SBD/July 22, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

EA Sports, CFP Not Discussing Licensing For College Football Game

College Football Playoff COO Michael Kelly yesterday said that EA Sports "had not yet inquired about licensing rights for the College Football Playoff to use in its video game," according to Dan Wolken of USA TODAY. Kelly said, "We haven't talked about what we'd license and what we wouldn't. Of course we'll license more typical merchandise, but we haven't gotten into (the video game issue). We haven't discussed if we'd even want to. On one hand it would be great, but with the issues at hand you just don't know." Wolken noted EA Sports' college football game will "pretty much continue just as before -- just without the NCAA name and logo." For EA Sports to "use the CFP name or logo, it would need to negotiate a licensing fee." But Kelly said that the new organization "isn't far enough along to make that decision yet." Collegiate Licensing Co. has been the licensing agent for the BCS, but Kelly said that a new bidding process "will begin this fall for those rights." Until the CFP chooses a licensing company, Kelly said that it "wouldn't engage EA Sports on any of those discussions" (USATODAY.com, 7/21).

FINANCIAL AID: Wolken cited several players at ACC media days in Greensboro as saying that they were "generally supportive of the idea that college athletes should receive some financial benefit beyond their scholarship." Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas said, "I think we could definitely use it. The way the NCAA is now, we're kind of in the limelight a lot and they can use whatever (images) they want of us. Obviously it would help us out." Meanwhile, ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that it was "'impossible' to project what kind of ramifications losing the O'Bannon case might have on the ACC and its member schools" (USATODAY.com, 7/21). Swofford: "I don’t think anybody really knows where that will ultimately end up. That’s more for the NCAA to speak to. Obviously it could have significant implications but who knows where it ends up. That’s something we’re going to have to keep our eye on and watch" (ESPN.com, 7/21).

JOINING THE LAWSUIT: Univ. of Arizona LB Jake Fischer said he decided to join the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA for the "future well-being, safety (and) health of student-athletes." Fischer: "Obviously, we won't be in college when the case is done, but we're just looking out for our teammates right now and for future athletes all over the country." UA K Jake Smith said he joined the lawsuit because of the "money and the fact that the revenue that's generated is so vast." Smith: "The players and the people that basically drive the engine that is the NCAA and drives such large revenues don't really see a dime of it. It's not the fact that I think players should necessarily be paid, but I think we have a value and we're the only class of citizens in the country that can't capitalize on your value when it's at your highest. Where do we get our value, where do we get compensated for our fair value when we drive such a large engine?" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN2, 7/19).
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