Washington State University custom license plates sales increased after the release of the all-crimson background on Monday, an Alumni Association spokesperson said.
Judson Preece, director of membership services for WSU Alumni Association, said a portion of the cost for each plate goes to a scholarship fund for students.
“More plates on the road increases the pool of available money and more students benefit,” he said.
Last year, people bought 14,309 WSU license plates, which resulted in $350,000 for students in the form of scholarships, he said.
“We thought a new design that screamed crimson and WSU would help put new plates on the road,” he said.
Laurel Jorgensen, manager at Washington State Vehicle and Vessel Licensing Office in Pullman, said by Wednesday about 300 people had purchased the new custom plate. That number does not include people who previously owned a WSU license plate and renewed it to purchase the new design, she said.
According to the Washington Department of Licensing website, the Collegiate Plate Bill of 1994 allowed the six public universities in the state to sell custom plates to benefit scholarship funds.
Since then, the number of WSU specialty plates sold is more than the amount of the other five state universities’ custom plates combined, Preece said.
He said there are 40 specialty plates available in Washington and the association wanted the new plate to stand out.
The old WSU specialty plates were set on the traditional Washington license plate background with a crimson Cougar logo on the right. The new plates have an all crimson background with silver lettering and WSU logo.
He said new design does not cost more than the previous license plate, but individuals should check with their local Department of Licensing for an exact amount because costs may vary between different cities or counties.
A committee of individuals from the WSU News Service, Media Marketing and Creative Services and the Alumni Association made a teaser video called “What’s on Your Plate?” featuring Butch T. Cougar, Preece said. The video was released two weeks ago and showed only a crimson corner of the new design.
The “WSU 01” license plate used in the advertisements is the plate number of President Elson S. Floyd, who granted the association the permission to use it, Preece said
News stations such as KING 5 and KOMO were all hand delivered sample plates for advertising purposes, he said.
“We created a great big buzz across the state at no expense,” he said.
Preece said the public’s response via email and WSU’s Facebook page has been