NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill partner to negotiate trademark and licensing contracts

For the first time, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have collaborated to review, select and negotiate contracts for trademark licensing agency representation. After several months of working together, both universities selected IMG College Licensing agency to help manage their respective programs. This marks the first time that two Power Five Conference schools have come together to jointly market their trademark and licensing rights.

Trademark licensing is an important way for universities to manage image and branding, such as NC State’s “Block S” logomark and Carolina’s interlocking “NC” logomark, and it is becoming a significant source of funding, which both universities reinvest into scholarships. By capitalizing on their combined licensing value, each institution received signing bonuses and improvements to previous contracts This results in savings to North Carolina taxpayers, as scholarship programs are needed to keep tuition affordable for the publicly-funded universities.

Dan Adams, former associate vice chancellor for Campus Enterprises at NC State, approached Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for Campus Enterprises at UNC-Chapel Hill, with the idea of opening a joint bid for services as both universities’ previous contracts were ending at the same time. The end result was NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill signing with IMG College Licensing, with both schools receiving more money, in signing bonuses and in services offered, than they would have had they each entered the bidding process individually.

“It’s groundbreaking for two schools with such strong brands to work together in this way outside of the stadium while maintaining a healthy rivalry in athletics,” said Ives. “At Carolina, we are looking forward to what this means for future collaborations with NC State and other schools across the North Carolina University System.”

“This is a win for everyone involved, from the manufacturers and retailers who sell Wolfpack-branded merchandise, to the students who will benefit from the added scholarship revenue, and to both universities in building upon strong brands,” said Gregg Zarnstorff, NC State’s director of trademark licensing. “NC State will continue to innovate and collaborate in finding the best value and service for the state of North Carolina.”  

For more information about UNC-Chapel Hill’s contract with IMG College Licensing, contact Olivia James at Olivia.james@unc.edu.

For more information about NC State’s contract with IMG College Licensing, contact Mick Kulikowski at mjkuliko@ncsu.edu.