Ohio State Athletic Department News: New Licensing Program Will Allow S-As to Profit off OSU Trademarks

August 3, 2021

Jersey sales, other opportunities, can be facilitated for student-athletes through group license agreements

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Student-athletes in all 36 of Ohio State’s varsity sports will soon have an opportunity to potentially realize additional and new opportunities to profit off of their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) from a group licensing program the Office of Trademark & Licensing Services, and the Department of Athletics, has entered into with The Brandr Group (TBG).

Specifically, Ohio State student-athletes who voluntarily opt-in to a group licensing agreement with TBG will be able to use their NIL alongside and in conjunction with Ohio State’s trademarks and logos that have been licensed to Ohio State trademark licensees if TBG enters into agreements with OSU trademark licensees to do so. This first Ohio State group licensing program will begin by offering jerseys and then grow to include merchandise such as video games, apparel, trading cards and bobble heads.

The program, run by TBG, a brand management, marketing and licensing agency, will create opportunities for current Ohio State student-athletes to join a group licensing program of three-or-more individuals from the same team or one with six-or-more student-athletes from any combination of teams. While TBG won’t guarantee NIL opportunities – the marketplace will determine the demand, it will facilitate group licensing opportunities on behalf of the student-athletes.

“This is a unique opportunity for our student-athletes,” Carey Hoyt, Senior Associate Athletics Director, said. “We are passionate about educating and providing opportunities for student-athletes to take advantage of their Name, Image and Likeness, and co-branding them with Ohio State’s official trademarks and logos is going to be an exciting new way for them to monetize on their NIL.”

TBG has decades of experience managing similar programs with professional player organizations. It partners with prominent brands, colleges, sponsors, corporate trademarks, athletes and events to cultivate, diversify and monetize intellectual property.

“We are excited to work with Ohio State’s amazing group of student-athletes and can’t wait to get started, as we expect great interest given the tremendous success of Ohio State athletics,” Wesley Haynes, TBG CEO, said.

The university will not be involved in deal-making, or in representing the student-athletes. The university’s involvement will be to approve or disapprove the use of its trademarks on items.

Group licensing opportunities may arise in the future with companies other than TBG. Student-athletes will also be able to individually approach Ohio State trademark licensees (although some may be limited in their ability to engage with student-athletes due to exclusivity arrangements and other restrictions.

Fans can soon expect to be able to purchase official Ohio State merchandise, including team jerseys, with the name and number of their favorite Buckeyes as long as they have joined the respective group licensing program and as soon as TBG enters into agreements with applicable OSU trademark licensees.

A Possible Legacy Program

The Brandr Group has already launched an Alumni Group Rights Program with some schools that will allow former student-athletes marketing opportunities to co-brand their NIL with the university’s trademarks and logos. Ohio State is expected to combine its alumni athlete licensing program, Legends of the Scarlet & Gray, to the TBG program in the near future.

#GoBuckeyes

The People. The Tradition. The Excellence.

COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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