Holy badgers! Target did what with a University of Minnesota onesie?
If I had an infant at home, I’d want one. That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the news that Target, based in Minneapolis, was selling a onesie in the University of Minnesota’s maroon and gold colors with the name Minnesota Badgers emblazoned on the front. My desire to purchase this item has nothing to do with being a fan of the Big 10 Conference. (Strictly a Big East guy here.) It has to do with a funny, head-scratching move by Target. Read on.
As everyone from Minnesota (AKA The North Star State, The Gopher State, the Land of 10,000 Lakes and The Bread and Butter State) is aware, the school’s sports teams are known as the Golden Gophers. The Badgers (predators of gophers in the wild, I assume) is the name given to the Big Ten rival University of Wisconsin’s team. Wisconsin is primarily known as The Badger State even if it is probably more well known for its dairy products.
So, how could a Minnesota Badgers onesie find its way to four stores in Minneapolis from a retail chain with its headquarters in The Gopher State? That question has not been answered yet, but Target issued a statement to all the “Uff da” responses it was getting to this merchandising mishap.
“Color us red. As a Minnesota-based company, we know we are home to the Gophers,” the statement read. “We’ve worked with our vendor to remove this item and apologize to any sports fans who might have been left scratching their head.”
Target has told media outlets that 24 of the onesies made their way to shelves in four stores in the Twin Cities area. Two were purchased. The rest were removed from the stores on Monday and sent back to the vendor.
- Target apologizes after putting ‘Minnesota Badgers’ onesies up for sale – Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com
- Target apologizes for printing a batch of ‘Minnesota Badgers’ onesies – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Target apologizes for selling ‘Minnesota Badgers’ onesies in Minneapolis stores – CBS Sports
- ‘Color us red’: Target sorry for ‘Minnesota Badgers’ onesie – The Associated Press
- Ask a Norwegian Teacher – What does uff da mean? – YouTube
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are typical best practice responses for retailers and brands when mistakes like Target’s Minnesota Badgers onesie mishaps occur? Are there any unconventional responses that would have worked in Target’s favor in this instance?