The power of Gus Gorilla was on display in November of last year when Strategic Marketing Affiliates named Pittsburg State University as its 2012 New Institution of the Year.

The award, which is based on licensed merchandise sales, was presented during SMA’s annual conference in Indianapolis.

Pittsburg State has partnered with SMA to help protect and promote its licensed merchandise since November of 2010.

“We’re fortunate to have incredible fans, supportive vendors, a great partner in SMA and a brand that people want to showcase,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication. “Every split-face Gorilla you see is a vote of confidence in Pittsburg State University.”

Pittsburg State saw its merchandise sales increase by more than 200 percent during the 2011-12 academic year thanks, in part, to a combination of academic and athletic success.