SBD/January 30, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Texas A&M, Seahawks Looking At Social Media In "12th Man" Licensing Deal Talks

Texas A&M interim VP/Marketing & Communications Shane Hinckley said that the school and the Seahawks "talk often and are already in discussions about the future" of their licensing agreement for the school's trademarked "12th Man" slogan, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Hairopolous notes the royalty is "subject to renegotiation after this contractual period," which ends in '16. Hinckley said that issues that "weren't commonplace" when the parties drew up the agreement in '06, such as "the use of Twitter and Instagram," are also expected to be discussed. The Seahawks as part of the deal are "not allowed to sell 12th Man merchandise" and the team is "limited on how it can use the trademark on promotional material, confined to a geographical territory that includes Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon and Utah." In addition, "specific rules for attribution to A&M are stated." The Seahawks paid A&M a lump sum of $100,000 and pay an annual royalty of $5,000" as part of the original five-year deal, with "an option for renewal that was picked up." A&M reps "typically take at least one trip to a Seahawks game a year" where they "shop local and stadium gift shops for violations and make sure A&M attributions are in place where required -- even if they’re in small print." Hinckley said, "We go as kind of a mystery shopper, so to speak, and enforce it up there quite a bit. They’ve been a good partner." He added that most of the trademark violations "come from third parties who try to profit from the use of the trademark with products or businesses" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/30).
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