Archive for the ‘Ole Miss’ Category

Ole Miss at No. 44 on apparel sales list

August 12th, 2013 No comments

Collegiate Licensing Co. announced Monday its annual list of institutions whose apparel makes up the company’s top sellers.

Ole Miss, at No. 44, was the only Mississippi school in the top 75. The University of Texas – who Ole Miss plays Sept. 14 in Austin – was No. 1 for the eighth consecutive year.

CLC says the retail marketplace for college-licensed merchandise in 2012 reached $4.6 billion. Royalties generated from the sale of a school’s apparel goes back to the institutions, but not to the player who wears the jersey.

That has been an issue at Texas A&M, whose Heisman-winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel, has dealt with accusations the past few weeks that he took money in exchange for autographing memorabilia. That would violate NCAA rules. (Texas A&M, due in no small measure to Manziel’s Heisman season, jumped from No. 19 to 12th in total apparel sales on CLC’s latest list.)

“CLC is proud to work on behalf of our partner institutions to connect the more than 173 million passionate college fans to the brands they love,” Cory Moss, Senior VP and Managing Director of CLC, said in a company press release. “Licensed merchandise provides fans an outward expression of their college traditions and spirit. As we kick off another school year, we look forward to assisting our partner institutions in expanding their brand protection, management, and development initiatives to grow the collegiate licensed segment of the marketplace in conjunction with collegiate licensees and retailers.”
For the complete list, click here.

Categories: Johnny Manziel, Ole Miss Tags:

Ole Miss, MSU to hold minority vendor job fair as part of IHL outreach program

June 11th, 2013 2 comments

Ole Miss and Mississippi State will hold a minority vendor fair June 18 in Oxford.

Minority Business Expo: Making The University Connection begins at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Avenue Center Multipurpose Room near the Ole Miss campus. Online registration is available through  and early registration is encouraged.

The event is the part of the IHL’s push to increase the number of minority-owned businesses that land the agency’s contracts.

Other institutions expects participating in the initiative include Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

IHL has contracted with, a Web-based platform that connects vendors to buyers through its quote feature. Minority companies post information about their business and the goods and services they provide. Universities send and receive quotes, proposals and subcontracting opportunities through the online system. This benefits minority businesses with awareness of opportunities and enables them to respond using the website’s easy-to-use method.

While any business can be listed on the site, minority businesses are recruited for inclusion in the featured listing section, which provides access to the quote, RFP, subcontracting opportunity solicitations.

Procurement officers at each of Mississippi’s public universities have been trained how to post opportunities to the site and retrieve quotes and information from the vendors.

“MSU is constantly seeking out new suppliers so we can expand the number of companies participating in the public procurement process,” said Don Buffum, MSU director of procurement and contracts. “We do this by urging departments to seek additional quotes or to try new vendors, actively seeking out new vendors at trade shows, conducting ‘Doing Business With MSU’ seminars, and by maintaining an open-door policy to meet with new vendors.

“Co-hosting the minority vendor fair with Ole Miss on June 18 provides us a great opportunity to implement all those strategies in a single venue,” Buffum continued. “By locating small and minority vendors, we are able to provide our departments with more potential sources while also making a valuable contribution to the economy.”

Oxford mayor Patterson calls Wade’s conflict of interest challenge ‘political malarkey’

May 8th, 2013 1 comment

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI — Former Ole Miss football player and current Oxford mayoral candidate Todd Wade stopped just short Tuesday night of accusing his opponent of having conflict of interest issues.

Wade, who’s running as an independent, said in a campaign press release that he would not participate in any private real estate transactions if he’s elected, and said Democratic incumbent George “Pat” Patterson’s real estate holdings could violate the public’s trust.

“I encourage my opponent to join me in this pledge to restore the public’s confidence,” Waid said in the release.

Patterson said in an interview Wednesday afternoon that he owns one piece of commercial property in Oxford that houses the James Food Center near the Square.

That contradicts Wade’s assertion that Patterson owns “a vast portfolio of student housing and business property” in Oxford.

“It’s total political malarkey,” Patterson said. “What pieces of property is he referring to? I only have one. It’s complete B.S.”

Until Tuesday’s primary ended, the most common issues in Oxford’s mayoral debate had centered on parking and public transit. Patterson said he intended to keep it that way. “I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this,” he said.

Patterson served as head of the Oxford Tourism Council and as alderman before being elected mayor in 2009. Wade was an All-America offensive tackle at Ole Miss and was selected 53rd overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2000 NFL draft. He played for four teams before retiring in 2008. He has spent his post-NFL career in Oxford.

Wade and Patterson will face each in the general election June 4.

