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June 11, 2000

NCLA Selects Inaugural Award Recipients

ORLANDO, Florida -- The Officers of the National Collegiate Licensing Association (NCLA) have selected their inaugural award recipients.

Those being honored include the Collegiate Licensing Company with the Corporate Service Award; the University of Arizona with the Synergy Award: the Collegiate Licensing Program of the Year; and Bill Battle of the Collegiate Licensing Company and Finus Gaston of the University of Alabama as the first inductees into the NCLA Hall of Fame.

The awards were presented at the NCLA Awards Luncheon during NCLA's second annual Workshop at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

NCLA provides educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of collegiate licensing.

NCLA is administered by NACDA, which is now in its 35th year. NACDA serves as the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference commissioners at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Through its series of management seminars, clinics and workshops and publication of the bi-monthly magazine Athletics Administration, NACDA offers educational opportunities to its members. More than 1,200 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA operates the Sears Directors' Cup program, which honors the all-sports champion in each of the NCAA Divisions -- I, II, III -- and the NAIA, for a total of four trophies.

A brief biographical sketch of each of the award recipients follows:

NCLA Synergy Award: The Collegiate Licensing Program of the Year

University Of Arizona

The University of Arizona has devised a five-pronged approach to achieve synergy throughout its licensing program -- protection, communication, consistency, promotion/integration and industry advancement. Mike Low, director of trademarks and licensing, and Lisa Valentine, licensing coordinator, lead the way towards the program's excellence. The university focuses on protection by actively participating in game-day trademark enforcement at all home games and at select away games such as rivalries and bowl games. A strong relationship with the local police minimizes crime and potential problems.

With Arizona's communication plan, the licensing staff meets with groups on campus to inform them about requirements and regulations. Additionally, Low is involved with the university's committees for corporate relations, marketing and identification. The university also has strong bonds with licensees off campus. The university's Retail Partner Program has more than 30 members with more than 50 retail outlets.

The university is consistent in its policies, requiring all give-aways or standard promotions to become licensed. With the teams, anything sold with the Arizona logo must be consistent in color and graphic.

The promotions program has grown with the university having its own ice cream and salsa products, along with other consumable programs that are being generated. Signage has been distributed to all retail partners, which helps to develop local and national recognition of licensed products. Through use of public address and video announcements, the "Officially Licensed Collegiate Products" label is promoted. Arizona has been one of the leaders in licensing base and product category management. The five-pronged approach has successfully developed and maintained tremendous synergy across campus and throughout the community.

NCLA Corporate Service Award

The Collegiate Licensing Company

The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) is a marketing company dedicated to the administration, development and expansion of collegiate trademark licensing. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, CLC is the licensing representative for the NCAA, Heisman Trophy, bowl games, conferences and more than 180 universities and colleges. In 1981, CLC signed its first school, the University of Alabama. Led by CEO William R. "Bill" Battle, CLC soon signed contracts with eight other schools and, in 1983, the Collegiate Licensing Company was officially founded. It was formed with the objective of providing centralized management, along with administrative, enforcement and marketing support to collegiate licensors. CLC has more than 50 full-time licensing professionals who are dedicated to expanding the market for officially licensed merchandise.

CLC's mission is to be the guiding force in collegiate licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC has a set of values that includes excellence, service, professionalism, ethics, improvement, performance, compassion, progress and innovation.

NCLA Hall of Fame

William R. Battle III
Chief Executive Officer, The Collegiate Licensing Company

William R. "Bill" Battle III founded The Collegiate Licensing Company in 1983. Two years earlier, Battle signed legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant to a licensing agreement and discovered the University of Alabama needed his assistance in forming a licensing program. Battle's primary responsibility is to chart the course for the future and ensure the CLC Consortium remains on the leading edge in licensing administration, legal and enforcement efforts and marketing services. His vision for the future, along with CLC's execution of that vision, will ensure that members of the CLC Consortium will continue to achieve their licensing potential well into the 21st century. Battle graduated from Alabama in 1963 and played football for Bryant from 1959 to 1962. He received his master's degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1964 and served as a graduate assistant coach for Bud Wilkenson at Oklahoma in 1963. Battle was an assistant coach at the United States Military Academy in 1964-65 and at the University of Tennessee from 1965-70. He was named the head coach in 1970 and, during his seven years, directed the Vols to a record of 59-22-2, five bowl game appearances - with four wins, and three top 10 finishes. Before founding CLC, Battle was vice president and vice chair at Circle S Industries and the Circle S Holding Company Board from 1977-83.

Finus P. Gaston
Senior Associate Athletics Director, University Of Alabama

Finus P. Gaston, senior associate athletics director at the University of Alabama, has responsibilities for the business office, ticket office, department personnel, facilities and grounds planning, marketing, promotions, event management, contract negotiation and administration, concessions management and long range and strategic planning. He also oversees football, men's basketball and baseball. Gaston had previously spent 22 years in the financial affairs division at Alabama. He is a founding member of the Association of Collegiate Licensing Administrators (ACLA) and was elected president in 1986 and 1987, and then served three additional years on the Board of Directors. Gaston was also a founding member of NCLA and was the organization's first president in 1999. Since 1981, he has been an active leader within the collegiate licensing industry. He graduated from Alabama in 1973 with a degree in business education. He received his master's degree in trade and industrial education in 1975 and his doctorate in administration of higher education in 1984.