University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with its exclusive trademark licensing agent, IMG College Licensing, today announced an agreement with Hanesbrands Inc. to serve as the University’s primary licensee for apparel products. The new deal covers Cincinnati-branded men’s, women’s, youth, and infant/toddler apparel across all retail channels, and ensures the University has greater control over the supply chain along with stability in licensing income over the next six years.
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In addition to the new agreement with Hanesbrands, Cincinnati will continue its partnership with Under Armour, the exclusive supplier of uniforms and apparel for the University’s varsity teams, coaches, and staff. Additionally, semi-exclusive headwear partnerships that are currently in place will remain, as well as programs with other best-in-class licensees in select product categories to ensure a robust selection of merchandise for Bearcats fans and consumers.
While Hanesbrands has been a Cincinnati licensee since 1992 under its Champion label, the new agreement represents a continued effort by the Cincinnati licensing program to strategically manage the University’s brand to provide top-quality products for Bearcats fans while securing long-term brand value for the University.
“As the retail landscape continues to evolve, especially with the growth in online sales, it’s important that we partner with best-in-class licensees, like Hanesbrands, that are committed to growing the Cincinnati brand and delivering additional resources back to the University,” said Martin Ludwig, Cincinnati’s Director of Trademarks & Licensing. “After working with our partners at IMG College Licensing to analyze proposals from companies interested in a stronger relationship with the University, we decided Hanesbrands and its family of top apparel companies was the best fit for our brand and meet the needs of retailers providing great apparel for our constituents.”
On top of partnering with a global brand, the agreement provides the University a minimum guarantee that ensures more than a 20 percent growth in apparel royalties following the 8 percent growth the University experienced during the past three years. The University will also gain access to academic resources through internships, participation by Hanesbrands executives in University programs and projects, and additional resources to develop, grow, and merchandise the presence of Cincinnati product in the marketplace. Hanesbrands will also fund annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) trips for Cincinnati staff to visit factories making licensed merchandise to review production and ensure compliance with University workplace codes of conduct.
“We are pleased to enter into this new agreement with the University of Cincinnati and are committed to developing the best apparel program for Bearcats fans,” said John Fryer, President, Sports Apparel, at Hanesbrands. “With more than 25 years of experience working with the Cincinnati brand, this new agreement allows us to focus our resources on improving designs and styles in true partnership with the University.”
Cincinnati began strategically managing its brand through IMG College Licensing in 2005 with its first semi-exclusive program in the headwear category, followed with a mass channel exclusive with Knights Apparel, a division of Hanesbrands. Since that time, Cincinnati has pursued partnerships with licensees that are aligned with the brand goals of the University.
“The Cincinnati licensing program under Marty’s direction routinely leverages the data and resources we provide to maximize the University’s brand exposure and revenue,” said Cory Moss, SVP and Managing Director of IMG College Licensing. “This new agreement with Hanesbrands represents the next step in the evolution of Cincinnati’s brand management.”
The University’s trademark licensing program was established in 1987 to manage the commercial use of the University’s name and all identifying marks and images. A division within the Office of Administration & Finance, Trademarks & Licensing has generated more than $15 million in royalty income from the sale of officially licensed merchandise with UC’s brand, which the University uses to support scholarships.
About University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a public research university in Cincinnati Ohio. Founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College, and is celebrating its bicentennial this year. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati and has an annual enrollment of over 45,000 students, making it the second largest university in Ohio. The University’s mission is to serve the people of Ohio, the nation, and the world as a premier, public, urban research university dedicated to undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, experience-based learning, and research. Its mission is embodied in its motto “Juncta Juvant – Alta Petit”, which translates to Strength in Unity to Seek the Highest, and has been demonstrated in numerous achievements and discoveries throughout its first two hundred years.
About Hanesbrands Inc.
Hanesbrands Inc., based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a socially responsible leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific. The company sells its products under some of the world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Alternative, and Gear for Sports. The company sells activewear, including T-shirts, performance sportswear, sports bras, sweatshirts and other fleece, and socks produced in the company’s low-cost global supply chain. A Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500 stock index (HBI), Hanes has approximately 68,000 employees in more than 40 countries. Hanes takes pride in its strong reputation for ethical business practices. For more information, visit the company’s corporate website at www.Hanes.com/corporate and newsroom at https://newsroom.hanesbrands.com/.
About IMG College Licensing
IMG College Licensing is part of Learfield IMG College, which unlocks the value of college sports for brands, fans and universities through representation of collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas. As a fully integrated sports marketing and solutions platform, Learfield IMG College provides access to licensing and multimedia sponsorship management, including publishing, radio, digital and social media; fan engagement, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems.