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Ohio State University names new apparel & retail partners
20
Nov '12
The Ohio State University announced that J. America and Fanatics, Inc. have been named the university’s licensed apparel and retail partners. This is a result of a rigorous selection process requiring demonstrated commitment to both Ohio-based business and socially responsible business practices. The 10-year agreement guarantees $97 million over the term to help fund scholarships and support student organizations including an upfront payment of $23 million.

“This new partnership enables the university to protect and enhance the royalty revenues that support student success, continue its commitment to growing business in Ohio, and demonstrate leadership in socially responsible business practices,” said Jeff Kaplan, senior vice president and executive officer to the president.

“This agreement, which was awarded through a competitive selection process, meets all our criteria with two companies that we believe are leaders in their respective fields and have a clear understanding of our uncompromising code of conduct and a demonstrated commitment to Ohio.”

The university sought a new business model for apparel, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of its $9 million trademark and licensing annual revenue, as a way to enhance funding for scholarships, student programing and other university initiatives. This agreement will generate at least an additional $4.5 million annually in royalties to help Ohio State reinvest in the university. Implementation of the new licensing model will be phased in over the next year.

Providing support to students

In the past, revenue distributed annually from trademark and licensing has allowed Ohio State to fund nearly 5,000 need-based scholarships, provide partial funding for approximately 600 grant-in-aid scholarships each year to student-athletes, create a Student Life endowment to support 1,000 student organizations, and invest nearly $8 million in new library collections. This new agreement will stabilize that funding base.

In addition, the new revenue generated will be used to fund more student scholarships, support opportunities for student-athletes, and increase Office of Student Life staffing to meet growing demands in Student Advocacy, Buckeye Careers and Disability Support Services. Further, the new funds will support the Alumni Association’s new career management office as well as provide additional resources to enhance alumni involvement including mentoring students and young alumni.

Licensees to double business with Ohio companies

Both J. America and Fanatics have a strong presence in Ohio and have existing relationships with Ohio State. J. America, based in Webberville, Mich., is a current Ohio State apparel licensee. The company now will manage the apparel production and distribution with a guarantee to the university of $85 million over 10 years. Fanatics, based in Jacksonville, Fla., will retain the existing online store that it currently operates for the Department of Athletics official team shop and assume management for all athletics venue retail.

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