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ICLA Announces 2016 Synergy Award Winner

The University of Cincinnati has been named the 2016 ICLA Synergy Award Winner.
March 28, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA) has announced the University of Cincinnati as its 2016 Synergy Award Winner.

The Synergy Award is given annually to an exceptional "team" on campus or from a conference that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to collegiate licensing over the course of the past year that has directly contributed to the betterment of the industry and the institution or organization. The team must also have made significant contributions to the collegiate licensing industry through innovative or new ideas during the current academic year, have played a vital role on campus and in the industry through their leadership, and have demonstrated teamwork/involvement from multiple components in the licensing process.

"The ICLA Officers and Board of Directors are proud to recognize Past President Marty Ludwig and the trademarks and licensing office at the University of Cincinnati as the recipients of the 2016 Synergy Award," stated ICLA President Robin Cooper, assistant director of licensing and trademarks at Indiana University. "Marty's initiative and creativity has led to great things at UC. Their accomplishments represent the various ways the office is engaged with the campus community to promote the university brand."

During the past year, Ludwig worked with the Hamilton County Film Commission, Fratican Productions, and Kind of Blue Films to shoot scenes for the movies "Goat" and "Miles Ahead" on Cincinnati's campus. Filming involved a variety of locations on campus and included hundreds of students and staff appearing as extras, or working as crew on the productions. Both movies received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival and increased visibility for the university within the community, while providing valuable real-world experiences for UC students.

Another project the team worked on was partnering with the university's governmental relations staff, designers from creative services, administrators from the City of Cincinnati, and firefighters from Cincinnati Firehouse 19 to brand the firehouse's apparatus with university marks. A new graphic was created that incorporates the university's Bearcat Eyes logo with elements from the history and traditions of the fire service to recognize and honor their commitment and service. A local licensee produced t-shirts with the graphic, so the firefighters from Firehouse 19 proudly wear the design as their "house shirts."



Ludwig worked in conjunction with ICLA sponsor Promoversity to develop a platform that would allow student groups to sell licensed merchandise through unique online pop-up stores. This developed following conversations with students in UC's College Conservatory of Music who were selling unlicensed merchandise to raise funds for unique needs of students within the college. By educating the students about the necessity of protecting the UC brand and working with officially licensed companies, the team gave them a better understanding of why the policies are in place, while also finding a solution that would allow them to sell merchandise properly and still find revenue to help meet their unique needs. The CCM pop-up store has raised over $1,900 for the student tribunal.

Perhaps one of the most recognizable efforts of Ludwig and his team over the last year was the development and execution of the University of Cincinnati tartan design. Ludwig worked with new licensee Alma Mater Design to create a pattern, which was filed and approved by the Official Scottish Tartan Registry as one of UC's newest brand marks and designs. Once the pattern was approved and formally registered, the team worked with Alma Mater Designs and select other licensees to produce unique products to further extend the reach of the university's brand within the community.

The Cincinnati program continues to demonstrate a commitment to collegiate licensing, finding unique, effective ways to better their department and the industry as a whole. A Cincinnati native, Ludwig began working at UC in the fall of 1999 and took over leadership of the licensing program in 2005.

About ICLA: ICLA 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. For more information on ICLA, please visit www.iclanet.com. ICLA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 51st year. For more information on NACDA and the 15 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.