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Notre Dame selects licensing firm

Matt Bramanti | Monday, September 29, 2003

The University of Notre Dame has chosen the Collegiate Licensing Company to be its trademark licensing firm, in a three-year deal reached earlier this year. While the agreement focuses on protecting the integrity of the Notre Dame brand and trademarks, CLC will also advise the university on licensing and retail marketing initiatives.

Pat Battle, president and CEO of CLC, praised the agreement on behalf of his firm, calling Notre Dame “a tremendous addition to the CLC family of colleges and universities.”

“Notre Dame is one of the most recognizable brands in the world,” Battle said.

That brand includes such famous symbols as the Leprechaun, the interlocking ND, the Fighting Irish team name and the Golden Dome. Royalties from sales of licensed merchandise provide millions of dollars annually to the university’s general fund.

The university will continue to set its own licensing policies, including its code of conduct, aimed at improving working conditions for employees who manfacture Notre Dame-branded merchandise.

David Harr, Notre Dame’s vice president for auxiliary services, said the arrangement had been in the works for quite some time. “We did a year long review,” Harr said.

He declined to provide specific financial information, but said that the deal made economic sense. “We concluded that CLC would provide Notre Dame with the resources and relationships needed to take the university’s licensing program to a new level of success,” Harr said.

“We got a very favorable deal for the university.”

Harr emphasized that the contract with CLC will not affect Notre Dame’s authority over its trademarks, adding that the university’s current on-campus licensing department will remain in operation. That department licenses Notre Dame trademarks for student, faculty, and departmental use, including club t-shirts.

The CLC arrangement likewise will not affect adidas’ deal to provide Notre Dame-themed apparel and merchandise related to the university’s athletic programs.

“From a student’s standpoint, nothing has changed,” Harr said.

In becoming part of the Atlanta-based consortium, Notre Dame joins over 200 other colleges and universities, as well as major bowl games and the NCAA.