What started as a way to decorate my office became something more intriguing this summer. This past spring I decided to make my office look brighter and more collegiate. I began purchasing pennants during my spring and summer visits to college campuses as a way to share pride for those universities. As my collection developed I was struck by the vast cost differential of collegiate pennants.
Although all of the pennants were manufactured by the same company, Collegiate Pacific, the prices of the pennants ranged from just under $10 to over $20. I couldn’t figure out why there would be such a vast price range for standard 12”x30” felt pennants. I was shocked and also curious. What would I find when comparing these universities? With the help of our summer interns we put together a chart outlining the price of pennants at the top 100 universities, according to the 2011 US News and World Report rankings. What did we find?
The pennant index project revealed some surprising results. Whereas I had made a hypothesis that the caliber of the institution and its prominence on the US News rankings would determine pennant price, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Some of the most expensive pennants came from lower ranking institutions. There seems to be little correlation between ranking, tuition price, and pennant price. For this research, Columbia and Harvard were an incredible steal.