UF specialty plates trounce FSU
Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 11:13 p.m.
The University of Florida can now tout one more victory over in-state rival Florida State University.
UF specialty license plates sold:
Other 2007 specialty license plates sold:
Protect the Panther: 82,349
Source: Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
UF specialty license plates outsold FSU specialty tags - not to mention every other specialty license plate in Florida - by thousands last year, according to the Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
More than 105,000 UF specialty plates were sold in 2007, with 36,716 first-time buyers and 68,645 renewals.
That's 20,000 more than the second-highest selling plate, "Protect the Panther," and 30,000 more than the FSU specialty place, according to the agency.
Division spokeswoman Ann Nucatola said it's the second year in a row UF has been the top-selling specialty license plate in Florida.
It was the third-highest selling plate in 2005 and 2004, and the fourth in 2003.
Dan Williams, UF's director of marketing, attributed the increase in sales at least in part to UF's athletic successes over the past few years.
He said new advertising campaigns spotlighting the tags, which UF has offered since 1987, also likely helped boost sales.
Williams said the No. 1 sales ranking marks a success for the school's Gator Nation marketing campaign. The UF specialty plate was redesigned in 2007 with a Gator Nation theme.
"We've done a number of things that contribute to the popularity of the plates, but I think it's mainly just the fact that Gators have a lot of pride in their school," Williams said. "I think the simple fact that someone would go to the trouble of spending $25 to represent that pride on their vehicle is indicative of that."
The extra $25 charge to buy or renew the specialty UF plates goes directly to UF, Williams said. Last year's license plate sales brought in $2,634,025, according to a UF news release.
Williams said 60 percent of the money will go toward scholarships, and 40 percent to the university's general fundraising operations.
Amy Reinink can be reached at 352-374-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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