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UConn Licensing Basks in Glow of Dual National Championships

May 09, 2014

Storrs, Conn. – University of Connecticut’s Licensing department is never a dull place. The school executed a full-on rebrand with Nike at the outset of the 2013 football season, and by the time the basketball nets were cut down in Dallas and Nashville, dual national championship merchandise proudly bearing the new Husky logo was furiously being manufactured and shipped.
In fact, in a five-day stretch from March 31 to April, 4 UConn and its licensing partner, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), reviewed 659 pieces of artwork for product. From the wider perspective of March Madness (March 1 to April 4) and factoring in gear for the individual men and women’s titles as well as dual Champion’s merchandise, there were 1,121 approvals, according to Kyle Muncy, assistant athletic director of trademark licensing and branding.
UConn is familiar with the frenetic excitement of capitalizing on a national basketball championship “hot market.” The men’s team has won four titles in the past 15 years, while UConn’s women are unsurpassed in college basketball history with a record nine championships. This year’s pair of title victories came a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the dual championship feat.
“We are familiar with what it’s like to be national champions, but this year is comparing very favorably in sales, with the dual logo really driving everything,” Muncy said.
Also factoring into strong sales is the unexpected brilliance of a men’s team that didn’t even qualify for last year’s tournament. Additionally, technology advances now make it easier to get product out to consumers faster across a number of categories such as memorabilia.
For example, within 15 minutes after each title win, Fantatics had more than 350 products bearing the Championship logo available, Muncy said. Wincraft was stocking dual-champions product in the UConn bookstore a day and half following the women’s win over Notre Dame to go 40-0. That meant pennants, bumper stickers, decals and flags were also on sale for the Victory parade through Hartford.
All 13 Bob’s Stores in Connecticut had rushed in more than 100 different pieces of dual champions’ product from their local screen printer, selling out within a day. Meantime, Fanatics also reported that the Dual Champions product – its logo designed by CLC – was UConn’s top seller.
Major championship licensees included Boelter Brands, Box Seat Clothing Co., Champion Custom Products, Fathead, Fanatics, Gear for Sports, Highland Mint, Nike, Mounted Memories, Rawlings, WWRD (Waterford Crystal), and Wincraft.
CLC, the licensing affiliate of IMG College, has represented UConn’s licensing program since 1986.