PROVO -- The Provo Rooftop Concert Series held the first Friday of each month has a popular sponsor with an unexpected product that is bringing notoriety not only to the concerts, but to the city.
The sponsor -- Provo City and Provo City Economic Development.
The product -- one-of-a-kind hipster "Signature Series #provorocks" T-shirts that promote Provo or things found in the city.
Popular designs include Sasquatch wearing a Provo Believes T-shirt, a PROVOCITY BRO tank top featuring a hippo, and the mayor's favorite, a Zebra wearing yellow-shaded sunglasses, a gray jean jacket with a yellow-and-gray checked sweater and a gray striped scarf.
A design team made up of city employees meets each Thursday to discuss non-governmental branding ideas for social media, videos, etc. The T-shirts are an outcropping of that and have been budgeted through the economic development office, with help from the police and fire departments.
The team includes Corey Norman, deputy mayor/public information officer; Whitney Booth, community outreach; Brian Nye, creative team; Nick Ludlow, creative team; Nathan Murray, economic development; Heather Reid, Covey Center; and Becky Baker, media services manager/Channel 17.
While the team creates the ideas, it is Nye who draws the designs. Having an in-house artist has been a bonus, Norman said.
"We wanted to come up with something that would promote Provo, but could be worn all the time," Norman said. "We got both. It's an opportunity to showcase the hip things of Provo."
Norman said this Friday's rooftop concert will be the last hurrah for this year's designs. The city has four new ones to hand out, including a bearded bull holding a Y Beard Card. One thousand T-shirts will be handed out at Friday's event.
"The T-shirts have exceeded all of our expectations," said Mayor John Curtis. "I would never have guessed that they would have been so successful spreading a positive and hip image for Provo."
Curtis said his office has received numerous email, telephone and text requests from inside and outside the state to purchase the shirts.
"They think I have the inside track on these shirts, but I don't," Curtis said. "Their limited collection is part of their beauty."
The shirts have become so popular that a Provo Rocks T-shirt Swap Facebook page has been developed for those seeking particular designs.
The shirt designs are meant to be unisex so either males or females would be comfortable wearing them, but nearly all the designs have a definite male bent to them. Norman said the animals are depicted without male or female parts and whether they are male or female is a non-issue.
They are so popular he said he has worn his just walking down the street and has been asked when they can be purchased.
The shirts cost about $4 to produce, depending on the design. There are specific designs for each concert. After they are handed out at a concert, the design is retired.
There are 18 designs in all, and Norman said they are contemplating doing a Provo Rocks shirt with a Christmas theme for the holidays.