Categories: Ole Miss, Oxford, Pat Patterson, Todd Wade Tags:

If failure is the objective at Ole Miss, Dungy is the perfect candidate

November 22nd, 2011 No comments

This past Saturday morning started as well as any day could.

It was deer season’s first day that allowed the use of guns. I watched the sunrise in a treestand. I was happy.

And then I got a text message at 8:30, from an Ole Miss buddy, one of those types who always seems willing to pass along a rumor, however outrageous it is. “Tony Dungy to Ole Miss?” it read.

I nearly laughed out loud (LOL’ed, in the Internet parlance of our time). And then I heard it again Monday, from a different person. And yet again Tuesday morning from a different person whose monetary contributions to Ole Miss offer access most folks don’t have.

Do I believe it? No. Do I want to believe it? A thousand times, no. It would be a huge mistake, unless you enjoy watching Ole Miss fail at football. Then it would be awesome.

So if the goal of the coaching search is to hire a man who hits a grand slam in name recognition but will absolutely be a disaster in the actual nuts and bolts of coaching — and most importantly, recruiting — at a small school in the SEC, then by all means, Dungy is the guy.

Because Ole Miss gets QBs like Peyton Manning nearly every year.


Harper: Yes on all three initiatives. Plus, one man’s take on Ole Miss

November 7th, 2011 1 comment

Congressman Gregg Harper said at the Stennis Capitol Press Corps luncheon Monday that he will vote “yes” on all three ballot initiatives Tuesday.

That was the newsiest item from his 20-minute speech to maybe 50 people at the University Club in Jackson, but certainly not the most entertaining.

Harper opened with an announcement that Steve Guyton, a longtime Mississippi GOP operative who currently works for Sen. Roger Wicker, would be the new head coach at Ole Miss, replacing the fired Houston Nutt. Chip Reynolds, Harper’s district director, would serve as the new athletic director once Pete Boone leaves some time in 2012.

There were laughs all around.

Putting on my serious face, here’s what I hope happens: that Ole Miss hires somebody for both positions that is a world-class salesman. The new athletic director has to sell the overall program — and the massive capital campaign — to everybody. He has to sell it to those in the luxury boxes and to the folks in the bleachers, and he has to use every method that exists to do so. If he’s pumping gas and a kid walks by wearing an Ole Miss hat, he has to engage that kid and tell him that Ole Miss is the greatest place on earth.

The new coach has to sell the football program to recruits whose high school years have, for the most part, coincided with Ole Miss losing to Vanderbilt, losing to Jacksonville State, and sitting on the bottom of the Western Division standings. He has to make kids who have other SEC scholarship offers believe that Ole Miss is the place where all his dreams will come true.

Mississippi State has men who are really good at each, as hard as it is to admit. AD Scott Stricklin and coach Dan Mullen deserve a world of credit for what they’ve done in Starkville. Radical culture changes within an athletic department are possible, but it requires creative thinking, something that has been in awfully short supply at Ole Miss for longer than I’ve been alive; and a willingness to do things other than the way they’ve always been done.

The Ole Miss brand isn’t worth a lot today. Neither was Mississippi State’s exactly three years ago. State fixed that. Ole Miss had better do the same, or it will be permanently stuck in the realm of irrevelancy it has occupied for some time.

Categories: News, Ole Miss Tags:

Inside of Hotty Toddy Potties to feature advertising for first time this football season

August 14th, 2011 No comments

If such a thing as a captive advertising audience ever existed, one could be found in the Grove on football gamedays.

So it’s no surprise that Ole Miss officials have spent untold amounts of money and energy keeping the popular tailgating spot free of advertisers and solicitors “to keep it from becoming the Canton Flea Market,” said Andy Mullins, chief of staff to Chancellor Dan Jones and chairman of the Gameday Committee.

Those reins will be loosened this upcoming football season, but not by much: The university has contracted with a local start-up to install advertising on the interior of the portable restrooms that have become Grove staples since they first arrived about a decade ago. The Hotty Toddy Potties, like every other part of the Grove, had been completely off-limits to any form of political or business advertising or solicitation. Their outsides still are; only the inside will be adorned with advertisements.

Rounding up advertisers for the restrooms is Addison Edmonds, who started The Indoor ADvantage in 2009, shortly before he graduated from Ole Miss’ school of business.

Edmonds said the framed ads that will line the walls of the Hotty Toddy Potties won’t look anything like what you’d find in a truck stop or a convenience store.

“They are very elegant frames,” he said. “They’re about 18’ by 24’ in size, and there’s four 8’ by 10’ ads. I’ve got a great graphic designer; he makes everything look elegant. It’s not like we just print stuff out of my home computer and throw it up in a frame. It’s better-looking than what you think of when you first hear of restroom advertising.”

