Yellow shirts, Sexy Calendars and Classy Bowties – The stories behind the Nominees for the Best Merchandise Award

Different antennae in our network have different ways to promote themselves and do fundraising. Mostly used is AEGEE t-shirts of which there exist numerous different versions. Last week we heard the story about one of the most popular t-shirts, the AEGEE-Zaragoza “I love Jamón”, and this week The AEGEEan is focusing on the three other nominees of the best merchandise category for The AEGEEans Choice Awards 2012.

Yellow Spirit at Agora Alicante

Who has not seen the yellow sweatshirt that AEGEE-Alicante members wear with pride wherever they go? The famous “yellow spirit” sweatshirt and t-shirt were designed for last year’s Agora Alicante and made it into the top five of best merchandise.

The design was created by Rakel, member of AEGEE-Alicante and one of the most active designers of the PRC. Actually, she designed the whole visual identity of Agora Alicante, proving that she is an extraordinary artist through all her hard work for the Agora. The choice of yellow was made because it is a colour that indeed catches the eye, and thereby it would be easier for the Agora participants to find an organiser. The name “Yellow Spirit” derived after the Agora when a person used it to symbolise the great connection between the organisers and their eager to always be disposable to do whatever that would make Agora Alicane the greates experience ever for the participants. The original t-shirt was limited edition, only meant for the organizers of the Agora, however due to the big success the yellow colour has since made its way into the designs of AEGEE-Alicante.

The reason why not all “Yellow Spirit” t-shirt owners are Spanish is because each organiser had various t-shirts for the event and in the event lucky friends of the antenna recieved a t-shirt to bring home as a memory. However, that only counts for the t-shirt. The sweatshirts only belong to the organisers, and some members of the Chair team.


Sexy Sofia

During the Summer University “Shake the summer and catch it in a shot,” which took place in Sofia last year somebody stole the flag of the hosting antenna. That somebody was Luc Van den Elzen from AEGEE-Eindhoven but he did not invent a punishment till the very last minute.

During the goodbye night he read a letter in which he asked AEGEE-Sofia to make a sexy calendar where we are with bikini, sexy night dresses and pyjamas. The only condition was for it to be made in PDF and then had it sent to everybody. Liliya Buyukliyska from AEGEE-Sofia explains the process;”We found professional photographers, who of course are friends of the antenna, and then made real photo sessions which turned out to be one of the funniest and best teambuilding moments in the antenna. Then I came up with the idea that if we make something – we make it good. So we printed the calendar and decided to sell it at Agora Skopje. Unfortunately we did not manage to sell as much as we wanted but still the idea worked because the product is unique, made with style and made us feel as superstars.”

AEGEE-Sofia produced 80 calendars because around 40 of them were for the members of the local. The calendars were also promoted during the 20th anniversary party of the antenna, so now there are around 15 calendars left. Liliya is not in the board anymore, and does not have the power to decide whether or not there will be an AEGEE-Sofia calendar 2013. Had it not been for Luc then there would not have been a calendar in the first place but it is for sure that the active members of AEGEE-Sofia got a great experience out of it and are now full of creative ideas for new AEGEE-Sofia material, mostly thanks to Luc.


Classy Enschede

AEGEE-Enschede is one of the antennae in AEGEE that produces the most merchandise so it comes to no surprise that they have been nominated for the best merchandise award. The bowtie was produced for their 23rd ‘Dies Natalis’, or anniversary on April 2nd 2011.  The committee which organised all the events decided to have ties, chokers (womens ties), suspenders and bowties of the same fabric made. Only 15 bowties were produced, but maybe AEGEE-Enschede should consider producing more because it has alongside the AEGEE-Enschede tie made it to the top five merchandise of AEGEE. The tie has been around for quite some years now, and the estimation of sales is around 200. It is purple because AEGEE-Enschede originally used it as its official color 25 years ago.  Furthermore, the ties have been sold at Agorae to the rest of the Network because it uses the Key to Europe-logo without the name of a local. At the moment AEGEE-Enschede only have about 40 ties left and they are not planning to produce any more of the same design so Spring Agora Enschede will be the last chance to buy them.


AEGEE-Alicante, AEGEE-Enschede and AEGEE-Sofia are alongside AEGEE-Zaragoza and the AEGEE Passport nominated for the AEGEEans Choice Awards 2012 category “Best Merchandise”.

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København