Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 23

Figure 1

Retail Sales of Collegiate
Licensed Merchandise
(U.S. and Canada, 2010-2014)

2014

$3.4 billion

2013

$3.4 billion

2012

$3.3 billion

2011

$3.3 billion

2010

$3.1 billion

Source: The Licensing Letter

The CLC offers a number of promotions to extend its licensing business to nearly
year-round status, starting with College Colors Day to kick off football season.

Note: Numbers are rounded

supply and demand issues," says John
Staton, president of loungewear maker
College Concepts. "There's too much
product out there, and that drives down
price points. Licensors are working to
reduce the supply and once they do, we'll
see our collegiate business grow."
Ten years ago, a school could bask in
a sea of licensees and have nothing to
worry about, says Derek Eiler, co-founder
of Fermata Partners. However, modern
times have spurred a new approach to the
business. "The industry has matured to
the point where a major U.S. university
can generate $3 million to $10 million in
annual revenues," he says. "So the stakes
involved are very high. The schools realize
they have to start managing themselves
as a brand instead of a commodity-based
licensing program."
Leading schools are starting to consolidate their apparel programs under one
licensee, much like professional sports
leagues have been doing for years. In October 2015, the University of Texas reportedly extended its footwear and apparel
relationship with Nike in a 15-year deal
valued at $250 million. The University
of Michigan scored $169 million during
a 10-year span when it switched from
adidas to Nike this past July.
One ramification of this trend is an
uptick in royalty rates, especially for exclusives. Eiler estimates that the average
collegiate royalty was probably in the
7%-9% range a decade ago, vs. an averSportsFan Retailer

age closer to 14% today, with some deals
as high as 20%.
Ohio State consolidated its wearables
business with J. America and Fanatics in
2012. "It has led to an increased royalty
rate, and maybe higher prices," says Rick
Van Brimmer, the university's director of
trademarks and licensing services. "But
we were always underpriced compared
to the leagues. I never understood that
because it's just about a higher royalty
rate and not the commensurate value."
Van Brimmer acknowledges deals such
as Ohio State's are a big change. "Our industry has always been open to a lot of
startups and entrepreneurs," he says. "A
company with a good idea could apply
and launch off the Ohio State brand. But
there was some negative effect to that."
He says Ohio State now has more control of its brand and can differentiate
among retail channels and develop strategic product placements. "We no longer
have our own licensees beating each other
up to get store presence. They were all calling on the same accounts and that wasn't
to our benefit. It's becoming more and
more strategic, and more sophisticated."
While the trend is toward consolidation, smaller licensees with innovative
ideas still can get in the game. The University of Oregon launched the Oregon
Incubator to help entrepreneurs with
good non-apparel ideas get their products
to market. The program provides knowhow, fast-tracks the licensing agreement

and offers initial distribution in the six
university-owned Duck Stores.
CHANNEL MANAGEMENT
The leading universities sell through a
plethora of retailers, including college
bookstores and local mom-and-pop shops.
The two largest college bookstore operators, Follett and Barnes & Noble, collectively service nearly 1,800 locations. Jim Gardner, founder of sweater specialist Brüzer,
says 50% of his business occurs through
Fanatics, LIDS and sporting goods chain
Scheels All Sports, with the remaining
50% coming from 150 different customers,
including college bookstores.
Some collegiate licensors now are
controlling their retail distribution via
exclusives and team-specific e-commerce
sites, allowing them to reach their customers efficiently and improve margins.
"Schools are positioning themselves to
maximize the overall customer experience in the long term," Eiler explains.
Still, the campus local channel is growing, increasing nearly 9% for schools represented by the CLC in 2014, according to
Gary Dubiel, the company's vice president
of retail development.
Similar to professional sports, collegiate
licensing success is closely tied to athletic
performance, especially in football and
basketball. "We have 600,000 alumni who
love us beyond how our teams do," says
Van Brimmer, whose Ohio State Buckeyes are among the country's football
December 2015 23



Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015

Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015
Contents
For the Record
From the Show Director
Starters
First & 5
MVPs
The More Things Change …
Alumni Allegiance
Follow the Crowd
Sneak Peeking
Around the Leagues
Retailer Focus
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Cover2
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 1
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Contents
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 3
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - For the Record
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 5
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - From the Show Director
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 7
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Starters
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 9
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 10
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 11
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 12
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 13
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - First & 5
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 15
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - MVPs
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 17
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - The More Things Change …
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 19
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 20
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 21
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Alumni Allegiance
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 23
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 24
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 25
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Follow the Crowd
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 27
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 28
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 29
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Sneak Peeking
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 31
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 32
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 33
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 34
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 35
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 36
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 37
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Around the Leagues
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 39
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 40
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 41
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 42
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 43
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Retailer Focus
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 45
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 46
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 47
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - 48
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Cover3
Impressions - Sports Fan Retailer - December 2015 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016spring
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201601
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015spring
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