12 Part Blog Description

Are you looking to learn as much as you can about the business of sports licensing? Then please read the 12 Part "An Insider's Guide to the World of Licensed Sports Products in 12 Parts: Practical Lessons from the Trenches" - all 12 parts of the blog can be found within this site. Click here to start with the Introduction.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Give me the NCAA scoop - what are the leading schools and who are the leading licensees?

Greeting folks!

This note is written by Scott Sillcox in early 2018 in response to a lot of readers asking me two questions:

A. You wrote and posted many of your blog postings several years ago, is the info still relevant today? Short answer - absolutely! The basics of sports licensing change very little over the years, so I strongly suggest that if you are trying to learn about sports licensing, read away! I have also tried to update certain areas where there have been significant changes, so I feel comfortable in telling you that this information is still highly relevant.

B. You mention that you are a consultant and might be able to help me, do you still do consulting? Short answer - absolutely. I work in the licensing field virtually every day of my life, so if you have questions or would like my help, contact me!

Many thanks and happy reading -
Scott Sillcox


Let's look at "NCAA" licensing a bit more.
Remember, in the grand scheme of things, there are effectively:
A. Five licensing bodies for NCAA schools/products
B. One licensing body for the actual NCAA

Let's not lose too much sleep over the companies which are licensed by the NCAA itself - I don't want to sound heavy handed but those licensees aren't doing a large volume of NCAA-related sales. What I want to do is focus in on the schools themselves. For the schools, the four licensing "bodies" are:

1. A company called Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) which represents 200-ish US colleges and universities.

2. A company called Licensing Resource Group (LRG) which represents another 200-ish other US colleges and universities.

3. A company called Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) which represents another 200-ish US colleges and universities.

4. A new company called Fermata College which represents a handful of major US colleges and universities.

5. For the other 2000-ish US college and universities that have chosen not be part of CLC or LRG or SMA or Fermata, the licensing is done directly by the school.

Now out of CLC and LRG and SMA and Fermata, CLC clearly has the lion's share of the market in terms of the highest sales volume schools - I don't know this for a fact but I think it would be safe to say that CLC would have 25 of the the Top 30 schools as measured by sales of licensed products and therefore royalties returned to the school (CLC does not represent Ohio State or USC, but represents most of the other biggies).

Elsewhere in my blog (Part 1 of the 12 Part Series) I have talked a fair bit about keeping things in perspective, and I'm going to ask you to play along vis a vis some NCAA perspective.

First of all - which is the #1 University in terms of sales of licensed product / royalties generated for the school? Hint: They have been 1st for the last six years.

And the answer is: The University of Texas at Austin, aka Texas.

Next question - what annual royalties did The University of Texas at Austin earn in the year July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011? Got a figure? Don't look below - just take a guess.

If you guessed $76.4 million, you are not correct. Nor are you right with a guess of $42.9 million. $24.3 million? Nope. How about a cool $16 million? Nope. The answer is Texas realized slightly more than $10.6 million in royalties from the sale of its merchandise over the July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 period (I hope you realize I ut those other numbers there in case you wanted to guess but inadvertantly glanced below for the answer).

My guess is that your guess was higher than $10.6 million - I'm thinking you might have guessed $20 or $30 or $40 million. But the truth of the matter is just that - the number one school in all of America generated a little more than $10,000,000 in annual royalties. That's a lot money of course, but not an ungodly sum. And that's really my point - keep things in perspective if you can . The number one school in America generates barely enough royalty revenue to pay a quality starting MLB pitcher's annual salary, or in NCAA terms, the half of all the licensing royalties earned by UT go to pay the salary of their head football coach. Yikes.

I also find it almost eery that the $10.6 million figure is VERY close to what each NFL team receives as their share of the sale of NFL licensed merchandise - in the NFL's case each team might be receiving approximately $9,000,000 each.

If the Texas figure really surprises you, you might want to read this blog where I try to describe in layperson's terms what's going on.

But the point of this blog isn't to put you through a quiz or embarrass you, what I wanted to do is share some of the CLC rankings in case it helps you make business decisions. Maybe you would like to become a collegiate licensee but it makes sense for you to partner up with an existing licensee - these lists can point out some potential partners. Or maybe you are trying to figure out what schools to pursue vis a vis licensing - in that case the school list might be a big help.

Thus please find three different rankings of CLC schools for the July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013 period (I updated this in the fall of 2013):
1. A listing of the Top 75 Schools in terms of royalties earned for the school
2. A listing of the Top 25 "Non-apparel" licensees (I might call these Hardlines Licensees). Non-apparel sales account for 30-40% of the total sales.
3. A listing of the Top 25 "Apparel" licensees (I might call these Softgoods Licensees). Apparel sales account for 60-70% of the total sales.

