â†µBreakout seasons leading to upticks in merchandise sales is a given in sports. And the University of Cincinnati wants to reap the full amount of the windfall that will attend a berth in the Sugar Bowl, meaning they're bringing the hammer down on everything from towels supporting charities to amateurish print shirts being distributed by local bars, even if the product in question doesn't bear the distinctive logo or the name of the school. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"It hurts the university by confusing our fans and not valuing our brand properly," said Marty Ludwig, UC's director of trademarks and licensing. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Products targeted included Mardy Gras T-shirts (referencing wide receiver Mardy Gilyard), Cincy Committed to Kelly rally towels (which raised money for the Down Syndrome Association and the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex, both supported by former football coach Brian Kelly) and T-shirts in white, red and black made by bars to promote the university's games. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µThe University has every right to protect its licensing rights, but let's not couch the reasoning for the crackdown as a magnanimous service to fans. You'd be hard pressed to find many who would presume that something like this water bottle is an officially licensed product. Or those would even care if it wasn't. Who's being protected are retailers who are bothering to pay the licensing fees. Granted, they deserve an even playing field. But they aren't "fans." Just come out and admit the university wants to soak the standout season for every penny it'll provide. â†µâ†µ
â†µ(H/T to Busted Coverage) â†µâ†µ
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