Page 22-Sunday, December 10, 1978-The Michigan Daily
BUMPER TO BUMPER MICHIGANALIA:
The Michigan Daily-Sunday, Dec(
Stick ups prove highly profitable
RUSHING D NUMBER TWO IN NATION:
Trojan D suspect tc
By ERNIE DUNBAR
Three years ago, Gerry Zonca was just like any other fanatic Michigan fan,
collecting every type of Wolverine memorabilia he could lay his hands on.
But in 1976, with the help of some of'his college friends, Zonca made one of the
more profitable decisions of his life-he decided to enter the business of marketing
Michigan bumper stickers.,
Since that first sticker rolled off the press, Zonca has seen his business grow
from 5,000 sales in 1976 to his current figure of 50,000 for the 1978 season.
As bumper sticker salesmen go, Zonca ranks at the top of the business with 20
different varieties of Michigan football slogans.
NOW THAT Michigan is preparing for its third straight Rose Bowl
appearance, Zonca is cranking out a new set of stickers just in time for the Blue
faithful to slap one of his creations on their car, suitcase, or apartment wall.
"I wanted to find out, having gone to Michigan and studied marketing, if I
could go and land a product on my own having had no experience whatsoever with
it; and see if I could make a go of it in a big way," said Zonca, a Michigan
undergraduate from 1970-74 in engineering and business.
With that in mind, Zonca formed Michi-Graphics and became president,
designer, marketing manager, and distributor.
As a one man show he has established a lucrative enterprise which has
financed two previous Rose Bowl trips in 1972 and 1977 with money set aside to
attend the 1979 game.
"THE BIG THING is that not a lot of people know the market and they aren't
willing to dedicate their efforts analyzing it and servicing the area," said Zonca
who is a full time marketing rep for Coca-Cola in Detroit. "The key is to come out
with consistently nice designs that are basically conservative that are going to be
Out of the stock of 20 different stickers Zonca has designed, one of his
creations stands above all the rest as a big seller.
"The one that was the most popular was the one which said, 'Final U.P.I Poll:
1) Michigan 2) Sex 3) Ohio State.' I think I've sold about 8,000 of those."
"It's not such an art," said Zonca. "It just takes thinking what's going to go
Ai deal Christma sOGIfT
A large selection in
without being overbearing and what's going to by stylish. Most of the designing I
do right in my apartment."
ONE OF THE major factors in his success is the ability to saturate the Ann
Arbor market-something no one else has been able to accomplish.
"The other few people who have been marketing them in a small way to sell 50
or 100 here or there would just scatter them on the counters at retail outlets and
they'd get messy.
"I have mine in cardboard merchandising racks with four shelves. I got those
planted in all the stores. That's what really helped because it gives-them visibility
and its good organization for the shelves so they don't get sloppy.
"I wanted to get something which is basically conservative that has some type
of dignified style that would catch your eye."
EVEN THOUGH Zonca realizes a nice profit from his business, another reason
he's motivated to produce Michigan souvenirs is his pro-Wolverine attitude.
"I haven't missed more than two football games in eight years and I go to all
the basketball games. I always have 50-yard line seats for football and mid-court
blues for basketball through different connections. I don't care what it costs or
what it takes effort wise, I'm very close to Michigan.
"I live in Ann Arbor," said Zonca. "I wouldn't give up Ann Arbor for anything.
I'll be here till kingdom comes."
When asked whether he would be traveling to Pasadena for this year's Rose
Bowl, Zonca replied, "The main reason I want to go back to the Rose Bowl for the
third time is to see Leach play in his last game. I saw him play his first game
against Wisconsin and I'd kind of like to see him finish out his college career."
Selling a bumper sticker for each Ann Arbor resident, or 100,000 is Zonca's
next goal. But for right now, he's most satisfied when he pulls up to a stop light or
drives down the expressway and sees one of his stickers on the car in front of him.
"I guess you could call that success ," Zonca said. "It's a real ego
By GARY KICINSKI
Well folks, it's bowl time again.
We all know what that means, right?
Michigan, in all its ram-it-down-their-
throat philosophy, comes out on New
Year's and proceeds to try to run right
over its opponents.
Failing that, the Wolverines resort to
the aerial attack, which similarly
proves too little, too late.
Ah, but this is 1978, and hope springs
eternal. Surely by now Bo will have
realized that it takes more than a
powerful ground game to gain a bowl
game victory. Right?
Bo will get his chance to prove that he
has learned his lesson this year, when
he sends his Wolverines up against the
powerful Trojans of Southern Cal in the
65th Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
The third-ranked Trojans have such
an awesome rushing defense that the
Wolverines may be forced to the
airways by default. Southern Cal
currently totes the second best rushing
defense in the NCAA, relenting an
average of just 92 yards per game on
But even that may not be enough to
sway Bo, as more than anything else,
the Wolverines rely on the option
offense to put theirrpoints on the board.
Injuries sustained either during or
before the Ohio State game are
currently threatening the effectiveness
of Michigan's Rose Bowl backfield, but
all players are expected to recover by
All-American quarterback Rick
Leach pulled akhamstring muscle
against the Buckeyes in the second
quarter. and has rested the injured leg
for the last two weeks. Furthermore,
Schembechler expects injuries to
tailbacks Harlan Huckleby (knee),
Butch Woolfolk (knee) and Roosevelt
Smith (ankle) to heal in time, as well as
that to Russell Davis' wrist.
The Wolverines will need their health
as well as all the good fortune they can
muster against the Trojans' young but
quick defensive players. -
The Trojans are neither strong nor
very experienced, says USC defensive
co-ordinator Don Lindsey. "We don't
have great size. Our number one thing
is that our players are very intelligent.
I know it sounds like a cliche, but we
stress a team concept defensively."
Nose guard Rich Dimler, the Trojans'
biggest defensive player at 6-6, 255, has
been the club leader in tackles this year
with nearly 100. _"Rich is one of the
great defensive linemen in America,"
said USC coach John Robinson. "He's
strong, extremely aggressive,
intelligent, uses his hands well and
technically, he's excellent."
Dimler is flanked by a pair of
relatively small tackles, 6-0, 225 Ty
Sperling on the left side and 6-4, 245
Myron Lapka on the right. The two
players had identical stats following
nine games, each having made 52
tackles, seven for losses.
Another leading tackler is inside
linebacker Dennis Johnson, a 6-4, 230
junior from Flint Northwestern.
Johnson is second on the team in
tackles and the leader in deflected
But in spite of USC's high defensive
ranking, the Trojan coaches are hardly
unconcerned about Michigan's offense.
In fact, it is offenses like ,Michigan's
that give the
have great t
of offense i
still fared w
against the r
defense is ra
two or thr
bowls, but is
will have thi
more this y
they think th
over us, the
is so potent!
with a balan
we know ar
TIGHT END GENE JOHNSON (88) makes a diving attempt to catch a Rick Leach pass in last year's 56-0 whitewash of
Wisconsin. Johnson did manage to make three receptions for 52 yards and one touchdown.
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Bumper stickers, the ever popular form of expression from "'llonk If You Love
Broccoli" to "I Visited East Grand Forks, Minnesota" are currently big business
in this area. Gerry Zonca, a former Michigan student has gone on to bigger and
better things inventing, developing and marketing the stickers for Michi-Graphics,
a company he founded.
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