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Trademarks and Licensing Earns Top National Award
UM’s Trademarks and Licensing program garnered record-breaking royalties in 2018-19 through innovative programming, earning a 2019 Synergy Award from the International Collegiate Licensing Association in April. The award is given annually to an exceptional university that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to collegiate licensing. It is the second time UM has won the award, and UM is the first institution to receive it twice.
“It’s an honor to be recognized with the prestigious Synergy Award, particularly when we’re in the ring with top-tier schools with much greater resources and peer institutions that are consistently turning out creative programs for their schools,” says Erika Palmer, UM’s director of Trademarks and Licensing.
This year, Palmer worked with Nike by Branded Custom Sportswear to license an exclusive selection of products to honor UM alumnus Dave Dickenson, a 2018 National College Football Hall of Fame inductee and quarterback of the 1995 National Championship team. The products, featuring a mix of Dickenson’s retired UM jersey no. 15, the copper and gold throwback colors and a retro mark, had a near 100 percent sell-through rate and were popular with fans, earning roughly $100,000 in nontraditional licensed product sales for the University.
Additionally, Palmer worked with Big Sky Brewing Co. to develop a Griz Montana Lager in honor of the University’s 125th anniversary year, as a short-term, limited-edition product for the market with statewide and surrounding state distribution.
Spearheaded by Palmer, UM experienced record-breaking royalties and a record $4 million in sales of Griz products, including 530,000 units sold.