CLC and NCAA Partner to Protect Trademarks at the 2015 Men's and Women's Final Four

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 31, 2015) - As teams prepare for the upcoming Men's and Women's Final Four games this weekend, the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the licensing affiliate of IMG College, in close coordination with the NCAA, is making preparations to clear the marketplace of potential counterfeit and unlicensed merchandise.

CLC, the exclusive trademark licensing agent for the NCAA, as well as Duke University and University of Wisconsin for the Men's Final Four, and University of Connecticut, University of Maryland, University of Notre Dame and University of South Carolina for the Women's Final Four will work closely with Indianapolis and Tampa Bay officials, as well as Homeland Security Investigations, to patrol the areas in search of counterfeit merchandise and any other unauthorized use of trademarks owned by the NCAA and the participating institutions. All counterfeit merchandise is subject to seizure.

It is estimated that retail sales of licensed merchandise during the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will exceed $10 million. Royalties generated from the sale of "Officially Licensed Collegiate Products" go back to the NCAA and the participating universities to support scholarships and other vital programs and initiatives.

"By protecting the brands of our partner institutions, we are helping ensure that fans and consumers get high quality, authentic merchandise, the sale of which directly benefits the participating schools," said Bruce Siegal, CLC's senior vice president and general counsel. "We will be teaming with law enforcement officials in the Indianapolis and Tampa Bay areas in an effort to comprehensively cover the venue and event areas, stop counterfeiters, and safeguard customers from being sold inferior and counterfeit products."

"Thousands of fans will come to Indianapolis and Tampa Bay to celebrate the NCAA Final Four weekend, and we want them to have a safe and positive experience at all of the NCAA's events, as well as peace of mind when purchasing souvenirs and merchandise," said Keith Martin, NCAA managing director of marketing and broadcast alliances. "We work with CLC and law enforcement at our championships to protect our brand and provide a safe and orderly environment for the fans who come to support NCAA student-athletes."

On average, more than 1,000 pieces of counterfeit collegiate merchandise, ranging from T-shirts and hats to novelties, are seized outside the host venue of the Men's Final Four each year.

When purchasing NCAA Final Four merchandise, consumers should look for the following identifiers to ensure that the merchandise they purchase is officially licensed:
  • All officially licensed merchandise should display the "Officially Licensed Collegiate Product" hologram somewhere on the product or hangtag.
  • The merchandise should depict the NCAA and participating universities' marks in a tasteful manner, consistent with the designs and school depictions approved by the NCAA and participating institutions.
  • 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 put in place by the NCAA and the participating institutions.
  • All merchandise should bear the name of the manufacturer 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,a) next to a specific name or design.
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For more information please contact:
Andrew Giangola
(646) 871-2402