Pink Out shirts selling despite competition

Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s Pink Out promotion to raise awareness for breast cancer and benefit the nonprofit Susan G. Komen for the Cure has run into a competitor far larger than a “Black Out” Facebook event: Nike.

Despite a Nike display staffed by members of the Nike Street Team, Frogs for the Cure T-shirts sales have already passed last year’s total of 3,660, said Ann Louden, the chancellor’s associate for external relations. More than 4,000 Frogs for the Cure shirts have been sold, and more have been ordered for this week, she said.

The Nike display, which is located in the north entrance of the university bookstore, holds Nike T-shirts and a vault containing TCU’s new Nike Pro Combat uniform.

Black Nike shirts with the text “Don’t Back Down” went on sale at the bookstore Friday to coincide with the revealing of TCU’s newest Nike uniforms, which will be worn for the first time Saturday against Utah.

Members of the Nike Street Team will be in the bookstore through Wednesday allowing patrons to type in a code that opens the vault with the new uniform on display. Certain codes are coupons to win a free “Don’t Back Down” T-shirt.

Nicole Fox, Zeta Tau Alpha’s Pink Out chairwoman, said that although the “Black Out” Facebook event was created less than a week before Nike started promoting the shirts at the bookstore, the timing of the release of the black Nike shirts was a bad coincidence.

“It was just miscommunication,” Fox said. “I don’t know why there wouldn’t have been enough communication between the athletics department, the Frogs for the Cure event team and Zeta (sorority). It will be interesting to see how many people show up in black shirts and who shows up in (Frogs for the Cure) shirts.”

Even if every fan wore a Frogs for the Cure shirt to the Utah game, it would be a Purple Out, Fox said. The Frogs for the Cure T-shirts changed from pink to purple three years ago, she said.

Ginny Gould, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha’s programming council, said everyone would support the football team regardless of what shirts students wear.

“It’s the Pink Out game, but it’s also the biggest game we’ve had that I can remember,” Gould said. “If this wasn’t the Pink Out game, more people would be gung-ho about a Black Out event. But since the Pink Out game has been established for so long, it’s the best complicated mess we’ve ever had.”

The “Don’t Back Down” shirts are currently $24 at the bookstore. Nike also promoted white shirts displaying the new TCU helmet design. The white shirts are currently $20 at the bookstore.

The store manager on duty would not disclose the number of Nike shirts that had been sold since they went on sale late last week.

The Frogs for the Cure shirts, which are purple with a large pink lapel design that lists the past four Pink Out games and final scores, are $12. For every shirt sale, $3 will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, according to the Frogs for the Cure Web site.