School Ties: How Jewelry Retailers Are Teaming Up With Colleges

Rick Antona, the owner of Uptown Diamond in Houston, ­expects to see revenue double in the next year, and he attributes the spike to his role as the official jeweler for the University of Texas. For the next five years, the store will design and craft championship rings, money clips, necklaces, cuff­links, and bracelets for all sports as well as the coveted T-Ring, awarded to every football letterman who graduates from UT. The contract with the University of Texas is a big win for Uptown Diamond, but it’s not the only way for a jeweler to partner with a college or university. Jewelry stores are engaging with schools in a variety of programs because marketing to a collegiate audience continues to pay off. The Big Presentation Let’s start with Uptown Diamond. To secure the exclusive contract, the store—along with three others—prepared a ­request for proposal (RFP) for the

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