1. A listing of the Top 75 Schools in terms of royalties earned for the school (CLC schools only, 2012-13 period)
1. The University of Texas at Austin
2. The University of Alabama
3. University of Notre Dame
4. The University of Michigan
5. University of Kentucky
6. Louisiana State University
7. University of Florida
8. University of Georgia
9. University of North Carolina
10. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
11. The University of Oklahoma
12. Texas A&M University
13. University of Wisconsin
14. University of Nebraska
15. University of Tennessee
16. University of South Carolina
17. West Virginia University
18. Auburn University
19. The Pennsylvania State University
20. University of Missouri
21. Florida State University
22. The University of Kansas
23. Oklahoma State University
24. Clemson University
25. University of Louisville
26. Texas Tech University
27. Virginia Tech
28. University of Illinois
29. The University of Arizona
30. Arizona State University
31. Syracuse University
32. UCLA
33. University of Washington
34. Duke University
35. Purdue University
36. University of Utah
37. University of Miami
38. Boise State University
39. Oregon State University
40. University of Minnesota
41. University of California, Berkeley
42. Stanford University
43. Washington State University
44. The University of Mississippi
45. University of Maryland
46. Texas Christian University
47. The University of Virginia
48. University of Cincinnati
49. Brigham Young University
50. University of Colorado
51. Georgia Institute of Technology
52. University of Pittsburgh
53. University of Connecticut
54. East Carolina University
55. University of Montana
56. Boston College
57. State University of New Jersey
58. Vanderbilt University
59. Georgetown University
60. U.S. Military Academy
61. University of Central Florida
62. University of Wyoming
63. University of South Florida
64. University of Nevada
65. University of New Mexico
66. The University of Memphis
67. Northwestern University
68. Texas State University- San Marcos
69. Fresno State
70. Louisiana at Lafayette
71. Colorado State University
72. Marshall University
73. Gonzaga University
74. James Madison University
75. Montana State University

A listing of the Top 25 "Non-apparel" licensees (CLC schools only, 2012-13 period)
1. EA Sports
2. Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
3. The Northwest Company LLC
4. Teams Beans
5. Commemorative Brands Inc. dba Balfour
6. Tervis Tumbler Company
7. Logo Chiar Inc.
8. Fabrique Innovations Inc.dba Sykel
9. Wincraft Inc.
10. Herff Jones Inc.
11. Jenkins Enterprises
12. Rico Industries/ Tag Express
13. Evergreen Enterprises of Virginia LLC
14. Upper Deck Company Inc.
15. Rawling Sporting Goods
16. Renaissance Imports
17. Jostens Inc.
18. Spirit Products Ltd./MA
19. Concept One Accessories
20. Thirty-One Gifts LLC
21. Russell Stover Candies
22. Scentsy Inc.
23. Boelter Brands LLC
24. The Memory Company
25. Stockdale

A listing of the Top 25 "Apparel" licensees (CLC schools only, 2012-13 period)
1. NIKE USA Inc.
2. Knights Apparel Inc.
3. Gear for Sports
4. Sports Licensed Division of the adidas Group
5. Top of the World
6. Colosseum Athletics Corporation
7. Outerstuff Ltd.
8. Twins Enterprise Inc.
9. College Concepts LLC
10. VF Imagewear Inc. (Section by Majestic)
11. Haddad Brands
12. Russell Brands LLC
13. J. America
14. 5th & Ocean Clothing LLC
15. MJ Soffe LLC
16. JanSport division of VF Outdoor Inc.
17. Lakeshirts Inc. dba Blue 84
18. T-Shirt International Inc.
19. New Era Cap Co. Inc.
20. Columbia Sportswear
21. New Agenda
22. Tailgate Clothing Co. dba T-University
23. New World Graphics
24. Cutter & Buck
25. Zephyr Graf-X

Here also is six years of the same data - not too much changes from one year to the next, but there are larger numbers of changes over a six year period.

Please note: I update this information every year, so if you'd like a spreadsheet showing the latest CLC info compared to previous years, send me a quick email - ssillcox@rogers.com with the header "I'd like the latest CLC sales info spreadsheet".

If you want to look up some information on some or all of the licensees listed above, please note that we have launched a terrific, searchable Online Directory of 1500+ North American Licensed Sports Products Companies - it’s called LicensedSports.net and it can be found at that same address and costs just $59 to use for three months. This is a highly searchable directory of licensed sports products companies in North America, companies that have been licensed by various sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, MLS, Nascar, NFLPA, MLBPA, NHLPA and others). There is nothing on the internet that comes close to this resource, and I update the database weekly, sometimes daily. So please take advantage of this resource and "Search Away". If you're not sure if this database would be worth the investment, check out this 3 minute video that gives you a sense of what to expect.

I'm here to help, so if you have any sports product licensing questions, please contact me. And please note that I am a consultant to existing licensees and entrepreneurs wishing to become licensees. I am a good listener and I'd love to help if I can.


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Thank you for taking the time to add a comment - all input is welcome, especially the constructive kind! All the best - Scott