Sports marketing

Licenses and Trademarks – Gopher Sports Marketing

What is a registered trademark?

According to the definition of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, which identifies and distinguishes source the products of some from those of others.” A trademark does not need to be registered to have protectable rights to it, the mere act of using or displaying a trademark automatically acquires the trademark rights to the owner.

Who needs a license?

Any person or company/organization wishing to use the University’s trademarks or verbiage on a product must be licensed before offering the product/goods for sale. This also includes selling to university departments, campus organizations, and recognized student organizations. Bonuses, promotions and advertising are also included.

How to apply for a license?

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is the representative/licensing agent for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department. CLC assists us in processing licensing applications for any companies wishing to produce branded products for retail or for campus departments and student groups. There are two types of licenses that can be obtained through CLC:

Retail – Enables a company to manufacture products bearing the trademarks of college institutions for retail sale through approved retail channels and directly to consumers, as well as to academic departments and related entities.

Internal – Allows a company to produce products bearing the marks of college institutions for academic departments and related entities for internal consumption only; cannot supply the product from the retailer directly to the consumer.

If you want to get a license, please work with CLC.

  1. Submit your application to CLC at The application will be reviewed to ensure that all necessary documents have been submitted and then forwarded to us.
  2. Depending on the time of year the application was submitted, it may take up to six to eight weeks for your application to be reviewed. While other factors are considered when reviewing new license applications, we review all applications against the following key criteria:
    a. Company business plan
    b. Sales history
    vs. Previous licensing experience
    D. Product uniqueness
    e. Product relevance
    F. Product Viability/Market Demand
    g. Current retail relationships (for future retail license holders only)
  3. CLC will notify you when we have made its decision on your application.

Guidelines for University Departments and Student Organizations

University departments and student organizations are required to use an approved vendor for promotional items and/or giveaways. You can find a list of our licensed vendors here:

Marketing and Brand Guidelines

Marketing and branding guidelines are maintained by University Relations. You can find guidelines and resources here: If you have any questions about the Marketing and Brand Guidelines, you can contact University Relations at [email protected]

Useful contact details

Greg Berkowitz
Licensing Marketing Strategist
[email protected]