|To: WIAA Member Schools|
From: Mike Colbrese, WIAA Executive Director
Subect: Licensed Product Program
Date: September 30, 2010
Dear WIAA Member School,
Over the years, the WIAA office has heard concerns from several member schools that school-branded merchandise was being sold in retail locations where the schools were not benefiting from the sale of those items. In March of 2009, the WIAA office sent out information regarding the Licensed Product Program. Over the past few years, Licensed Resource Group (LRG), an industry leader in trademark management and licensed product program production, has been working with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and state high school associations to establish a licensing program that protects the marks of member high schools, while also providing participating schools with a new revenue resource.
When the WIAA office sent out detailed program information in March of 2009, member schools were asked to ‘opt-in’. After receiving a variety of questions and follow up comments, LRG decided that it would make more sense for ALL WIAA member schools to be automatically enrolled in the program unless they elected to ‘opt-out’. Unless you opted out at that time, your school is currently enrolled in the program. At this time, we once again ask you to please notify us if you would prefer to OPT OUT of this program.
As the manager of this program, LRG secures licensee and retail partners, administers each license, and helps to create a new source of income for member schools, who will each receive a portion of the licensing revenue generated from this program. Each year, LRG will send the WIAA office a royalty check and a detailed account statement outlining each participating school’s sales and royalty accrual. The WIAA office will distribute the appropriate royalty check to each participating school.
LRG PROGRAM MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Identify manufacturers and notify them of the program
- Provide NFHS Official High School Licensed Product labels/hangtags for participating manufacturers
- Collect royalties from manufacturers
- Provide a detailed royalty report and check payments to state associations
REVENUE MODEL: 10% of the wholesale price of a retail item is the royalty amount. WIAA member schools will receive 50% of each royalty amount collected for items with their marks, with the reamaining 50% going toward management and administration of the program.
LRG will deliver the first royalty check to the WIAA office by January of 2011, and then the next check in June 2011. Beginning in 2012, royalty payments will be made annually in June.
Below is an FAQ for the program. If you have any questions that are not addressed, please contact Andy Knapp at the WIAA office at email@example.com or (425) 282-5235.
Thank you for all that you do for our schools.
LICENSED PRODUCT PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q. How does this benefit WIAA member schools?
A. Participating schools will receive revenue from the retail sale of products that use school names, marks, seals and mascots.
Q. Do schools need to “trademark” school names, mascots, etc.?
A. Technically, no. Since schols are the first user, those marks belong to the schools; however, it is always wise to be on the safe side. In most states, this can be done online, at very little cost. LRG can provide participating schools with a simple “how to” trademark instruction guide, as requested.
Q. How do schools know that a product is licensed and, therefore, revenue generating?
A. The product will carry a distinct label and/or hangtag that will identify the product as “Official NFHS High School Licensed Product.”
Q. Who pays the royalties?
A. The manufacturer of the product pays a royalty that is a percentage of the wholesale price.
Q. How do schools know the royalties are being paid?
A. This is the role of LRG. It will track, enforce, monitor and report royalties of each licensee.
Q. Is the royalty revenue from products with a school's name/logo shared with other schools?
Q. A school is small with a fairly small fan base...does it need this program?
A. Parents, fans and community members (though small in number) will be supporting the school when they purchase licensed product with the school name/logo. The school can promote school pride with a purpose. It costs the school nothing to participate and provides a new revenue resource – why not participate?
Q. How will this affect a school's booster club?
A. Schools own their marks, therefore, schools can choose to exempt some groups from using licensed product for fundraising efforts. Keep in mind, however, that using licensed product for fundraising generates additional revenue from the royalty paid by the manufacturer.
Q. Can a school stop a retailer from selling UNLICENSED products with the school name?
A. Yes. The goal is to place “licensed” product at retail outlets to generate royalty revenue. LRG will work with retailers to “enforce” the sale of “licensed” product from participating schools.
Q. How much time will be required by a school's staff?
A. None. LRG will handle all implementation and execution of the program.
Q. When can schools expect to see revenue?
A. January of 2011.
Q. How often will schools receive a royalty check?
A. Starting in 2012, annually in June.
Q. How much does it cost a school to participate in the program?
Q. If a school suspects that there is a business in the area selling a retail item with the school name/logo but they are not paying royalties, what should the school do?
A. Contact LRG Directly with your inquiry:
Dick Welsh, General Merchandise Manager, LRG | firstname.lastname@example.org | (513) 336-8070