A South Korean Status Symbol

My first day in south Korea I spotted a man in full Yale regalia. I asked if he had gone to Yale. He said no. (Pic below; he asked that I not include his face. Rest assured: his hat also matched.)

My first week in south Korea I commenced a quest: to find and buy that man’s outfit. The quest took 12 hours and was very fun but did not arrive me at the desired outfit. (The store was sold out!) At least en route I purchased 4 mangoes.

My first month in South Korea I spotted more people wearing Yale regalia than wearing any other college. I counted. Here was the final score:

  • Yale: 16
  • All other colleges, summed: 23

I later learned that someone licensed the Yale brand and earned more than $7.6M in revenue from it in 2021. Fascinating. I’d love to do the same with other Ivies.

The data:

  • Yale: 16
  • Michigan (the state, not a university): 2
  • Millbury Basketball (a highschool): 1
  • Bailor: 1
  • Yonsei: 6.5
  • Cal: 1
  • Hongik: 4.5
  • Hong Kong University: 1
  • Unknown Local College: 1
  • Princeton: 1
  • Ewha Women’s University: 1
  • Cal State College: 1
  • Iowa (the state, not a university): 1
  • Polham Massachusetts (a city? Pelham?): 1
  • Korea University: 1
  • Stanford: 1
  • UCLA: 1
  • RSU (maybe Rogers State University? Unclear): 1

(I then performed the same count in Japan. The data there was: Yale, Michigan, Harvard, Harvard.)

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