Alabama wins first Operation Hat Trick Excellence in Service Award

HAMPTON, N.H. and ATLANTA, May 17, 2016 – Operation Hat Trick, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans, has recognized the University of Alabama’s outstanding efforts in generating awareness and support for veterans by presenting the school with its first Excellence in Service Award. In addition to the award, Operation Hat Trick will make a donation to the Alabama Marines Foundation on behalf of the University. www.alamarinesfoundation.org

Operation Hat Trick (OHT) donates a portion of each sale of OHT branded merchandise to those selected organizations that support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. Alabama has demonstrated its commitment to supporting veterans by generating sales of branded merchandise and promoting Operation Hat Trick at sporting events and through its social media channels.

Operation Hat Trick Founder and President Dot Sheehan presented the Excellence in Service Award to University of Alabama Licensing Director Cole Price on May 17 at the Collegiate Licensing Company Annual Seminar in Atlanta.

Alabama prominently displayed OHT merchandise and products in its retail locations and encouraged retailers who carry Alabama merchandise to do the same. It promoted OHT to its one million social media followers and made video board and PA announcements at athletic events that reached more than 150,000 fans per game. Combined, its efforts generated thousands of dollars to help veterans recover from the visible and invisible injuries suffered in combat.

“Our motto is ‘They promised to defend. We promise to support,’ and the University of Alabama has exemplified that dedication to remembering the sacrifices our country’s veterans have made,” Sheehan said. “The combination of the love of your country along with the love of your university is a powerful one, and one that is highly supported.”

Alabama was chosen from a pool of four finalists, which included the University of South Carolina, Fresno State and Michigan State. The finalists were chosen based on their efforts to fully integrate OHT on their campuses through a presence in their bookstores and other retail outlets; promoting veterans’ causes through their social media properties, and helping to generate significant revenues on a consistent basis.

Operation Hat Trick is dedicated Nate Hardy and Mike Koch, two Navy SEALs who were killed in Iraq in 2008. OHT supports the recovery of wounded service members and veterans who suffer from the visible and invisible wounds of war and move past the traumas of battle so they can focus on their lives and families.

Through the sale of branded merchandise and member donations, Operation Hat Trick donations have helped dozens of organizations that provide direct services and support to wounded service members and veterans. They include: Project Sanctuary, The Yellow Ribbon Fund, Easter Seals/Veterans Count, the Navy SEAL Foundation Semper Fi Fund, the Yellow Ribbon Fund, the Warrior Bonfire Project, Liberty House, Ironstone Farm, Mac-v Veterans Alliance, Homes for Our Troops, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The non-profit organization has partnered with more than 300 universities and colleges, 130 high schools, 21 National Hockey League teams, NASCAR, more than 70 Minor League Baseball teams, and over 50 companies.

About the University of Alabama
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians. For more information please visit www.ua.edu.

About The Collegiate Licensing Company
The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the trademark licensing affiliate company of IMG College, has been the leader in connecting passionate college fans to their favorite college brands for more than three decades. CLC represents nearly 200 of the nation’s top colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, the Heisman Trophy, and the NCAA. The collegiate partners that entrust CLC to protect, promote, and grow their brands comprise nearly 80% of the $4.6 billion retail market for collegiate licensed merchandise. For more information please visit www.clc.com.

About Operation Hat Trick
OHT generates awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded service members and veterans. OHT pursues these goals through the sale of OHT branded merchandise, proceeds of which are distributed to selected organizations supporting the OHT mission.

For more information, to make a donation on line or to purchase OHT apparel and merchandise, visit www.operationhattrick.org. 47 Brand (www.47brand.com) and The Collegiate Licensing Company (www.clc.com) are the exclusive headwear and licensing partners of Operation Hat Trick.