Office Depot, Direct Buy and Green Door, an Oxford company specializing in reclaimed and refurbished furniture, have signed on. Edmonds said frames and orders to his printer were sent last week, and installation of the 90 total frames would begin this week. Work will be completed in time for Ole Miss’ season opener Sept. 3 against BYU.

Mullins and Larry Sparks, vice chancellor for administration and finance, both said opening up the interiors of the Hotty Toddy Potties is not a step down the slippery slope of turning the Grove into an advertising extravaganza.

“We have university policies about political campaigning as well as vendor solicitation on campus during gameday,” said Sparks, whose office had to sign-off on the deal and who will have to sign-off on any changes in advertisers.  “We’ve tried to really control that because it could become overwhelming. But this is university-sponsored, and it’s confined to that one space.” Revenue generated from the ads will go into the school’s Preserve the Grove fund, which is used to maintain the 10-acre green space and to defray gameday expenses.

Edmonds, originally from Brentwood, Tenn., has had designs on starting his own advertising business since childhood. He approached Sparks and other Ole Miss officials in the late winter of this year about his idea for the Hotty Toddy Potties.

“I explained to them what we do, we came to an agreement and it pretty much doubled my business right away,” Edmonds said. “We’ve just been working real hard to get it all done and get everything finalized so we can go out and get some more advertisers for it.”

Before he landed the deal for the Hotty Toddy Potties, Edmonds had framed ads hanging in the restrooms of 30 locations around Oxford, mainly restaurants and bars. He also had agreements for the same at the new sports complex west of town and the Oxford Conference Center. That’s a far cry from when he started with only three restaurants.

“It was so hard to seem legitimate when I only had about 10 frames out there,” Edmonds said. “I had to basically ask advertisers to trust me and trust that it would work. It definitely helps me look legitimate (with all the new business) than it did when I first started out.”

The ads within the Hotty Toddy Potties perfectly legal, Mullins can spend his gamedays making sure no goods or services are being promoted or sold in other parts of the Grove. He said one recent football season he busted a tent set up by a national hardware chain. Even though no money was changing hands, promotional freebies were flowing like Grove bourbon, and it was just as frowned upon.

“I have to be the bad guy sometimes, but most of them understand once I explain it to them,” he said. “You have to be a lot more aggressive than most people realize.”

Categories: News, Ole Miss Tags:

In pursuit of Google, Oxford presses on

April 12th, 2011 No comments

On March 30, Google announced that it would deploy its super-fast, next-generation broadband network in Kansas City, Kan.

The announcement came a year after applications started coming in from cities and towns across the U.S. that hoped to be the site for the broadband experiment. Google said it received about 1,100 applications.

One came from Oxford, where local attorney Stewart Rutledge led the effort to land Google’s grand prize.

Magnolia Marketplace spoke with Rutledge Monday morning. The gist of the conversation was this: There isn’t much clarity as to whether Kansas City will be the only winner. Google could set up shop in another applicant city, or it could put all its 1Gbps eggs in Kansas City’s basket.

“The original campaign was very ambiguous,” Rutledge said. “It definitely led the public to believe there would be at least one winner, and it heavily implied there would be multiple winners.”

For its part, Google isn’t saying one way or another. Two weeks before the Kansas City news broke, Rutledge wrote a letter to Google seeking to gain a little clarity about a timetable for announcing a winner, and if there would be one or multiple winners. The letter, which has gone unanswered, also made the case for Oxford.

“Google said they wanted this to reach people who were underserved when it came to broadband access,” he said. “Well, if you go 10 miles from Oxford in either direction, you’ll find 10,000 people who fit into that category. Of course, they have every right to do what they want. I would liken it to a grant program with less clear guidelines.”

For now, Rutledge said he and city officials will maintain as much communication with Google as possible, and hope for the best. Rutledge’s work hasn’t cost Oxford anything. He’s worked on this for free.

“We want to maintain the relationship, even though it’s been a one-way relationship so far,” Rutledge said. “We certainly haven’t let it die.”

Natchez natives open brewery in La., hope laws and luck eventually allow for big expansion into Miss.

February 1st, 2011 No comments

Charles Caldwell and William McGehee grew up in Natchez.

After high school, McGehee matriculated to LSU while Caldwell, obviously the smarter of the two, headed to Ole Miss.

After graduation, Caldwell took a job reviewing and processing loans at a bank in Natchez and McGehee went to law school at LSU.

