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Fighting Hawks merchandise release begins Saturday

Those wanting to sport apparel featuring UND's new Fighting Hawks logo don't have to wait much longer.

For the first time, merchandise with the school's new image will be available to the public Saturday.

To celebrate the new merchandise hitting the shelves, the university and the UND Bookstore have a day full of events and giveaways planned for those who come out to buy the new items at the bookstore.

"Any time you have a brand new image that you can get out there and get people to start wearing that apparel and making that available, that is a huge day," said UND spokesman Peter Johnson. "We've been looking forward to this for months and months, to be honest, even before we knew what the image was going to look like."

The first 500 people to come to the UND Bookstore, which opens at 9 a.m., will receive a commemorative hockey puck with the new logo on it and can sign up for drawings throughout the day for tailgating swag that includes a tote bag, grill set, blanket, hat, L&M Meats gift card, two UND football season tickets and a kids' bike featuring the Fighting Hawks logo.

There will also be entertainment throughout the day with fans able to see the men's hockey national championship trophy, bouncy houses, a UND women's soccer exhibition game at 2 p.m. and live entertainment from The Ska-Skank Redemption.

On sale Saturday will be various clothing items, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pants and polos, along with gift items such as pennants and signs.

The Fighting Hawks nickname, selected in a vote by university stakeholders in November, replaced UND's longtime Fighting Sioux name. That name was retired after the NCAA threatened sanctions.

UND unveiled its logo to a crowd of supporters June 22. The new graphic identity, designed by New York-based SME Inc., features a "determined hawk embedded in a Kelly green ND," along with a distinctive wordmark for the name "North Dakota Fighting Hawks."

Johnson said he knows it will take staunch supporters of the Fighting Sioux name time before they support the new name—or the new merchandise—but the university is excited to release the new apparel.

"Obviously there are some people who are going to take some time to come along, but there are a lot of people who are very excited to see what the new merchandise is going to look like and to start wearing it," Johnson said.

The night before the official release, fans can get a sneak peek at the items available at a free—but ticketed—Fighting Hawks runway fashion show at 7 p.m. Friday at the Gorecki Alumni Center. Those interested in attending should emailsusan.caraher@und.edu or und.upa@und.edu.

IF YOU GO:

What: Fighting Hawks runway fashion show

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Gorecki Alumni Center, 3501 University Ave.

Cost: Free, but ticketed

Info: Those interested in attending should email susan.caraher@und.edu orund.upa@und.edu.

What: Fighting Hawks retail launch party

When: Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday and continuing all day

Where: UND Bookstore, 775 Hamline St.

Info: 9 a.m., UND Bookstore opens. The first 500 to arrive will receive a commemorative Fighting Hawks hockey puck.

10 a.m., Fans can take photos with the men's hockey national championship trophy in the store. There will also be a tailgate pack drawing.

11 a.m. to noon—Hockey, basketball and volleyball student-athletes will be signing autographs.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Kids' activities, tailgate pack drawing, tailgating games with prize drawings and food vendors.

2 p.m.—Kids' bike drawing, UND women's soccer plays University of Manitoba, followed by live entertainment featuring The Ska-Skank Redemption.

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