SBJ/June 4 - 10, 2007/This Weeks News

CLC will operate within new IMG college division

IMG has quietly created a new division called IMG College Sports that’s intended to serve as an umbrella unit for the company’s future college ventures.

Vanderbilt is lining up with IMG’s Collegiate
Licensing after leaving in the 1990s.

IMG’s entry into college sports was announced last month when it acquired Collegiate Licensing Co., Atlanta, but it has not issued any announcements since then about the formation of this new division. Pat Battle, who is CLC’s president and the son of founder Bill Battle, also now carries the title of senior vice president of IMG College Sports. Pat Battle reports directly to George Pyne, president of IMG Sports and Entertainment.

It’s widely believed by college sports analysts that IMG will expand beyond college licensing, possibly into multimedia and broadcast rights.

In IMG’s announcement of the acquisition, it said that CLC would continue to operate as a freestanding unit of IMG Sports and Entertainment.

“CLC exists as a stand-alone entity within the division of IMG College Sports,” Pat Battle said. “IMG has said all along that this is a collegiate licensing play and that’s where we are. If anything were to happen down the road, it would fall under the unit of College Sports. But everything right now is just business as usual for CLC.”

VANDY SIGNS WITH CLC: Vanderbilt University has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with CLC, which now is the licensing agent for 11 of the 12 schools in the Southeastern Conference.

Vanderbilt’s licensing previously was handled by Licensing Resource Group, which is also the agent for Mississippi State, the only SEC school not with CLC.

Maggie Huckaba, Vanderbilt’s director of trademark licensing, said the school was drawn to the depth of CLC’s retailer relationships.

“We’re hopeful that moving back to CLC will help us increase royalties because we feel like we’re going to be given a lot more opportunities to do bigger promotions,” Huckaba said. “CLC works with a lot of the big retailers and department stores, and we really looked hard at those relationships.”

The Commodores were CLC clients from 1988 to ’98.

In addition to working with all but one SEC school, CLC also has the conference office as a client.

“There’s strength in numbers, so when we looked at all of the SEC schools that already were with CLC, that was a huge factor,” Huckaba said.

Vanderbilt’s deal with CLC takes effect July 1 of this year. Huckaba said that Vanderbilt’s agreement mostly was complete by the time IMG acquired CLC early last month, so it wasn’t a factor.

“We aim to elevate and expand Vanderbilt’s licensing presence,” Pat Battle said.

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