The shirts were summer tanks and t-shirts with a logo similar to a Jack Daniels whiskey bottle and had the words “Georgia Southern: 100 Proof Education” on the front.
“We would like to remind individuals and organizations when using trademarks that Georgia Southern is in possession of, they must first contact the offices of Marketing and Communication or Licenses and Trademarks,” Christian Flathman, associate vice president of the department of marketing and communications, said.
Flathman contacted Teespring, the company being used to print the shirts, to end production and did not contact GSUProblems, the GSUProblems administrator said.
“We have notified the third-party vendor that they did not have a right to use the Georgia Southern logo,” Flathman said.
“I see where (the university is) coming from obviously, but in the future, I’d rather them contact me first. They can reach out to me,” the GSUProblems admin said.
“A lot of people wanted the shirts, so we did a last-minute bulk order, and those will be out sometime in the next few weeks,” the GSUProblems admin said.
Use of the trademarked items is not impossible for outside parties.
“(GSU) works with a licensing resource website. There are certain requirements to obtain a license, but anyone in the business to produce quality products can get a license,” Connie Palfy, assistant vice president for Licensing and Administrative Affairs, said.
Any other designs in the future will not have any trademarked content, the GSUProblems admin said.
GSUProblems runs a variety of social media sites as an outlet for students. Photos and comments can be submitted for publication on the sites. The posts usually pertain to happenings on GSU’s campus and in the Statesboro area.
“I’m not against the university, and I don’t want them to be against me because (GSUProblems) is a channel for the students,” the GSUProblems admin said.
The GSUProblems admin said, “I’m proud to be an Eagle, and I’m sure a lot of the people who follow GSUProblems are too.”
Sarah Ryniker contributed to this report.