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Publish date: Mar 30, 2012

The CLC and the NCAA partner to protect trademarks at the 2012 Men's Final Four

Collegiate Licensing Company and New Orleans law enforcement address counterfeiting during Men’s Championship

ATLANTA, Ga., (March 30, 2012) – As each team prepares for its upcoming Men’s Final Four match-up, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of IMG College, on behalf of the NCAA, is making preparations to clear the marketplace of potential counterfeit and unlicensed merchandise.

CLC, the exclusive licensing agent for The University of Kansas, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and the NCAA, will work closely with New Orleans law enforcement officials to patrol the area in search of counterfeiters selling “knock-off” merchandise and any other unauthorized use of trademarks owned by the NCAA or participating institutions.  All counterfeit merchandise is subject to seizure.

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 licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents more than 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. For more information on CLC, visit: or

It is estimated that retail sales of licensed team merchandise during the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship exceeds $10 million, making the tournament a big target for counterfeiters. The participating institutions and the NCAA receive a portion of the sales of officially licensed merchandise through royalties.

“Our goal is to assist in preserving a positive experience for all Men’s Final Four consumers,” said Bruce Siegal, CLC’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “By teaming with New Orleans law enforcement, we are able to cover a large venue, stop bootleggers, and ensure that consumers are not defrauded in purchasing counterfeit merchandise that is often inferior quality.”

On average, nearly 1,000 pieces of counterfeit collegiate merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to hats, are seized outside the host venue of the Men’s Final Four each year. Royalties generated from the sale of “Officially Licensed Collegiate Products” go back to the NCAA and the respective universities to support student-athlete programs and other vital campus initiatives, so it is important for consumers to know that the product being purchased is officially licensed.

“When fans purchase officially licensed merchandise it provides our member schools with additional funding that supports numerous student and campus needs,” said Peter Davis, NCAA Director of Championships and Alliances, Corporate Relationships. “Thanks to fans who want the high quality associated with officially licensed products, CLC and New Orleans law enforcement, we’re assuring that collegiate programs receive incremental funding.”

When purchasing NCAA Final Four merchandise, consumers should always look for the following characteristics to ensure 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, as these institutions do not approve distasteful designs. 
  • 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 in place for the NCAA, Kentucky, Kansas, or Louisville. 
  • 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,â) next to a specific name or design.