In the summer of 1989, Neil Rubenstein took a detour while on a family road trip. His two sons wanted to visit Ann Arbor to buy University of Michigan apparel, even though the city was out of their way. The side-trip made Neil realize that there were probably a lot of parents and fans in a similar situation?they wanted official apparel, but found the trek to college campuses difficult to make.
Within a year, Neil had solved the problem by founding Campus Colors. By contracting with the same companies that provided merchandise to schools, he could offer authentic items off-site. Today, Campus Colors has opened multiple Chicago-area locations stocking wares from more than 200 colleges and universities, as well as professional sports teams. The inventory includes hoodies, T-shirts, shorts, and more than 1,000 novelty items, such as bumper stickers and, presumably, real leprechauns.