SBJ/November 12-18, 2012/Colleges

West Virginia extends relationship with licensing agent CLC for 10 additional years

West Virginia University has struck a 10-year agreement for Collegiate Licensing Co. to continue as its licensing agent. This extends the trademark licensing relationship between the school and CLC, which started in July 2008.

The Mountaineers have consistently been one of CLC’s top-20 best-selling schools. According to CLC’s rankings of royalties paid, West Virginia ranked 17th nationally in fiscal 2012 and 16th in 2011. The school’s licensing royalties in fiscal 2012 totaled $3.5 million.

For the first quarter of 2012-13, which goes from July through September, West Virginia ranked 18th. Texas ranked first, followed by Alabama, Michigan, Kentucky and LSU (see chart).

CLC, an IMG College company, completed its licensing deal just as the school is in the homestretch of finding a multimedia rights partner.

West Virginia has handled its media and marketing rights in-house in the past but earlier this year put out a request for proposal, which drew interest from nine companies.

Seven remain contenders, including IMG College, Learfield Sports, Nelligan Sports, Front Row Marketing and CBS, as well as a West Virginia media company.

A partner is expected to be picked before the end of the year. West Virginia and Michigan State are the last of the major schools to handle their rights in-house. Michigan State has said it has no plans to outsource.

Rockbridge Sports Group is consulting with West Virginia.

On the ticketing front, four more schools have signed deals with IMG Learfield Ticketing Solutions: Arkansas, Auburn, North Carolina State and Oklahoma. That brings IMG Learfield’s total client list to 22 schools.
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