PHS Needs to Offer School Merchandise for All


Lillianna Hebert, PaperClip Staff/Writer

It has become increasingly common for high schools to sell merchandise related to their sports teams. This can include everything from football t-shirts and lacrosse team hats to field hockey water bottles and tennis team keychains. The money the teams would raise could go towards new warmups, uniforms, the team banquet, and team backpacks.

While this may seem like a harmless way to support the school’s athletic programs, there are several reasons why high schools should not rely solely on sports-related merchandise for fundraising.

Focusing too heavily on athletics can create an unequal distribution of resources within the school. If high schools are putting all their energy into selling sports merchandise, they take the risk of creating an unhealthy divide between sports, clubs, and other organizations within the school. Think about the robotics team, theater, choir, and band, not to mention journalism. 

School spirit is more than just wearing school colors or attending games. It is a feeling of pride and belonging that comes from being part of a community. Portsmouth High School has a strong student section at games; however, it would be nice to have a merchandise store in the school to help fund more school activities such as field trips, dances, pep rallies, and more. 

Currently, students and staff that don’t participate in sports have to purchase Portsmouth merchandise at Walmart or Rite Aid. Why shouldn’t we invest in our schools instead of large corporations? 

While the class of 2025 Student Council is hosting a Clipper Pride fundraiser by selling long and short sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, and pajama pants online, this still doesn’t help reach a wider audience. The money the class raises goes towards their class gift, junior and senior prom, and class activities. This is a step in the right direction to offer merchandise for other students and staff, but it’s still not enough. 

If PHS had a school store, the most popular merchandise students would like to see, and that would be inclusive to all, would be PHS Pride Sweatshirts, t-shirts, and sweatpants merch. If a teacher assigned specific school supplies, the PHS school store could have the students covered. 

Other local high schools, such as Exeter High School, offer merchandise to all students on their online school store. They have thousands of custom Exeter High School Blue Hawks t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, jerseys, bags, backpacks, and other accessories on their site. You are able to personalize any product by choosing colors, text, and even a design. 

PHS offers Introduction to Business and Marketing classes. Perhaps these courses could give students a unique opportunity to work hands-on in the business and the workforce, by taking turns running the school store while providing PHS merchandise for all. 

While there is no problem with high schools selling merchandise related to their sports teams, it is important to consider the broader suggestions of this trend. By prioritizing athletics over other programs and activities, schools risk sending harmful messages about creating an unequal distribution of resources and reinforcing a sports-centric culture that may not benefit all students equally. 



Steele, Greyson. “A student-run business at Lakeview High School is gaining national attention.” Battle Creek Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2023,

“Exeter High School Blue Hawks.” Spirit Shop,