Category Archives: Right-Hand Column

Entrepreneurship Thrives at UJ

The University of Jamestown football team is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2007 and school spirit is running rampant throughout campus. Tailgates set the tone before the game, an enthusiastic student section on the field cheers players on, and the team sings the school’s fight song after a hard-fought win. Of course, no great athletic program is complete without something for the fans to wear. UJ seniors Adam Lopata and Maxwell Enriquez were in the campus bookstore looking for something to represent the Jimmies and took matters into their own hands after being let down by the selection of Jimmie gear.

Lopata told me that the inspiration stemmed from the overwhelming number of bland options. He said “There’s not that many cool shirts around that are reasonably priced”, when looking for something to wear to support Jimmie sports teams. Lopata also cited the duo’s ability to come up with, and execute, creative designs as part of the reason they decided to take action. Elaborating on the origins of the business, Enriquez and Lopata said the name “Jimmie Mafia” is influenced by the Buffalo Bills fan base who goes by “Bills Mafia”. They aim to keep the trend of pop-culture references going with their future designs. “We’re trying to piggy-back off pop culture to build hype so that people will recognize the designs”, said Lopata when asked about future design plans.

The business partners said it has been smooth sailing to this point. Lopata told me that the main sources of marketing for the company have been creating a following on Instagram as well as word of mouth. They noted that being on a small campus helps news spread like wildfire. Additionally, there are plans to create more interest around the company by adding Jimmie Mafia sponsored athletes. Currently, football player Steven Justice and wrestler Ian Howell represent the Mafia.

Thanks to the quick growth of the company, demand has been high. In addition to selling at sporting events the Jimmie businessmen have been taking pre-orders. Plans for the future are not set in stone, but Lopata and Enriquez intend to keep the shirts coming and the money coming in. Catch Jimmie Mafia at the next UJ home football game selling shirts at the tailgate for between ten and fifteen dollars.

Bringing Back Orange Tide

For students who have arrived at the University of Jamestown post-Covid, this may be the first time you hear about Orange Tide. What exactly is Orange Tide? Orange Tide is a student-run organization that promotes the athletic events on campus and helps organize events within the event such as halftime events and games.

Women’s softball coach, Kevin Gall, had the vision to bring this organization back to life. “Orange Tide is about trying to get as many people to our events as possible. During Covid, we didn’t feel like it was worth the effort to try and get people to attend events when we were telling them to social distance at the same time.” But with restrictions lifted, Gall decided it was time to re-establish Orange Tide and get students involved again.

Orange Tide is looking for students who are outgoing and not afraid to get up in front of people and show their Jimmie Pride. It doesn’t matter if they are an athlete or not. Orange Tide’s current featured event is “CHASE THE ACE”. It only takes $1 to enter for a chance to win the jackpot! This game will be found at many of UJ’s sporting events throughout the year. Keep an eye out for the big black box!

If you are a sports enthusiast or you are just looking to be more involved in athletics on campus, join the Orange Tide! Contact Kevin Gall at kgall@uj.edu or any member of the Orange Tide (Paige Erhardt, Briana Perry, Sadie Meissner, Damian Otero, Jermaine Collier, Brady Higgs, and Carlos Julian) to find out how you can get involved.