By Barry Janoff
October 20, 2014: With the college football season seeing teams nationwide in hot pursuit to land a berth in the first College Football Playoff, brands and marketers are angling for position to be front and center with fans, TV viewers and consumers as part of CFB's share in the $4.6 billion retail market for collegiate products.
To that end, the Collegiate Licensing Company, the licensing unit of IMG's IMG College, has signed a six-year deal to become the exclusive licensing agent for the CFP.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
CLC said it would "focus on protecting, managing and developing the new CFP brand and trademarks. CLC and CFP worked together "to identify best-in-class licensees in select product categories and channels of distribution to bring the highest quality products to consumers."
Forty total licensees have been selected to use the CFP trademarks, about a third of the licensees in the previous BCS system. The brands include adidas, 47 Brand, Cutter & Buck, Nike USA, Nike by Haddad Apparel Group, Under Armour by Gear for Sports, Fathead, Franklin Mint and Wilson Sporting Goods. (See full list below.)
CLC will provide merchandising and licensing opportunities to college fans around the playoff semifinal events, which rotate among the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose, and Sugar bowls; and the national championship game, which will be played in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2015, and shown on ESPN.
CLC currently represents nearly 200 collegiate institutions and also represents 28 bowl games. CLC is already the official licensing agent for five of the six bowl properties participating in the new College Football Playoff rotation: the Rose Bowl Game, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Peach Bowl.
CLC also said it would "utilize its established enforcement network to stop counterfeiters who manufacture and sell unlicensed goods at the high-profile championships and bowl games."
“We are entrusting CLC to help build the College Football Playoff brand while also protecting our trademark rights at what will be the marquee event for our sport,” Bill Hancock, executive director for the College Football Playoff, said in a statement. “We have tremendous confidence that CLC is the right company at the right time for this important responsibility to enhance, protect and preserve the integrity of the brand of this exciting new event.”
All licensing revenue generated from CFP merchandise sales will be donated to Extra Yard for Teachers, the College Football Playoff’s initiative that "empowers teachers and students by providing resources, support and program development to positively affect students’ education in K-through-12 classrooms in the communities that will host the College Football Playoff National Championship. (Details here.)
According to Cory Moss, CLC’s svp and managing director, “The College Football Playoff has the potential to be the biggest event in the history of college sports. CLC is partnering with a true leader in the sport’s growth and evolution at a time when there’s vast potential for this new brand. We will draw on our full range of resources and expertise to capitalize on the attention and buzz of the College Football Playoff. CFP’s faith in CLC reinforces our position as the licensing company with the resources and experience to grow and protect the biggest and most iconic brands in college sports.”
The 40 best-in-class licensees selected to produce College Football Playoff branded merchandise for retail sale include:
adidas; Antigua; Box Seat Clothing Company; Captivating Headgear; Columbia by OCS; 47 Brand; Cutter & Buck; Game Change Apparel; G-III; Blue 84; Knights Apparel; New World Graphics; Nike USA; Nike by Haddad Apparel Group; Wildcat Retro Brands; Outerstuff; Sportsscarf; Top of the World; Under Armour by Gear for Sports; Zephyr Graf-X; Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas; Boelter Brands; B.S.I. Products; Highland Mint; Emblem Source; Fanatics Authentics; Fathead; Franklin Mint; Fremont Die Consumer Products; Hunter Manufacturing; Kolder Incorporated; Matthew Powell Creations; OYO Sportstoys Inc; ProGraphs; R.F.S.J. Inc; Rico Industries/Tag Express; Sewing Concepts; Team Beans; Wilson Sporting Goods; WinCraft.
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