Jan. 5, 2015
Name: Lindsay Laurent
Position/Institution: Director of Licensing, Bowling Green State University
Number of years in your position: 1 year
Alma Mater(s): Texas A&M University, University of Alabama
Hometown: Lubbock, Texas
1) Why did you become involved in ICLA?
I became involved with the ICLA to learn more about licensing and meet people in the field. Since I am so new to this business, I felt this was a great first step in bettering myself and my department.
2) What is your favorite part about being a member of ICLA?
The connections I have made with other ICLA members. Everyone is so nice and willing to share information or give advice. The resources are also great!
3) What is the biggest challenge to working in a university environment?
4) What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?Probably being hired as the licensing director. I was given the job on a temporary basis and I was able to prove to our AD that I was the right person for the job.
For me, it is managing the relationship between the university and the athletics department. We are basically two separate entities with two separate marks and policies. It is easier for me to manage the athletics marks since I am housed in the athletics department.
5) What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?
The ability to problem-solve. I have found that in this business not everything is black and white and I spend a lot of my time solving problems and keeping the peace.
6) Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My father. He taught me to never give up or do what is easy and I live by that daily. Sometimes it is too easy to roll over and do what is easy even if it doesn't produce the results you want/need. I constantly remind myself that I got where I am by doing what is hard and I stick by that.
7) What is one item you cannot live without?
Chapstick, more specifically, Dr. Lipp's Nipple Butter. It is fantastic and works throughout the Northwest Ohio winters!
8) Who would you chose to switch places with for a day?
Oprah. I would love to see what it is like to be her for a day.
9) What is your favorite sporting event you have ever attended?
A tour of the American Gladiators in the 90's. It was awesomeJ
10) Why/when did you decide to pursue a career in collegiate licensing?
I decided to pursue a career in collegiate licensing after our former Assistant AD for External Relations gave me the opportunity to work alongside her and help manage the licensing program here at BGSU. When she left, I asked our AD to continue managing the program and he let me.
11) In your mind, who in this industry can serve as a good role model?
Sami at Michigan State. Without her guidance I would have absolutely no idea what I am doing!
12) How has your involvement with ICLA influenced your career?
ICLA has made a huge impact on my career. Being a part of the mentorship program has been huge for me and I have already learned so much about managing licensees and building a brand. Also, the people I have met have been amazing and so willing to share ideas and introduce me to other industry professionals.
13) What educational or business experiences best prepared you for a career in licensing?
I can't really pinpoint one specific experience, but the fact that I have worked in multiple areas within athletics and I have been a faculty member has helped me in licensing. It is easier to understand some of the challenges departments face and relate to different people with a more diverse background.
14) What challenges do you face when working with students or vendors?
With students the challenge is constantly educating the new groups. Student groups change leaders so often here that educating them on licensing policies and procedures is a constant.
15) In your opinion, where is collegiate licensing headed in the future?
I don't think I have been in the business long enough to answer this questions.
16) What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Keep an open mind.
17) What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the field of collegiate licensing?
There is no black and white set of rules to follow and the business is always changing.
18) What was your biggest professional failure/mistake and how did you learned from it?
When I was a graduate student I worked in the Sports Information office and covered volleyball. I wrote a story about an assistant coach and posted it to the website without the approval of the head coach. I quickly learned that head coaches must know about everything going on with their programs BEFORE the fans. We had a come-to-Jesus closed door meeting and the point was received J Since then, I always consult my superiors or heads of departments before pushing through a policy or a promotion.
19) What percentage of your work-week is spent in your office?
Right now I spend a great deal of time in my office. We are trying to launch a licensing website and get some administrative work under control. Since I just recently took over the position, and we switched licensing administration groups, there is a great deal of paperwork. I hope to spend much less time in the office in the future and more time speaking with licensees and looking for new licensees.
20) What are you most looking forward to at the next ICLA Convention or Winter Symposium?
Since this will be my first Winter Symposium, I am looking forward to meeting the people I have talked with on the phone and over email. I am also looking forward to learning more about collegiate licensing and how to better my department.