10-year deal works to strengthen Longhorns’ brand position in retail market
AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas has approved a 10-year agreement with 289c Apparel as the master licensee for UT-Austin retail needs. With the assistance of Learfield Licensing Partners, the university assessed the prior licensing program and created a new and unique direction for the Texas brand prior to reaching this new deal. This new approach is similar to other unique undertakings of Texas Athletics like Longhorn Network and is intended to continue Texas’ traditional position atop the collegiate licensing ranks.
This new approach replaces the current deal with Collegiate Licensing Co. for UT-Austin and UT-El Paso, which ends June 30, 2016.
“Learfield Licensing Partners has been a proven top quality partner for 11 of the 13 UT System institutions that have licensing programs,” said Steve Patterson, Texas Men’s Athletics Director. “Because of that successful history, UT-Austin and UT-El Paso will also now be working with that group. The university went through a nearly year long process to see how we can best incorporate and support the university’s mission – What Starts Here Changes the World – through this innovative and new licensing structure. This agreement allows the university, Learfield Licensing Partners and 289c to work collaboratively to better leverage our internationally recognized brand, secure more control of our brand’s presentation at retail and deepen our supplier relationships. ”
The agreement with 289c was executed through the university’s licensing representative, Learfield Licensing Partners. It includes guaranteed revenue to limit downside risk for the first three years as the university transitions to this new model structure while providing improved opportunities to provide unique apparel, to grow market presence and to increase revenues.
Because Texas can control a number of functions in-house, this new structure creates significant annual cost savings for the whole UT System. The new model allows for stronger brand presentation in the retail marketplace as well as better university control of the breadth and depth of the university’s licensed products. Texas plans to maintain local licensees that provide products for internal campus units. The university also can prioritize unique offerings to key retailers that have a strong presence in the state of Texas and across the U.S. that have shown a commitment to the university and the Longhorns’ brand. This creates an innovative and improved presence within established retail outlets to better serve Texas’ legions of fans.
The Texas Athletics footwear and apparel sideline agreement with Nike expires June 2016. The future sideline partner, be it Nike or another supplier, will be the other primary apparel supplier with 289c.
To ensure workers creating Texas products are treated ethically and the factories that employ them are held to our strict code of conduct, the university will conduct factory visits and face-to-face supplier meetings, where compliance expectations are reinforced. The university will maintain its participation in Workers’ Rights Consortium and the Fair Labor Association. The agreement will further deepen the university’s relationship with the supply chain from which the products are obtained.
“It is of the utmost importance to the university that we operate ethically in all our dealings,” said Texas Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky. “289c works with approximately 20 suppliers for apparel and headwear needs, compared to our previous 2,000 suppliers. By sourcing from fewer suppliers, 289c and the university are able to build stronger relationships, provide more attention to detail on compliance performance, identify areas for improvement, and ensure safe working conditions.”
ABOUT LEARFIELD LICENSING PARTNERSLearfield Sports acquired both LRG and SMA in 2014. These two industry-leading agencies now combine their more than 40 years of experience into the newly branded Learfield Licensing Partners – a world-class licensing firm that integrates each company’s services and success to align perfectly with Learfield’s history, strength and reputation within the industry. Learfield Sports manages the multimedia rights for nearly 100 collegiate properties and has prominence in all of the major conferences. In addition to the varied offerings of Learfield Licensing Partners, Learfield offers its college partners with professional concessions and ticket sales, digital platform expertise and in-venue signage and technology capabilities through its owned companies. To learn more, visit www.learfieldsports.com. For additional information about Learfield Licensing Partners’ capabilities and U.S. office locations, visit https://learfieldlicensing.com/.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS TRADEMARK LICENSING
The University of Texas at Austin is responsible for oversight of trademark licensing for all UT System components, including UT-San Antonio, UT-Arlington and UT-El Paso. Management of trademark licensing was transferred to Texas Athletics in the 2007-08 fiscal year. Revenue from trademark licensing is generated through royalty payments and the sale of licensed consumer goods bearing Texas’ logos and wordmarks, including the iconic Longhorns silhouette.
289c Apparel is a premier collegiate trademark management company established in 2011 to provide customized brand management for major colleges and universities merchandising. Our dynamic, experienced and passionate team has created a full-service design, merchandising, licensing and marketing company that specializes in the college apparel business. We employ a talented staff of designers, graphic artists, sales, and production professionals with the capability to establish and manage every aspect of a collegiate licensing program.289c Apparel is dedicated to being a center of excellence in creating unique partnerships with each of our clients, retailers, licensees, and consumers.