CLC and NCAA Partner to Protect Trademarks at the 2014 Men's Final Four

Thursday, April 03, 2014

ATLANTA, Ga., (April 3, 2014) – As teams prepare for the upcoming Men’s Final Four games this weekend, the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the trademark licensing affiliate of IMG College, in close coordination with the NCAA, is making preparations to clear the marketplace of potential counterfeit and unlicensed merchandise.
 
CLC, the exclusive trademark licensing agent for the NCAA, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of Kentucky and the University of Wisconsin, will work closely with Dallas and Arlington officials as well as Homeland Security Investigations to patrol the area in search of counterfeit merchandise and any other unauthorized use of trademarks owned by the NCAA and the participating institutions. All counterfeit merchandise is subject to seizure.
 
It is estimated that retail sales of licensed merchandise during the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship exceeds $10 million, making the tournament a large target for counterfeiters. Royalties generated from the sale of “Officially Licensed Collegiate Products” go back to the NCAA and the participating universities to support scholarships and other vital programs and initiatives.
 
“Our goal is to make the Men’s Final Four a positive experience for the fans and consumers by helping to protect the brands of our client institutions,” said Bruce Siegal, CLC’s senior vice president and general counsel. “By teaming with area law enforcement in North Texas, we are able to aggressively cover the venue and event areas, stop bootleggers, and ensure that customers are not taken advantage of by merchants selling inferior and counterfeit products.”
 
“Thousands of fans will come to North Texas to celebrate the NCAA Final Four weekend, and we want them to have a safe and positive experience at all of the NCAA’s events, as well as peace of mind when purchasing souvenirs and merchandise,” said Keith Martin, NCAA managing director of marketing and broadcast alliances. “We work with the Collegiate Licensing Company and law enforcement at our championships to protect our brand and provide a safe and orderly environment for the fans who come to support NCAA student-athletes.”
 
On average, 1,000 or more pieces of counterfeit collegiate merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to hats, are seized outside the host venue of the Men’s Final Four each year.
 
When purchasing NCAA Final Four merchandise, consumers should look for the following identifiers to ensure that the merchandise they purchase is officially licensed:
 
·  All officially licensed merchandise should display the “Officially Licensed Collegiate Product” hologram somewhere on the product or hangtag.
 
·  The merchandise should depict the NCAA and participating universities’ marks in a tasteful manner, as neither the NCAA or the participating institutions approve distasteful designs. 
 
·  The tag on the garment should be intact. A torn or missing tag is evidence of a second-hand garment, one that probably would not meet the stringent quality standards put in place by the NCAA or the participating institutions. 
 
·  All merchandise should bear the name of the manufacturer somewhere on the product, either in the form of a hangtag, a neck label, or screen-printed directly on the garment.
 
·  All merchandise should have the appropriate trademark designations (i.e., TM,รข) next to a specific name or design.
 
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For more information, please contact:
Laurie Cannon
Manager, Communications
Collegiate Licensing Company
404-937-4106 or lcannon@clc.com

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit NCAA.org and NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Allstate, Amazon (Kindle), Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s), Unilever and UPS.
 
NCAA and Final Four are registered trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
 
About The Collegiate Licensing Company, LLC
CLC is a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG.  Founded in 1981, CLC is the oldest and largest collegiate trademark licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents more than 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy and the NCAA. The mission of CLC is to be the guiding force in collegiate trademark licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing licensing services of the highest quality to its member institutions, licensees, retailers and consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta, CLC is a full-service licensing representative, which employs a staff of more than 90 licensing professionals who provide full-service capabilities in brand protection, brand management, and brand development. For more information on CLC, visit: CLC.com or IMGCollege.com.