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The University of Kentucky has come to a five-year agreement with Fermata Partners to manage its domestic trademark licensing program, university officials announced on Wednesday.
“We are excited to be the first university to align with Fermata Partners,” senior associate athletics director Jason Schlafer said. “Our licensing program allows our students, alumni and the best fans in college athletics to celebrate their allegiance to UK. We have built a strong foundation over the past three decades, and as we look to the future, our new alliance with Fermata will help the university navigate the retail marketplace with strong brand management principles while ensuring that we deliver more value to UK’s consumers.”
Under terms of the agreement — effective July 1, 2014 through June 2019 — Fermata Partners will manage the day-to-day operations of the UK licensing program, including coordinating all licensing logistics, contracts, product approvals, royalty collection and business planning with UK’s licensees.
“We are honored to be selected by the University of Kentucky to serve as its partner in trademark licensing,” said Derek Eiler, managing partner and co-founder of Fermata Partners. “We will work closely with the university to ensure that quality UK merchandise continues to reach the Big Blue Nation across the Commonwealth and beyond in a model that ensures the university retains complete control of its premier brand.”
The university’s licensing program was established in 1984 and is deeply committed to the protection and promotion of all UK trademarks. Sales of UK merchandise generate more than $50 million annually in the retail marketplace. Among schools represented by its previous partner, The College Licensing Company, UK ranked fifth nationally in 2012-13 in royalties generated and third in 2011-12.
“This is another great public-private partnership for the University of Kentucky,” said Eric N. Monday, UK executive vice president for finance and administration. “This agreement with Fermata strengthens UK’s brand position and will produce additional revenue that can be used to support student success.”
UK Athletics is responsible for all costs associated with the program and shares all royalties equally with the university. Through the trademark licensing program, UK Athletics has contributed more than $10 million to the university during Mitch Barnhart’s tenure as athletics director.
The university selected Fermata Partners after a competitive process conducted over the past several months in accordance with the Kentucky Model Procurement Code.
Fermata Partners, based in Atlanta, is a specialized consumer products licensing agency that partners with brands possessing deep affinity in sport, lifestyle, and college to formulate global licensing strategies and deliver practical execution. The firm was founded in 2011 and has assembled a diverse team with deep experience in the collegiate licensing industry as well as licensing for other sports and lifestyle brands.
From UK Athletics