Last September, I was approved for a local license with the Collegiate Licensing Group (CLC) for the University of Toledo. Currently, I am in the process of completing the application process for the University of Michigan.
The CLC is the largest licensing group in the country and handles licensing for nearly 200 universities. They have three different types of licenses: local, standard, and restricted. A local license gives you permission to produce licensed products for colleges and universities in your state. This means, that when I was approved for the University of Toledo, I could then expand my license to additional CLC schools within Ohio, my home state, without going through the full application process again. A standard license gives you permission to produce licensed products for any school that falls under the CLC umbrella. This means, that once approved for a standard license, I will be able to expand my licenses to schools across the country without undergoing the scrutiny of the full application process. You could say I’m almost pre-approved for any school in the country now.
The CLC has the most challenging application process I’ve ever undergone. I was referred to a Licensing Coordinator through a friend, Matt Yarder of ymigrate.com, who has a standard license making grill grates. The coordinator emailed me the CLC application, but it can also be downloaded directly from their website.
The application is quite extensive. The Phase I License Application Guide is a 37 page document. It explains the type of licenses, the costs ($500 for a standard license, $100 for a local license), the time frame, a list of schools, and the Phases (three in all). You are required to fill in company information (bank and credit references, proof of insurance, manufacturing info) and complete a marketing plan. It’s quite a bit.
Phase II of the application process begins when you are preliminarily accepted as a licensee. At this point, you have to submit designs with official school logos and marks, order holograms, submit an insurance certificate with the CLC as an additional insured, and send in a product specification sheet. During Phase II you will be approved for two online portals: myiclc and Logos On Demand. Logos On Demand provides official logos and marks (this should be obvious) and they produce holograms. Final designs can be submitted through myiclc.
Everything is wrapped up in Phase III: final and official approval, payment of advance royalties to each university, and final signatures.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I think the best course of action is to speak directly with the licensing coordinators and directors where you will be applying. I think establishing contact with a coordinator at the CLC, especially since it was through someone she already knew, eased the process. In addition, when I applied to both Toledo and Michigan, I sat down and met with each licensing director to explain my ideas and why they were good for their university. If the licensing director at a specific school likes what you have to offer, they can essentially flag your application and do their best to influence the process.
However, your offering must be unique or fill a niche that the university is interested in. I can’t stress enough that you must provide a definite advantage over their current licensees. It is the most important thing you must keep in mind when applying. Most schools have hundreds of licensees. And, believe it or not, they would like to reduce that number. Each university possesses a very powerful brand. A brand that inspires loyalty unlike any other company that is simply making things. Universities provides more than apparel: they educate, they carry family tradition, the provide a greater service to the community. As a licensee, it is your job to uphold the standards of that brand.
Applying for a license with the Collegiate Licensing Company? Have any questions that I didn’t cover? Let me know if I can help.