The Georgia High School Association and Strategic Marketing Affiliates/K12 Licensing announced the launch of a retail-licensing program on May 19, 2010. The program began this past summer producing quality, high school apparel and products for statewide store locations. The new licensing initiative is similar to existing collegiate programs with high schools receiving annual royalty payments from local sales with products designated by official GHSA hangtags.
The GHSA became the first high school association in the country to start a licensing program in July 2005 with Strategic Marketing Affiliates/K12 Licensing. Currently, the GHSA and SMA/k12 Licensing have over 15 licensees. "High school athletics continues to be an important bridge between a school and its community. Developing school pride also develops community pride. This linkage can be enhanced by merchandise that bears the school name and/or logo. Therefore, the GHSA is pleased to be a part of the process to bring this kind of merchandise to the communities of our schools." -- Dr. Ralph Swearngin, Executive Director of the GHSA. “SMA is excited to have the opportunity to expand its licensing partnership with the Georgia High School Association that gives the Association the ability to offer SMA’s services and licensing expertise, which will eventually lead to greater revenue and brand presence for participating high schools in their respective communities.” -- Tony Johnson, Sr. Vice President of SMA/K12 Licensing.
About the GHSA The GHSA is a voluntary organization composed of over 400 public and private high schools. The Association provides services through the organization and administration of region and state events in sports and activities. The GHSA strives to promote good sportsmanship, participant safety and a cooperative spirit among its member schools. For more information, contact GHSA at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ghsa.net.
About SMA / K12 Licensing Founded in 1997, Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Inc. ("SMA") has quickly grown to become a leader in the arena of collegiate licensing. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Pan American Plaza Building, SMA represents more than 200 colleges, universities and athletic conferences nationwide. K12 Licensing, a sister company to SMA which was founded in 2010, uses the same fresh, energetic, and effective approach to providing schools with the knowledge, experience and insight necessary to have a successful licensing program. For more information, visit: www.smaworks.com or www.k12licensing.com.
Retail Licensing Q & A
How many schools will be in the program?
SMA and the GHSA will involve as many schools as possible through our vendors and retail distributors. Products will be rolled out in phases throughout the school year based on proximity of store and school locations.
How much revenue will the schools receive?
The schools will receive 60% of the royalty based on a standard 10% licensing fee on the wholesale price of the goods.
How will the funds be distributed?
The GHSA will distribute royalty payments two times per year (February & August) to the lead GHSA administrator at each school.
Does this program have any effect on merchandise sales by school stores or booster clubs?
No. School merchandise sold by school stores or booster clubs are NOT part of the retail-licensing program. Products with high school logos have been sold for years at retail stores with no statewide system in place to payback royalties to the local schools. Now vendors and retailers have a program managed by the GHSA and SMA that provides vendors and retailers the ability to give back to their community, while schools are able to receive new revenue.
How much money can schools expect to make from retail licensing?
The amount of royalty earned by each school will depend on several factors, such as the number of store locations and size of the store displays. Realistically, projections are that retail licensing will bring modest new revenue to provide additional support to schools during these tough economic times.
What retail stores are currently carrying GHSA products?
Stores that are currently supplied by GHSA licensees include: Walmart, Walgreens, CVS /pharmacies, Hibbett Sports, Academy Sports, Mapco Express and Dollar General. Can other stores join the GHSA retail-licensing program? Yes. Interested retail outlets should contact Tony Johnson at Strategic Marketing Affiliates at email@example.com for a list of officially licensed GHSA companies.
Some of these stores aren’t carrying GHSA merchandise. Why?
Each local store manager has the ability to place orders and determine quantity for their own store. Sometimes these displays could be seasonal, such as “back to school” sales during the summer/fall. If you would like the store to carry your schools’ merchandise, please talk to the manager. If the manager is not familiar with the GHSA program, he can contact Tony Johnson at Strategic Marketing Affiliates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are stores selling my school merchandise, but I do see a GHSA hang tag on the products. Is my school receiving royalties on the sales?
The GHSA can only guarantee that member schools receive royalty on GHSA hang tag merchandise. Each school can control and enforce protection of their brand. Local companies should support your school financially through sponsorships, advertisements, royalties, revenue sharing, donation of products/services or other agreed upon compensation in exchange for marketing rights.
Our school has been approached by other licensing companies to join their program. Should we work with other groups?
That decision is up to you. There are a number of school licensing representation companies that have entered the market. Retail licensing involving high schools is in the early stages of development. Due to the sheer volume of schools, the challenges of scholastic licensing are different from collegiate and professional leagues/teams. It is important that these companies have the proven experience to deliver what they promise. Strategic Marketing Affiliates / K12 Licensing is the official licensing company of the GHSA that represents the association in the best interest of all member schools. The GHSA would receive no royalties in programs involving outside licensing companies.
Should schools develop original marks and logos?
Schools are encouraged to develop original marks and logos or receive permission from the owner of the logo. Several colleges and professional teams have begun to enforce copyright infringements. The GHSA’s licensing partner SMA/K12 Licensing has agreed to create new or modified logo depictions at a cost of $500.00. The school’s logos will be properly digitized and formatted according to official licensee production standards. Logos will be made available to licensees and school systems’ personnel via SMA / K12’s state of the art Octane 5 graphic management system. SMA / K12 will also provide a “Brand Identity Audit” of all existing school marks at the onset of any relationship with a GHSA member school as a part of its initial program analysis.
How can a school trademark their logo?
Schools can register school marks and logos through the Georgia Secretary of State online at: sos.georgia.gov/corporations/trademarks.htm. Local legal professionals and several online legal Web sites also offer trademark registration services at various price points.