Imagine that you're at a college sporting event, rooting for your Alma mater. Feeling nostalgic for your former school -- and wanting to finally replace your old college sweatshirt -- you make your way to the merchandise booth and purchase a new garment.
If you're like a lot of people across the nation, you've probably never considered the licensing behind the products found in college shops across the nation. You've probably thought even less about the organization that is allowing it to be made. For those who are interested though, keep reading because in today's post, we're going to take a look at merchandise licensing, particularly the licenses held by the NCAA.
For those who do not know, the NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, is an organization that helps registered schools promote intercollegiate sports. Because the organization has a recognizable name and a reputation to uphold, the NCAA wants to make sure that no one is using its name or logo without its permission. The organization also wants to make sure that all consumers are protected from faulty or fake merchandise that bears the NCAA logo. It's for these reasons that the NCAA has a merchandising licensing program.
If an individual or organization wants to sell NCAA merchandise, they must first procure a licensing agreement from the organization that will stipulate the terms of the license as well as how much will need to be paid in royalties. Failing to procure a licensing agreement prior to the sale of NCAA licensed merchandise can leave a person or organization open to litigation and liable for damages in the end.
Because licensing agreements are oftentimes filled with legal language that can be confusing to the average person, obtaining a lawyer before signing such an agreement is highly advised.
Source: Ncaa.org, "NCAA Licensing Program FAQs," Accessed May 19, 2015