If you’re looking for a Sweet Sixteen T-shirt to celebrate the South Carolina basketball teams’ trip to their respective Sweet Sixteens, you’ll have to wait until at least Tuesday.
Managers at both Addam’s University Bookstore on Assembly Street in Columbia and Jewelry Warehouse’s Garnet and Black Traditions say they have ordered T-shirts through national vendors licensed by the NCAA. Because the words “Sweet Sixteen” and “March Madness” are copyrighted by the NCAA, the shirts are not produced locally.
“They didn’t start making them until today,” Addams University Bookstore manager Ken Halstead said Monday. “We’ve asked for overnight shipping.”
The shirts at Addams will come in either garnet or white and feature the Gamecocks name or logo and the words “Sweet Sixteen” or “March Madness.” At Addams, they will range in price from $22 to $35, depending on the quality of the material, Halstead said.
The shirts at Garnet and Black Traditions come in garnet and black and feature the words “Sweet Sixteen, Survive and Advance.” They sell for $21.99 to $24.99.
Erica Lester, manager of Garnet and Black Traditions on Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce, said the store expects delivery Tuesday afternoon and the merchandise should be on sale by 5 p.m.
“We haven’t had a lot of foot traffic today (for standard Gamecock) gear, but we are getting a lot calls,” about the Sweet Sixteen shirts, she said Monday.
All of the T-Shirts are standard men’s, although Lester said they are trying to get ladies merchandise as well.
“But it’s hard to find a vendor,” she said.
Jewelry Warehouse buyer Kevin Lucas said the company will also be stocking shirts celebrating the Gamecocks’ victory over Duke specifically.
“And the farther they go in the tournament, more product will become available,” he said.
Lucas said he has ordered 1,200 shirts for the three Garnet and Black Traditions stores in Cayce, Lexington and Harbison.
Halstead, of Addams Bookstore, said the company has asked the vendor for their gear – Follett Higher Education Group – to send as many T-Shirts as they will allot.
“We know they are going to go fast,” he said.