Brew-Ha-Ha Over College-Themed "Fan Cans"

North Texas universities protest beer cans in school colors

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Thursday, Aug 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:30 AM CDT
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Brew-Ha-Ha Over College-Themed "Fan Cans"

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SMU and TCU don't want beer cans to feature their school colors.

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Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University are saying, "Thanks, but no thanks," to beer cans with school spirit.

The two schools are among several universities across the country asking Anheuser-Busch not to package beer cans bearing their school colors.

"We are going on record telling Anheuser-Busch we don’t want a fan can in SMU red or SMU blue," said Lori White, vice president of Student Affairs. "It’s exploitative and irresponsible for a beer company to use school spirit to sell beer."

A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch said the "fan cans" in 27 different color combinations are a fun way to kick off the start of football season.

Some SMU students said they don't necessarily see anything wrong with the idea.

"If you are at a football game and your face is painted, wearning the colors, why not be holding the beer with matching colors?" Rachel Orr said.

SMU officials say beer cans emblazoned with their school colors would undermine the efforts of a task force that was launched last year after several students died of drug and alcohol overdoses.

Ultimately, it’s up to wholesalers around the country whether or not they want to buy and distribute the fan cans in their local markets. Anheuser-Busch said roughly half are participating.

"Certain cans are not being made available in communities where organizations had asked us not to offer them," said Carol Clark, Anheuser-Busch vice president of corporate social responsibility.

SMU has not formally contacted Anheuser-Busch. TCU said it has and is demanding the company not package the product in purple and white.

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