It wouldn’t last long. Long story short, Caldwell and McGehee decided to drop everything and chase a dream. They opened their own brewery.

Tin Roof Brewing Co. started operations in Baton Rouge last November on the same weekend Ole Miss played LSU in Tiger Stadium. Thankfully, the Rebels’ poor performance did not curse the upstarts.

The opposite is true. Tin Roof brews two different beers – a pale ale named Voodoo Bengal and an amber ale the business partners call Perfect Tin. They plan to begin distribution in New Orleans this week, just in time for Mardi Gras.

Both beers contain an alcohol-by-weight content that conforms to Mississippi law, which limits ABW to 5 percent, the lowest in the U.S.

That won’t be the case long, though. Caldwell, 27, and McGehee, 29, have ordered a third fermenter to go with the two they use to brew Voodoo Bengal and Perfect Tin and plan to start later this year brewing seasonal beers and various India pale ales whose ABW is higher than 5 percent. That means their sale and distribution won’t be legal in Mississippi.

That disappoints Caldwell.

“The culture here and just the general attitude toward alcohol makes it easier,” he said of the difference in Mississippi and Louisiana. “We had already decided that we were going to open our brewery in Baton Rouge when we got into this. But even if, like, Oxford had been a big enough market for us to consider, Baton Rouge still would have won out because of the beer-content laws there.”

Several pieces of legislation that would raise Mississippi’s ABW cap face an almost certain death today, the deadline for committees to report bills to the floor of their respective chambers. Raise Your Pints and other organizations supporting the legislation have promised to continue the fight next year.

“It’s sad how the laws are now,” Caldwell said. “We’ve got friends and family all over Mississippi, and they’ve been some of our biggest supporters. Obviously, I think Mississippi could be a big market for us. I’m counting on being able to sell my beer there. We think there’s money to be made there, and a lot of tax dollars, too. It’s in the cards hopefully.”



Categories: News, Ole Miss, Politics Tags:

Duvall surprised at level of attention his Ole Miss bill is getting

January 26th, 2011 No comments

In the 2009 legislative session, Rep. Mark Duvall, D-Mantachie, was one of two authors of a bill that would have prohibited the use of automated cameras on streets and highways to catch folks speeding, running stop signs or red lights or any other illegal traffic shenanigans. The bill eventually gained Gov. Haley Barbour’s approval and the use of any kind of electronic recording equipment to police traffic is now illegal in Mississippi.

Duvall, who’s in his first term, got a lot of blowback on that issue, but nothing like he’s getting now on his bill that would mandate the Ole Miss mascot be Colonel Rebel, the sports teams’ nickname be Rebels, and that the band play “Dixie.”

Magnolia Marketplace just wrapped up a 15-minute phone conversation with Duvall. We’ll get to what he said in just a second, but first a little background on Duvall:

After graduating from Mantachie High School, he attended Itawamba Community College with the hopes of majoring in pharmacy at Ole Miss. Before he finished at ICC, he decided he wanted to major in engineering, so Mississippi State made the most sense. He said he pulls for Ole Miss except when the Rebels play the Bulldogs.

“And then I’m a Bulldog fan,” he said.

So with that in mind, why did Duvall introduce this bill?

“Out of concern that was expressed to me from some of the folks in my district because of the mascot change,” he said. “They didn’t feel they were getting their point across to the athletic department and the administration, so I said I’d do whatever I could to help that happen. Filing this bill is the only way I could do that.”

House Bill 1106 has been referred to the Universities and Colleges Committee. Duvall realizes it has virtually no shot of making it out to the House floor. Like the traffic camera bill two years ago, Duvall said it’s possible the mascot/Dixie legislation could be attached to an appropriations bill. “But that would all depend on the mood of the House,” he said. Duvall added that he has not received any direct feedback from Ole Miss brass.

He’s received plenty from everybody else.

“I really didn’t think it would get this much coverage,” he said. “My email inbox is flooded. My cell phone won’t stop ringing. I’m pretty sure my secretary is ready for this to be over, but it’s all part of the process.”

Turkeys and a Golden Egg

November 23rd, 2010 1 comment

Apologies for the neglect over the past 10 days. Jury duty that took longer than we had planned to get excused from and a trip to Laurel to check on the progress of the latest Choctaw casino put quite a kink in our regular blogging schedule.

The Mississippi Business Journal goes to press today, and we’ll take the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving. We have some pretty good stuff planned for the next couple of weeks. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy putting it together.

Until then, may your table be covered with only the finest holiday fare and may the Rebels lay a whoopin’ on the Bulldogs.

Be safe, be cool and be stuffed. Happy Thanksgiving from Magnolia Marketplace.