OT: The brand is strong...even in South America

Submitted by SBayBlue on January 26th, 2016 at 4:03 AM

I'm currently in Santiago, Chile for work and for some play. (No, not banished to Bolivia).

Today, while walking around town, I twice saw people wearing Michigan gear. One guy had on an authentic basketball jersey and when I said "Go Blue" to him, he gave me a funny look. I'm fluent in Spanish and after talking briefly with him, he is a fan of the Fab Five, which is why he wears the jersey. I also saw a girl with a Michigan sweatshirt and she appeared to be a local, although it wasn't licensed apparel. I saw no other college stuff today.

Santiago is 5275 miles from Ann Arbor. Pretty good distance.

It seems to me that the brand is still pretty strong if you see it at the other end of the world.

Anyone else seen Michigan apparel a long way from home? Where?



January 26th, 2016 at 4:13 AM ^

There used to be a dude in Amsterdam with a Michigan coat. But I'm pretty sure he had no idea what the logo on the coat was. He was certainly confused when I gave him a "go blue!" one day. (I also used to see a lot of White Sox baseball caps in Amsterdam. Their wearers never knew what the logo was. They just liked how it looked.)

I haven't seen any in Belgium, unless you count stuff on my family members, and I've even been to towns where the basketball team played back in 2010. 

I did see a guy wander by my window in an MSU hoodie once. First European sighting of MSU gear ever for me. Super gross.


January 26th, 2016 at 9:33 AM ^

When I did my study abroad in Italy, a lot of the Italian kids would wear Yankees hats....they honest-to-god thought it was a fashion company like Gucci or Prada. On more than one occasion I heard "I really like that 'NY' brand".

This was also at the height of the David Beckham craze and he used to wear that damn Yankees hat everywhere.


January 26th, 2016 at 4:37 AM ^

Saw a guy wearing a "Michigan" t-shirt today in San Clemente, CA.

Asked if it was just a shirt or if he went to school there. Turned out he got his law degree from Michigan.

Oaky, not that far away. But it's always good to share a "Go Blue"with a fellow Wolverine.

Monkey House

January 26th, 2016 at 4:56 AM ^

when I was an architect I did some work down there. Are you familiar with the soccer stadium? Just down the street I did the "Celinto Catayente Towers". next time you're up that way drop in and take a gander at it yourself.


January 26th, 2016 at 5:19 AM ^

I wore my beanie with just a block M on it all over Ireland 5 years ago. The owner of poppie's outside of powerscourt asked, "so yarr a wuhlvarrreeene then?"

Sir Guy

January 26th, 2016 at 5:33 AM ^

In India I once saw a Michigan shirt and an Ohio state shirt on the same day. It was way up in the mountains of Darjeeling. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.


January 26th, 2016 at 5:36 AM ^

I live out here (roughly 10,000 miles away) and see M gear every few weeks somewhere. Most bizarre was seeing the Block M and word Michigan across it (old logo style) on clothing in the window this women's fashon store called Supre in Rundle Mall... I'm not sure people realised that was a real place/university those models were advertising.

Other Andrew

January 28th, 2016 at 4:10 PM ^

I recall my first trip to some LatAm regional meetings in 2002, and my colleagues asked me "Hey Andrew, how is the Spanish going?" I said I was doing OK, but felt bad because I could not undersatnd our Chilean team member veyr well. They all laughed and said in near unison "He's Chilean, none of us can understand him!" Good for you to be able to manage it well!

Argentinean is definitely a unique challenge, but after living there I quickly came to love it. The y/ll is fun and the "vos" makes the verbs more aggresive which, though at first offputting, becomes simply spirited after a while.

Santa Clause

January 26th, 2016 at 6:15 AM ^

I lived in the deep south for quite some time. I never expected to see any UM gear whatsoever. As it turns out, a lot of people down there like Michigan and wear jerseys, sweatshirts, hats, etc... It feels nice when I can go into a grocery store and say Go Blue to somebody and they answer right back with another Go Blue.


January 26th, 2016 at 6:40 AM ^

Just came back from Colombo, Sri Lanka and from the car saw a pedestrian with a Michigan t-shirt. That's about 12,000 flight miles away. It's not unusual to see it on apparel across Asia, seen it from Ulan Batar to Borneo and about half the time there is some connection and half the time it's a fashion piece. Either way it's not bad. pretty much every trip there is at least one sighting.

msu or osu gear? on the incredibly rare (100 to one in favor of UM) occasions seen, it's usually osu and even then usually look like some lost castoff clothing one step from being converted to rags where the wearer looks clueless as to what it is.


January 26th, 2016 at 6:40 AM ^

I lived in England for a few years and I would see Michigan gear there from time to time, but while I was there New York Yankee hats were all the rage. I also saw some Michigan shirts in Italy but I am almost positive it was from an American family. American are really easy to spot abroad.

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