Throughout Texas and across the nation, items branded with Baylor's official green and gold are red-hot sellers, and demand for Baylor- branded merchandise is at an all-time high.
Items can now be found in a wide variety of retail stores, including national chains such as Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and JCPenney. Old Navy has a line of Baylor-branded merchandise in 18 Texas stores.
Much of this increased interest can be attributed to the recent success of Baylor's athletics programs and the visibility it has brought the university. "Winning builds pride, pride generates momentum, and momentum is helping to propel the Baylor brand," said John M. Barry, the university's vice president for marketing and communications. "Despite our most powerful efforts at persuasion, retailers will only carry what they think they can sell. National chains -- many operating across Texas -- are now carrying Baylor-branded merchandise because they know the Baylor brand can generate sales."
In recent years, requests for trademark approval have more than doubled, and royalties associated with licenses have nearly tripled since 2002. Requests are reviewed by an in-house licensing team led by Nick Joos, executive associate athletics director for external affairs, to determine if licensing standards and trademark guidelines are being met.
The university has taken strategic steps to improve the quality and variety of Baylor merchandise. According to Joos, "A recent test-launch of Peter Millar merchandise in Neiman Marcus' NorthPark store in Dallas resulted in a sellout. We are going places we've never been with licensing and merchandise availability."
According to Chris Krause, associate vice president for campus services, the campus-based Baylor Bookstore has also seen growing demand and has expanded its merchandise selection and display space and enhanced online ordering options for apparel and gifts. "People are visiting the bookstore and ordering online in record numbers. Manufacturers like Hurley, Southern Tide and Ping have all been anxious to add Baylor apparel to their collegiate lines. Demand for tailgating merchandise has also increased as the gameday environment reflects the excitement of Baylor Nation." Baylor Bookstore satellite locations can be found at most games, bowl destinations and post-season athletic events.
In 2009, Baylor began work with Licensing Resource Group (LRG); the organization is responsible for administering Baylor's licensing programs and pursuing new market opportunities for Baylor. Their work with regional and national manufacturers and retailers will continue to move Baylor merchandise into broader markets.
Baylor alumni and friends can add to this success by supporting retailers in their communities who carry Baylor merchandise. If a retailer in your area doesn't currently carry Baylor branded merchandise, ask the store manager to consider adding a line. A list of retailers who currently carry Baylor branded items may be found at www.baylor.edu/licensing on the "retailers" link.