SBD/November 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sale Of School-Branded Signature Scents Gaining Popularity Among Colleges

A school's colors, mascot and flora all serve as inspirations for their fragrance
More schools "smell opportunity in bottling a signature scent" in conjunction with N.Y.-based Masik Collegiate Fragrances, the "latest in a litany of products colleges are hawking under their brands to students, alumni and die-hard sports fans," according to a front-page piece by Campo-Flores & Rutland of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Masik Founder & CEO Katie Masich said that the company has "released fragrances" for six schools this fall, including Kentucky and Clemson, "bringing its total lineup to 17 colleges, with one more on the way." Whether the scents can "compete in a crowded U.S. fragrance market ... remains to be seen." Int'l Flavors & Fragrances VP/Global Marketing Matt Frost said the fragrances need to be "of high enough quality that people genuinely fall in love with the product." Frost: "You don't want to launch a product that ends up as a joke or a gag gift." Colleges "get royalty payments from sales of the fragrances, which cost about $40 for a 1.7-ounce bottle and are sold at campus bookstores, boutiques and some department stores." LSU Dir of Trademark Licensing Brian Hommel said that the school's revenue from the fragrance royalties "has amounted to just $5,500 over the past four years," but added that there is "a benefit to having the school's brand associated with a chic product." Maisch declined to release sales figures, but said the company is "very happy with the results and new distribution partners" of its collegiate fragrances, such as the Belk department-store chain. She added that the Alabama edition "has been an especially strong seller this year." To create a school's fragrance, Masik "visits the campus, tours its landmarks and studies its traditions." The school's colors, mascot and flora "all serve as inspirations" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/9).
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