- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2005

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Many college athletes already wear patches on their jerseys, from American flags to conference logos.

Soon, Virginia teams could be sporting patches commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

Organizers for Jamestown 2007 said that nearly all of the state’s major colleges have expressed interest in the patches and that some college teams could be wearing the patches as early as January.

“Sports are an important part of people’s lives, and this is one other opportunity for us to remind people that there’s something important happening in Virginia in 2006 and 2007,” said Ross Richardson, a spokesman for Jamestown 2007.

The proposed Jamestown patch is a 2-inch-wide square with the “America’s 400th Anniversary” logo in blue, white and other colors.

Craig Littlepage, the University of Virginia’s athletic director, said he would prefer a smaller patch but that the school supports the idea. The patch could appear on nearly all of the Cavaliers’ uniforms in the 2006-2007 academic year, he said.

Lester Karlin, the head equipment manager for Virginia Tech athletics, suggested hanging Jamestown 2007 banners in stadiums or arenas would be a better way to advertise the 400th anniversary.

Mr. Karlin said he is worried about the patches leaving a mark on jerseys when they are removed at the end of 2007. He also questioned how visible patches or helmet decals would be to fans.

The plan for patches emerged recently as Jamestown 2007’s executive director, Jeanne Zeidler, also Williamsburg’s mayor, presented the state agency’s marketing plan to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Counting the investments of partners such as the Virginia Tourism Corp. and Colonial Williamsburg, the advertising outlay for “America’s 400th Anniversary” will total more than $20 million, with Jamestown 2007 contributing $2.25 million, Miss Zeidler said.

The agency has retained three major consulting firms to promote its 18-month series of events.

Organizers also hope to benefit from $45 million in worldwide advertising for “The New World,” a new movie about Jamestown.

The patch project was the idea of a volunteer at the Jamestown 2007 offices, Chuck Reusing.

Virginia colleges would be sold the patch at wholesale for $1.20 each, Mr. Richardson said.

Jamestown 2007 also has had a positive reaction to the patches from the Virginia High School League, he said.

“We’re getting to the point where you may start seeing these soon,” Mr. Richardson said.

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