BCS Group Cracking Down on Counterfeiters at National Championship Game

Thursday, January 03, 2013

BCS and University Officials Will Protect Marks by Dispatching Marketplace Enforcement Teams in Miami
Miami, Fla., (Jan. 3, 2013) – As The University of Alabama and University of Notre Dame players and coaches gear up for the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game® on Monday, bowl officials, in conjunction with The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College, are taking necessary measures to clear the Miami market of potential counterfeit and unlicensed merchandise.
With the retail market for collegiate licensed product estimated at $4.6 billion, counterfeiters look to capitalize on the excitement of fans in town to cheer on their teams. On average, nearly 5,000 pieces of counterfeit collegiate merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to hats, are seized outside the host stadium of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game each year.
CLC, the exclusive trademark licensing agency for the BCS, The University of Alabama, and the University of Notre Dame, will work closely with local law enforcement officials to control the merchandise being sold surrounding the National Championship Game. All counterfeit merchandise is subject to seizure.
“As the main component to our brand protection service, the goal in Miami will be to protect consumers, retailers, and the collegiate properties we represent from falling prey to counterfeit merchandise,” said Cory Moss, CLC’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director. “Many schools count on the royalties generated from the sale of licensed product to fund campus improvements and scholarships, and it is not uncommon for schools to exceed $1 million in royalties from sales of licensed merchandise during a football national championship hot market.  It is imperative we continue keeping the marketplace free of counterfeit product in order to help connect the passionate Alabama and Notre Dame fans to the BCS National Championship Game experience.”

Tips for consumers purchasing National Championship merchandise…
  • All officially licensed merchandise should display the “Officially Licensed Collegiate Products” hologram on the product or hangtag.
  • The merchandise should depict BCS logos and marks in a tasteful manner, as distasteful designs are not approved by the BCS, Alabama, or Notre Dame.
  • The tag on the garment should be intact. A torn or missing tag is evidence of a second-hand garment, one that probably would not meet the stringent quality standards set in place by the BCS, Alabama, or Notre Dame. 
  • All merchandise should bear the name of the manufacturer somewhere on the product, either in the form of a hangtag, a neck label, or screen-printed directly on the garment.
  • All merchandise should have the appropriate trademark designations (i.e. TM, รข) next to a specific name or design.

Trademark infringement violates state and federal laws, including criminal laws. Penalties vary depending on the extent of the violation, but can include confiscation of the product and equipment used to make it, fines, and even jail time for more serious violations. Confiscated product is eventually destroyed or donated to charitable organizations.
Royalties generated from the sale of officially licensed collegiate products go back to the respective participating institutions to enhance various campus initiatives.
The Discover BCS National Championship game will be played at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla., on Monday, Jan. 7 at 8:30 p.m. (EST) and will be televised on ESPN.
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For more information, contact:
Andrew Giangola
Vice President, Strategic Communications
IMG College
646-871-2402 (office) or Andrew.giangola@imgworld.com

Tricia Hornsby
Media Relations Manager
The Collegiate Licensing Company
727-433-2743 (cell) or thornsby@clc.com
About The Collegiate Licensing Company
CLC is a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG.  Founded in 1981, CLC is the oldest and largest collegiate trademark licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy and the NCAA. The mission of CLC is to be the guiding force in collegiate trademark licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing licensing services of the highest quality to its member institutions, licensees, retailers and consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta (Ga.), CLC is a full-service licensing representative, which employs a staff of more than 80 licensing professionals who provide full-service capabilities in brand protection, brand management, and brand development. 

About the Bowl Championship Series
The BCS is a five-game arrangement for post-season college football that is managed by the 11 Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame.  Its purpose is to match the two top-ranked teams in the final BCS standings in a national championship game and to create competitive match-ups in the four other BCS bowl games.  For more information, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org.