ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – “One Albuquerque” has not only become Mayor Tim Keller’s go-to phrase for civic pride, but the phrase is also getting plastered on for sale merchandise that’s generating cash.
So how much is “One Albuquerque” bringing in and where are those funds going?
While some of it is going back to a special city fund, much of the cash from One Albuquerque merchandise sales is staying with local businesses.
The One Albuquerque effort launched about a year ago, first starting mainly as a city branding effort. Since then, the city has used the phrase to describe an “initiative” to get people engaged in city projects.
“It’s everything that the Keller Administration aims to do, everything that we hope our residents engage with, whether it be help to the housing fund, which is the number one priority right now, to opportunities for kids, in and out of school, to public safety and community policing,” said Carlos Contreras, director of innovation and marketing for Mayor Tim Keller.
The city has purchased billboards, banners at the Convention Center, signage at bus stops among other promotional merchandise for the effort. Meanwhile, local businesses have also been selling “One Albuquerque” t-shirts.
“The minute we heard they were doing t-shirts, we were on board,” said Mona Ghattas, owner of Duran’s Central Pharmacy in Old Town.
Duran’s is among eleven local, private businesses that have continued to sell “One Albuquerque” shirts over the last year.
“We’re very supportive of any efforts, to make Albuquerque better,” said Ghattas of the store’s choice to sell the shirts. “People are starting to have more pride in Albuquerque.”
Duran’s says it’s sold at least several dozen of the shirts, enough to place a second order for their shelves.
The city estimates that retailers have collectively ordered over 1,000 shirts to sell across the city.
“There’s been … anywhere between 12 and 15-hundred t-shirts that we’ve pushed into the hands of local retailers,” said Contreras.
Beyond local retailers, the city slogan is now being sold online. The website oneabqmerch.com launched around July 1, 2019. Since then, the city says the private company running the site has sold 39 t-shirts, nine polo shirts, three hats, five stickers and one growler.
In total, the online sales of One Albuquerque merchandise have generated around $1,300.
“I wouldn’t say it’s good or bad, I’d say it’s a starting point and we aim to like, increase that,” said Contreras.
So where does that money go? Of all the merchandise sold on oneabqmerch.com, 80% goes to the company printing the merchandise, which is the Albuquerque-based company “Screen Images.”
20% of the proceeds from online sales go to city’s homeless housing fund, which is sometimes referred to as the “One Albuquerque Housing Fund.”
“We’re aiming to work with the residents that are unsheltered and need our help the most,” said Contreras.
As for all the shirts and merch sold in local stores, the city doesn’t see any of that money. Contreras says the costs of the shirts sold by local businesses are entirely handled by the retailer selling them.
“The thought was if we push it into small business hands, maybe we can engage some civic pride, but also give small businesses a way to have a retail thing, a piece of merchandise they didn’t have to pay too much to create,” said Contreras.
While the city owns the rights to the One Albuquerque logo and slogan, right now they aren’t charging a “licensing fee” for its use.